Advantages and Downsides of Installing Bricks for Your House Walls
Do you have a plan to construct your own house or remodel an existing home? One of the first things that you should give consideration to is the material that is going to be used in construction. You can choose from different options like bricks, stone, or wood.
Using bricks for your house walls is beneficial in many ways, but they also have their downsides. They also happen to be one of the most popular choices for home exteriors at the moment, with 34 percent of home builders giving an upvote.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using and installing bricks for your home.
Low-Maintenance:Little resources are needed to maintain a solid brick wall after it has been built. Unlike other surfaces that need to be repainted or retouched over time, bricks have high durability and retain paint color very well.
Bricks are not susceptible to rotting (as in wood) or denting (as in other types of fragile building materials) and therefore will not be replaced often.
100% Natural:The raw materials which are used to create bricks (clay and shale) both come from the earth itself; meaning, that they’re an environment-friendly choice. These materials are abundant and can also be repurposed if a renovation or remodeling takes place.
Ground up bricks can be used as pavement, for landscaping or a variety of other purposes. The manufacturing process for these bricks is also eco-friendly; raw materials are heated up in a kiln and no toxic or harmful substances are used. Produces less pollution.
Superior Protection:Bricks offer the best protection for your home compared to other building materials such as vinyl which will burn to ashes in minutes. They are strong, durable, fire-resistant, and non-flammable or combustible. They can confine a fire outbreak to a specific room.
Brick walls in homes can also protect against windswept projectiles in cases of natural disasters such as hurricanes. A study conducted by the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University concluded that a medium-sized wind-blown object would easily penetrate vinyl siding at only 25 mph, while the same object’s speed would need to exceed 80 mph in order to penetrate a brick wall.
Good Resale Value: Using brick as the material for the house is also great because if ever you end up selling the property, it needs very little work to give it a brand-new look. It’s an investment because even though you may spend more short-term, the amount that you’ll reap in the long-term will be extremely substantial. Brick has tons of great benefits in general and most buyers know this.
Energy Efficient: Due to being heavy and dense, bricks are able to take advantage of thermal mass properties. What this means is that they can absorb heat from the outside and store it, effectively insulating your home during the summer months. Once winter months roll around, the heat stored inside the bricks slowly dissipates into your home, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere.
Better Noise Absorption: As bricks are thicker than most other building materials, that density comes into good use in soundproofing the inside of the house. While it won’t completely silence loud noises such as car horns, it will still greatly diminish their intensity.
Although the advantages are many, there do remain a few downsides to using brick in the construction of your home. Here are a few of them; we’ll let you make up your mind.
More Expensive: Because the manufacturing process of bricks isn’t automated and is quite time-consuming, expect to pay a larger initial price; albeit, not that much larger. According to research done by the Brick Industry Association, bricks will typically cost around 6 – 7 percent more than vinyl.
Both vinyl and brick, however, are cheaper than stone. Don’t forget though, that the majority of homeowners appreciate brick over other building materials and more often than not, you’ll end up increasing your house’s long-term value. There are various options available when shopping for bricks.
Repointing: Repointing is the term used for a process of renovation on a brick wall. Over time, the mortar used to connect the bricks together may become worn out and this can cause water to enter cracks, severely damaging the brick.
In order to have it corrected, repointing must be done. This procedure involves removing the old mortar and filling in the grooves with fresh paste.
Time-Consuming Construction: When the walls are built out of bricks, they need to be built “brick by brick” (now you know where the term comes from), which is a very time-consuming process. Each piece is placed on top of the other, either in a pattern or directly adjacent to each other. A paste used in masonry called “mortar” is plastered between each brick to keep them all together.
Harder to Clean: Bricks are not smooth like other modern surfaces; therefore, you may find them more difficult to be kept clean. It will take a little more time, a few tools, and preparation in order to keep your bricks mildew and mold-free. Here’s a couple of the best ways to go about cleaning your brick walls:
- Create a solution of 50 percent bleach and 50 percent water. Apply it directly to the wall using a spray bottle or applicator. Scrub it down before it has time to dry. Use a pressure washer to rinse off the solution.
- No pressure washer available to rent? No problem. You can get the job done using only a hose and your hands.
- For most brick issues, you can use a similar mixture of chlorine bleach and water. Wet a section of the wall with the hose and then apply the bleach solution onto that spot. Give it a few seconds for the bleach to start burning the stains, then begin to scrub using a brush with a handle. Rinse the gunk off with the hose once complete and move on to another section of the wall. You can also try using hydrochloric acid on tough stains that need special attention.
Make sure to wear protective clothing and gloves before handling dangerous chemicals.
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Samantha Jordan Baxter
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