Choosing a new exterior siding for your home can be an exciting time. It can also be a confusing time with the wide range of choices available. Many homeowners who are tired of the maintenance and durability issues with wood siding have begun to look for something more durable and lower in maintenance.
At the same time, they may also be looking for something that can give their home a different look or a more updated appearance. These concerns have led a lot of people to look at a variety of siding choices including steel and brick siding.
Both of these materials are much more durable than wood, which is what has led so many homeowners to consider them. But of the two, steel siding offers you a lot more benefits than brick, which makes steel the clear winner and the best choice for most homes.
Options and Styles
Most people are aware of what brick and brick veneer look like. And while there are a few color variations available, a brick home is always going to look like a brick home. And unless you have one of the few architectural styles that is truly complemented by this style, brick is often not going to be the best look for your home.
Steel siding, however, comes in a range of different styles as well as colors. This includes unique siding looks such as log-look siding that can give your home the look of a log cabin. It also includes board and batten siding – a style that’s rising in popularity as a more modern update for traditional styles.
Most people considering brick vs. steel siding for their homes aren’t really considering the true maintenance of each type. After all, both materials are resistant to moisture, flame, and insect activity, so both materials are therefore lower in maintenance than wood. However, the comparison really ends there, because when it comes to long-term care, only steel is a truly low- maintenance material.
Steel siding resists moisture, insect activity, and is flame retardant, but its low- maintenance attributes don’t stop there. It doesn’t need to be painted or maintained over its lifetime. While brick doesn’t need to be painted, it does require frequent and expensive maintenance to look its best and to maintain its integrity. This is known as pointing, and it’s the process in which the mortar – the weakest part of the brick facade – needs to be redone.
While you don’t need to repoint the brick as often as you need to repaint or replace wood siding, the brick itself will begin to show wear fairly soon, and you will need to watch out for issues such as cracks, which can occur from normal house settling. Those cracks can develop into bigger problems if you don’t deal with them right away, so there’s an extra cost involved with brick that comes from needing to do inspections of your property on a regular basis just to catch issues before they can spread and get out of control.
Brick siding, even brick veneer, is costly and difficult to install. Traditional brick siding is installed one brick at a time, and requires an expert in brickwork to do the job properly, which can be difficult to find these days. Brick veneer is a little easier to install, applied a sheet a time, but it still needs to be done by someone that is familiar with the material, otherwise the installation may fail, and you have even more maintenance and repair costs to deal with.
Steel siding, however, is easy to install even for contractors that haven’t worked with it before. Steel board and batten is designed for easy installation, being made of panels rather than individual pieces. With steel siding, your installation can be done faster and easier, so your home’s remodel and transformation will take less time and the installation itself will cost less money.
Settling is just one issue to consider when it comes to the durability and resiliency of the siding. When considering steel vs. brick siding, you also need to know how it’s going to perform in various climates and conditions.
The first consideration is what material brick veneer is made from. While traditional bricks were oven-baked clay, today’s brick veneer may be made of other, less resilient materials, including a form of fiber cement.
When brick veneer is hit or impacted, it can crack. It also shouldn’t be exposed to high levels of moisture or salt in the air, so it isn’t recommended for installation near the coast. And if you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, you will also need to consider the fact that both brick and brick veneer tend to crack and have issues that can compromise both the appearance and the structure of the siding.
Steel siding, on the other hand, is much more flexible. It’s able to move and absorb some energy from things like earthquakes without developing fissures or cracks. It’s also resistant to denting and dinging, and it performs well in all climates, so you don’t need to consider the moisture content of the air before installing.
It’s not enough these days to simply choose a long lasting material for your siding; you also need to choose a siding that’s not going to have a negative impact on the environment.
Steel siding is completely recyclable, and most steel also contains some recycled content. It’s also much more durable and less likely to develop problems than brick. It also outlasts brick, so there is less potential waste as well.
While brick veneer is a durable and long lasting material with fewer environmental concerns than wood or vinyl, it does have a long and involved manufacturing process, which does increase its carbon footprint that makes steel the superior choice.
Choose the Better Siding
Anyone considering brick vs. steel siding for their homes needs to know the facts, which add up to steel being the clear winner over brick siding in every way. Choose the better, durable, and long lasting siding for your home exterior by using steel siding.