You donít need peel-and-stick brick; you need regular exterior brick. Itís very cost-effective, plus you donít have to go out every summer and paint it. Once itís up, itís up
Brick is one of the most durable exteriors you can on a home, and itís also one of the easiest to maintain.
One big misconception about a brick home is that the brick itself is actually holding up the homeÖ not trueÖ actually itís just the opposite. The brick is simply a veneerÖ the home is holding up the brickÖ thatís why they have these brick ties connected to the wooden studs of the homeís frame. Every layer of brick will have several of these ties molded in between the grout on the brick wallÖ thatís what holds the wall up and gives it itís strength. And granted, a brick wall is stronger than most other options; however, while brick is extremely durable, it can be damaged by freezing weather. There are three types of brick that can cope with various weather conditions.
1. SW or severe weathering: has the highest resistance to freezing and thawing and rain/freeze conditions.
2. MW or moderate weathering: can take some rain/freeze conditions but not severe ones.
3. NW or no weathering: good for mild climates where freeze and hard frost conditions are rare.
Brick is a very popular faÁade because itís a traditional look that never goes out of style and requires little if no maintenance. In other words, it never needs painting unless you simply want to paint it, and itís easy to clean. If it ever gets dirty, just spray it down with the water hose. On an average day in the U.S.A., bricklayers are laying almost 23-million bricks. Brick does cost a little more, but again, it will last a lifetime unless a tornado hits it. There are more than 10-thousand brick shapes, sizes and textures to choose from. It's best to place brick in four different categories.
1. Face brick: the highest quality brick available. Rigid manufacturing standards assure that texture and color will be uniform and that each brick will be nearly perfect. It will be difficult to find chips, cracks or warpage in this type of brick. This brick is commonly used for the exposed face of the wall.
2. Common brick: often called building brick. It's as strong as face brick but standards permit more imperfections. These bricks do not have special scorings or markings and are not produced in any special colors or textures. Common brick is generally used for backing courses in solid or cavity brick walls and for general building purposes.
3. Fire brick: This brick is made of special fire clay that will withstand the high temperatures of fireplaces, barbecues, stove liners, etc. Fire brick is generally larger than regular structural brick and is often hand-molded.
4. Patio or paving brick: This brick is sized for use with mortar joints and is highly resistant to cracking and under great loads. It is baked for longer periods of time and, like fire brick, is made from special clays. It is used in the construction
of patios and walkways.
Brick patterns are important if you want to dress up the exterior of a home. There are many decorative brick patternsÖ coins, medallions, soldiers, marching soldiers, double rollocks.
At the bottom you will find weep-holesÖ donít ever cover these up. Thatís where the moisture that can build up between the frame of your house and the brick wall is allowed to escape. In fact, thereís a gap between the frame and wall to allow the house to breathe and to prevent this moisture build-up which can lead to mildew and rot. Also, donít ever allow your landscaping to build up so high that it covers the weep-holeÖ thatís bad, too.
Before selecting a brick visit a supplierís showroom and inspect the sample boards on hand. Various textures and colors will be displayed with a simulated mortar joint on a small panel or wall section. Write down the manufacturers identification number, also known as a range or blend number, so there is no mix up in your order. And ask the dealer how long it will be before the bricks are availableÖ some bricks are only made in kiln runs during certain times of the year.
Bricks are sold singly, in cubes of 500, or by the thousand. Prices will vary according to the size of the order. Dealer delivery charges can be quite high, and for a small job the delivery charge can sometimes equal the cost of the bricks. If you can, it may pay to haul your own. But keep in mind that the average brick weighs 4 pounds. So a cube of 500 will weigh about 1 ton.