If you are building a new home, then you may be going for the traditional look and creating a structure from bricks or blocks for maximum visual effect. You may want your new house to stand apart from all of those neighbouring buildings and look as if it has been there for some time, so you feel that this "untouched" appearance will help you achieve that goal. However, while you may be able to get blocks or bricks that have a certain amount of glazing or protection attached to their surface, don't expect them to provide you with a first-class defence against the typically harsh Australian weather. Should you forget your initial design aspirations and try to protect your investment instead?
There is a reason why few home builders decide to leave their creations "naked" in this way, allowing the blocks and bricks to deal with whatever mother nature has in mind. They will typically apply a process known as rendering, where they will cover the exterior of the wall with a special mixture designed to seal everything beneath and stop dampness from penetrating. Usually, this is a mixture of sand and cement, but it could be lime-based or in certain circumstances made from synthetic resin. If it is applied with skill and precision, it can last for generations, especially if a protective and weatherproof wall coating is painted on top of it.
Too Much at Stake
If you were to leave the property untreated, then your bricks would start to deteriorate due to excessive heat, expansion, contraction and relentless rain. The bricks would begin to erode, and the minerals contained within would then start to leach. After that point, it's a downhill curve, leading to significant structural damage and a risk to the security of the house itself.
Cutting Down Your Risk
You will always want to ensure that your house is warm and secure and does not suffer from any dampness, mould or mildew formation. If you have dozens of blocks or bricks between you and the outside world, then you have many additional opportunities for failure. However, if you cover the entire surface with render and then paint a protective covering on top of that, you will be much better off. You will be able to see quite clearly if any cracks do develop, although this will be rare, and can take action to fix those in short order.
When you watch an expert apply render correctly, it may appear to be easy, but it takes a great deal of skill and practice to do so. Always make sure that you bring in contractors with this level of expertise who offer cement rendering services.