The outer walls of a home are generally made of brick, which is a material made of clay which has been baked in kilns to high temperatures to give a building material that is versatile, cheap and easy to install. Bricks do not have many weatherproofing qualities and are also likely to get eroded over time and need some sort of protection.
Cladding is the process that covers one material with another, and obviously is the one used to enhance all the properties of the original material, which for the purposes of this article, is brick. Cladding can also help in the weatherproofing of a home, while it can greatly enhance looks, durability and reduce maintenance. Brick walls can be plastered, but as this coating form an integral part of the brick wall in the long term, we cannot really consider this as cladding.
External wall cladding over a brick wall can also help to add structural support to it while adding to its aesthetics. Stone is a common and easily available material that can be used as cladding for a brick wall. Use a material that is locally available and you will have a natural look for your home that is hard to beat. It is a material that can also add to the strength of the wall and act as an insulator that makes the home more comfortable in all kinds of weather.
Wooden and metal materials are also used very often for the cladding of brick walls, vinyl isn’t used much in these type of cases. These can come in many different colors and finishes. It is necessary that you keep durability and safety as things that need to be considered before you choose your cladding material. Most cladding material requires some sort of support that has to be anchored to the brick wall and this adds to the weight along with the weight of the cladding material itself. The use of wall anchors is common, even for stone cladding and is a must for safety.
Cladding is an outer layer that is attached to the outer walls of a home and is normally not able to bear any loads, a popular type of cladding is vinyl cladding which is also known as vinyl siding depending on where you live. The right use of cladding can greatly enhance the looks of a building while also increasing the value of the property so protected. It is common to introduce moisture barriers between the cladding and the brick wall so that weatherproofing of the external walls is guaranteed. Cladding layers can also help in sound insulation, thermal insulation and increase the fire resistance of the property. It is quite the done thing to choose to clad exterior walls of buildings so that they require the least maintenance, as this can be a major cost in high rise buildings.
The choice of cladding for brick walls must be made after deciding all the priorities and making a proper assessment of the cladding material and its ability to provide all that is required. The orientation of buildings and their exposure to the sun and the wind can often influence the decision on cladding. Cladding systems that use metal, vinyl, fibre board, cement derivatives and other artificial materials are available in the form of sheets or boards and have to attach to the wall over a supporting structure. The support structure can be a framework or individual fasteners.
It can always help to carry out life cycle assessments that must be suitable for the life of the structure to which cladding is being applied. Durability, colours, the methods of fixing, providing joints and seals where necessary also need to be considered. Any cladding used on brick walls must work as a whole and become part of the structure for all future maintenance purposes.