Brick is one of the most common alternatives for basic masonry materials. It's made of fired clay and it comes in a wide range of colours, textures and finishes. It can be one of the higher-priced exterior finishes; however, many home owners like it because it is water repellant, easy to maintain, less expensive in the long run and will increase the resale value of a home. Brick masonry should last 100 years, with the first 25 years free of maintenance. The most common maintenance is repairing loose joints between bricks (ie. repointing).  

There are many advantages of using brick.   Brick has traditional beauty and comes in a variety of shapes to allow for a wide spectrum of creative design.   "Flashed" brick have specific colour patterns achieved by formulation differences and higher firing temperatures. These temperatures also create a much denser, lower absorption clay body. Therefore, for sealing purposes, flashed brick need to be considered as being in the "very low" absorption range.  

However, there are some considerations to look into before choosing brick.   For instance, highly textured brick are difficult to clean of residue from grouting.   In addition, efflorescence (subsurface originating white powdery stains) and scuffing can occur.   Lastly, the brick colours can appear to "fade", but actually the iron oxide pigments used in concrete products, and the coloured clays in clay products do not fade.   The appearance of fading is actually from light efflorescence.  


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