When choosing a new siding for your house, brick siding is an attractive option. This siding provides many benefits important to home owners such as fire resistance and low maintenance. Brick siding can be applied to existing structures and give the look of a structural brick wall. The installation of brick siding is not as simple as other siding choices and requires a lot more labor than others. The costs of the work and materials required for brick siding need to be assessed before making a decision.
Although brick siding is a veneer rather than a structural system, it does require support. Brick siding does not bear the pressure of the roof and walls like structural bricks do but bricks are heavy and need a base that can handle the weight. Most non-brick existing houses are built with the wood frame installed at the edge of the foundation. If this is the case, there will not be room on the foundation for brick siding support. A new foundation ledge may need to be poured or installed to provide support for the bricks. The brick siding requires at least a 4-inch support ledge. For some houses, particularly with a poured concrete foundations, this ledge can be relatively easily installed using bolts made for concrete. Before doing any foundation work it should be assessed by an engineer to find the best solution.
Brick siding can be applied without the existing siding being removed. The current siding must be repaired as necessary. Make sure there is no damage that would cause water to leak through to the wood. When brick siding is built with existing siding, a water way in the form of empty space must be created between the siding and bricks. This allows water that penetrates the bricks to run down rather than straight through the wall.
If you are using thin bricks, the first part of installation is removing the old siding. After removing the old siding you may find the wood requires structural work that needs to be performed before moving forward with new siding installation. Since water can penetrate brick, it is imperative to apply a high-end water membrane. Water will seep through the seams where the mortar and brick meet. This usually occurs during high-wind rain storms. If water is allowed to seep through the mortar, the wood behind the brick will become wet. The moisture will eventually cause mold and decay. Structural damage can be severe and quite expensive later if the water membrane is not installed.
Brick siding requires bricks and mortar to be applied in front of the existing siding or on top of the water membrane. Pricing varies greatly with the type and style of brick you use, whether you use remixed mortar or not, and if you use thin bricks or regular bricks. The cost of thin bricks should be less because there is less material but thin bricks require quite a bit of preparation work. Both methods should be assessed before deciding which is more cost effective or will work for your home.