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The disadvantages of brick veneer

Updated February 21, 2017

Veneer, otherwise referred to as facing, is the name given to any surfacing material. Brick veneer is one such surfacing material that consists of a layer of brick. When brick veneer is installed on the outside of a house, it is built as a standing wall that is anchored to the home and connected to the house through mortar joints or wire ties. Brick veneer has the same appearance as face brick, and it costs less due to the cheaper cost of the veneer product. However there are some disadvantages to using brick veneer.

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Challenging Installation

Although brick veneer installation may seem as simple as stacking a wall of bricks on top of each other, it is not a simple job any homeowner can undertake and is not considered a do-it-yourself project. Proper installation requires working with construction professions and paying for a job well done.

No Improvement to Structural Integrity

Brick veneer is installed as a separate structure, and therefore does nothing to improve the structural integrity of a building or other dwelling. It only affects the surface appearance of the structure; it does not help hold up the building.

Potential Water Damage

Brick veneer is subject to water damage due to its often poor drainage ability; however, by providing drainage holes at the bottom of the wall, you can prevent potential water damage.

Natural Damage

Aside from water damage, brick veneer is also susceptible to damage from earthquakes or even heavy winds. Brick veneer must support its own weight with only the help of wire ties, and in many places brick veneer installation codes are very tough because of this.

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About the Author

Ariel Phillips is an editor and writer living in Portland, Ore. He has written for "n+1 Journal" and "The Rumpus Magazine," among others. He maintains an interest in a variety of subjects, including art, culture, the environment, media, the sciences and sports. He earned bachelor's degrees in art and philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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