Brick Siding Installation
If you are looking to upgrade the appearance and durability of your home, you cannot go wrong with a brick home siding installation. Brick siding gives your home a timeless, traditional look. It is also extremely durable. Its weather-resistant qualities include resistance to fire, rot, moisture damage and severe storms.
While the initial cost to install new brick siding may be costly, you can expect it to last the lifetime of your home. Even if you do not plan to stay in your home for many years, you will still reap the benefits of your investment when you sell your home as homeowners will pay a premium for homes with brick.
Brick Siding Benefits
Brick siding offers tremendous value in comparison to other exterior siding options. Although initially more expensive than some alternative siding materials, the long-term savings and benefits are hard to beat.
Some of the benefits of brick siding include:
- Very Low Maintenance. Brick never needs painting and rarely needs to be cleaned. It will not rot, fade, peel, or dent and it is resistant to pests. After 25 years, if you have real brick siding you should start inspecting your mortar joints as the masonry can deteriorate. Aside from that, you can only expect your brick to become more beautiful and weathered with age.
- Energy Efficient. Brick provides excellent insulation from the elements. The thermal mass of brick gives your home the ability to hold heat in the winter and keep your home cooler in the summer. Brick veneer tends to be a better insulator than solid brick. It even provides sound insulation–a big plus for anyone who lives on a noisy street.
- Insurance Savings. Many insurance companies offer a reduced rate on your homeowner’s insurance premiums if you choose a brick home because of its ability to stand up to fire and extreme weather.
- Higher Home Resale Value. Brick siding tends to yield a high return on investment while boosting your home’s resale value. On average, you can expect a 77% rate of return on your investment (ROI), but installing brick siding can earn you even more when you sell your home. On average, brick homes command at least 6% more than other home styles. Additionally, in a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, 50% to 60% of home buyers in the United States prefer brick homes, meaning your home is more likely to move quickly in a crowded market.
- Home Safety Benefits. Brick provides the highest wall strength to provide protection against strong winds or flying debris. In addition, because brick is a fireproof building material, it will not melt or catch on fire.
Brick Veneer Siding vs. Real Brick Siding
Brick siding is a catch-all term referring to both real solid brick masonry, a building material used since the 1800s, and brick veneer, which has been become more popular in the 20th century. Both real brick and brick veneer are available to homeowners today. The type that is best for your home depends on your budget, insulation needs, and weather conditions in your area.
What is brick veneer?
Brick veneer siding is another option homeowners have for brick siding installations. Real brick siding, sometimes called solid brick masonry, acts as the structural support of a building or home. Brick veneer, on the other hand, does not act as the home’s structural support system. Instead, brick veneer is installed directly on top of your home’s existing structural walls. Brick homes built within the last 40 years likely have brick veneer rather than solid brick masonry.
Insulation and durability
Believe it or not, brick veneer is a better insulator for your home than real solid brick. Brick veneer has just one layer. When brick veneer is installed, there is usually a space between it and the home’ exterior walls where a layer of insulation can be added. With real brick siding, you cannot add insulation this way. In fact, real brick is heavier and less able to insulate your home compared to brick veneer siding, as solid brick is not a natural insulator.
Additionally, the space between the layer of brick veneer and the exterior walls is better at keeping moisture out compared to solid bricks.
At the same time, keep in mind that because brick veneer is thinner than real brick siding, it is slightly less durable over time, especially in areas prone to extreme weather. Still, it tends to last decades longer than other types of siding – up to 70 to 100 years if maintained properly.
How Much Does Brick Siding Cost?
On average, the cost to install brick siding – in general – ranges between $5 and $15 per square foot.
However, it is very important to note that price points between real solid brick siding and brick veneer siding vary significantly. Installing real solid brick siding requires added labor and masonry, so the installation cost is higher at $9 to $20 per square foot on average.
Solid Brick Siding
Solid brick is a classic siding type that has excellent durability and weather-resistance
Comparable durability to real natural stone
Can be painted
Impervious to rain, wind and storms
Lasts 100+ years
For this reason, brick veneer is becoming more popular for siding installations. It costs closer to $5 to $12 per square foot on average, and requires less installation labor compared to solid brick.
Brick Veneer Siding
Brick veneer is a single-layer alternative to solid bricks that costs less and involves easier installation
Better insulation than real brick
Affordable price point
Same look as real brick
Lasts 70-100 years
Brick Siding Maintenance Tips
Brick is low maintenance, but that does not mean you never need to care for it. You can preserve the beauty and durability of your home’s brick siding with occasional cleaning and spot checks for water damage, especially if you live in a damp or humid environment.
Cleaning your brick should not be a major undertaking. Once a year, plan on using your garden hose to remove any loose dirt.
If one side of your home receives little sunlight and the ground nearby tends to stay damp, be on the lookout for moss, mold, or mildew growth. If you spot a problem area, create a solution using one cup of bleach and a gallon of water. Apply the mixture using a natural or synthetic bristle brush. Wire brushes can leave traces of steel behind that will rust and discolor your bricks. Also, before applying a bleach solution to your brick siding, be sure to give the area a thorough soaking with water to prevent the brick from absorbing the bleach.
Checking for water damage
It is a good idea to make a habit of occasionally checking your brick siding for water damage. After a heavy rainfall, walk around the exterior of your home and look at the gutters and downspouts. Make sure there is no pooling or standing water near the brick exterior walls. If you find pooling, you may need to clean out your gutters and downspouts or call a professional to handle it for you.
If you have brick veneer, inspect the weep holes – the small drainage holes along the bottom of the brick that drain water toward the ground and away from the siding. If they are clogged, you can clean them with pipe cleaners or call a siding professional to ensure they are draining properly. Any built-up moisture can cause water damage to your home and costly repairs.
Inspect for damage
If you find any crumbling mortar joints or cracked bricks, it is wise to call a siding professional as soon as possible. Nipping problems in the bud can prevent costly repairs or siding replacements down the road. It can also allow your siding to last longer.
Yes and no. Bricks are made from clay which is plentiful, but it must be heated at very high temperatures to harden it which takes a great deal of energy. If you live in an area with clay-rich soil, the energy saved on long distance transportation might offset the energy expended during the firing process. Bricks are recyclable though, and you can go one step further to reduce your environmental footprint by selecting bricks that are reclaimed or made with post-consumer content. Finally, because your brick siding should last the lifetime of your home, you do not have to worry about updating your siding every 20 years and sending tons of construction waste to your local landfill.
In addition to the hefty initial investment, there are some other drawbacks to brick siding to consider. First, solid brick is very heavy and can add a lot of stress to the foundation of your home. Before installing brick siding, have your home assessed to make sure it can withstand the weight of brick. Also, in the event that bricks are damaged, it is virtually impossible to repair just one brick. In most cases, you’ll need to repair an entire wall, which can be very costly.
Solid brick masonry can last 100 years or more, and brick veneer is not far behind lasting about 70 to 100 years. Of course, in order to maintain the longevity of brick siding you will need to regularly maintain and clean it. Once or twice a year, be sure to check for damaged bricks, water damage, and any damage caused by weather. You can nip any problems in the bud by developing a relationship with a local siding contractor, who can inspect your siding and ensure there are no major problems.
Brick comes in various shades and colors, including red, white, beige, brown, gray, black, and even orange or rust. You can also paint brick if you wish to do so, to achieve the exact color you are looking for or to hide old, weathered bricks.