What's the Difference Between Cinder Blocks
and Concrete Blocks?
Cinder blocks haven't been mass produced in about 50 years. These blocks are made, of course, from cement, water and aggregates. When coal was commonly used for fuel there were a lot of cinders available and cinders were used as one of the aggregates in making the blocks. So, strictly speaking, a cinder block is a building block made of cement, water and aggregates that include cinders. A concrete block, what we have seen since the 50's, does not contain cinders. Other widely used terms for these blocks are concrete masonry units, CMUs, grey blocks, building blocks and architectural units.
What you need to know: It's not necessary to correct your home inspection clients. If the house is younger than 50 years old you know they're probably not cinder blocks but it doesn't matter unless you sense that your client likes that kind of word information. It is a commonly used term and you're not going to explain things any better to them by correcting their terminology.
All text and photos © Arlene Puentes
Do not copy
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