Brick siding is one of the most tried and true siding methods available to homeowners. You can't beat it on looks or longevity; it's an excellent insulator; and it adds structural integrity and toughness to any home. Finally, for those who want a brick home on a budget, there are a number of new "thin brick" veneers available on the market that mimic real brick but come without the high installation costs of true brick construction.
The Toughest Siding in the Business
Most people choose brick for its appearance, but it's important not to overlook its structural benefits as well. Extreme weather conditions such as high winds, hail, and heavy rain can pockmark, crack, and peel off other forms of home siding materials. Brick, on the other hand, rarely sustains any damage from these weather events. In fact, the only mark against brick when it comes to weather is extremely cold temperatures. Older brick can be damaged by the combination of high moisture and extreme cold, though new brick materials are made to withstand any temperature and are fast catching on in even the coldest of climates.
An Added Layer of Insulation
The other benefit of brick siding is its insulating properties. Laying brick around your home's exterior is paramount to investing in an extra layer of insulation for your house. No other siding product can claim to protect your home and cut your energy costs at the same time as well as brick.
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Tough WorkHire a Mason
The only downside of real brick siding is the installation. It takes a lot of experience to learn how to lay brick properly and efficiently, making it an unreasonable project for all but the most stubborn do-it-yourselfer. Improper installation can lead to cracked mortar, deteriorating siding and a greater risk of water damage to the home itself. In worst case scenarios, water can penetrate the brick to the wall behind, causing brick mold and mildew to build up between the brick siding and the house, and causing brick mold in the brick itself. Taking all that into account, this is definitely one job where you'll want to call in an experienced mason to ensure the job is done right.
The "Other" Brick Siding
The relatively high cost of brick and hiring a mason does turn some homeowners off to brick as a siding material. If you count yourself in that category but still love the look and texture of brick sided homes, look into "thin brick" or brick veneer siding instead. Brick veneer siding is available in everything from true, thin cut brick to composite concrete siding. From an aesthetic standpoint it is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. And, because it's so much easier to handle and can be installed so much faster, it will save you bundles of money in installation costs. Of course, you lose some of the toughness and insulating qualities that come with real brick, but thin brick siding is still an excellent product for those looking for a less expensive alternative to the real thing.