Brick group weighs pros and cons of competing exterior products

Source: Brick Industry Association, Reston, Va.

A new video and fact sheets debunk what BIA contends are common myths about genuine clay brick versus its competitors. With frank pros and cons on the latest in sustainability features, maintenance needs, costs, and fire safety, the package stacks brick against top alternatives: vinyl siding, concrete masonry, manufactured stone, fiber cement siding and Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS), otherwise known as synthetic stucco.

“Especially in this economy and housing market, it’s necessary to offer a competitive picture of how clay brick stacks up to other exteriors in terms of its growing role in green building design, cost, durability, longevity, maintenance, lasting colors, enduring beauty and curb appeal,” says BIA President Gregg Borchelt, P.E. “Glossy brochures aren’t enough to offer a real narrative on brick,” he said.

BIA’s new The Facts” booklets include: Brick vs. Vinyl Siding; Brick vs. Fiber Cement Siding; Brick vs. Manufactured Stone; Brick vs. EIFS; Brick vs. Concrete Masonry Veneer. Eliminating technical jargon, perspectives for each product include major myths, strengths and weaknesses in all areas (aesthetics, initial cost, design flexibility, installation, maintenance and repairs, water management, color fading, fire resistance, wind damage, moisture resistance, insect infestation, damage resistance, environmental concerns, insurance issues); physical properties and construction basics; cross-section diagrams; and, sustainability comparisons and product performance.

An example of the candor in the series is the lead for “Brick vs. Concrete Masonry Veneer” booklet: “Imagine a brick that’s not a brick—without the deep rich colors and the unique look and feel. Replace that image with a machine-like, overly perfect looking brick made from concrete.”