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.
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.