For a strong and durable siding material, brick is probably the best. The advantages of brick siding are many to include no painting required! Additionally, brick siding will never fade and it naturally handles the environment with no problem. While many people will have real brick applied to the home, which is also an excellent insulator, you could also choose brick veneer, which looks and feels like brick but is a manmade material that is much lighter.
Brick veneer siding is typically installed by being added on top of a wood frame and building paper. The nice thing about brick veneer is that with so many colors, textures, and even sizes, you could easily create a distinctive pattern if you like or keep to something more traditional. In either case, brick veneer is also a great choice, handling the environment while providing an insulating barrier around your home.
When brick siding is installed, a combination of sand, lime, cement, and water is created, which serves as the adhesive known as mortar. Once the brick has been laid, the mortar can be smoothed down or left unfinished. All the possibilities for mortar when it comes to brick siding include V-joined, raked, flush (even with the bricks), extruded in between the bricks, and concave. Each is unique, producing a different look.
Now, if you were considering brick veneer opposed to natural brick, you need to remember that while an excellent choice, there are a few downfalls. For instance, this type of siding sometimes experiences issues along the mortar joints. Typically, this problem would occur if the ingredients in the mortar were sub par or if the mortar was applied incorrectly. Therefore, with regular brick and brick veneer, you need to have a professional complete the project for the best results.
Keep in mind that over time, things to happen. For instance, mortar will start to erode as it shrinks and cracks. This occurs from changes in the weather, moisture, and just daily wear and tear. However, mortar can always be fixed so when it does begin to deteriorate, you know the fix is not difficult and not overly expensive. Finally, sometimes people who choose brick siding will have a problem with veneers in which efflorescence occurs, which is the development of a white powdery substance. Most often, this is the result of excessive moisture or a possible leak so you want to wash it off and perhaps have it checked by a professional siding company.