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Old 02-10-2013, 05:56 PM   #1
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New house, lots of fire cracks in bricks


Hello,

New guy to the forum here. I moved into a new construction home about 6 months ago and have been dealing with one problem after another. Shortly after we moved in we noticed a dip in an upstairs room and (long story short) had to have a support beam installed underneath. That was a nightmare. And then a few weeks ago a foundation crew had to come out and drill piers under the footings in a few places to support the foundation.

Those were the two biggest issues, but there have been plenty of minor things for them to fix as well.

My question for you guys relates to cracks in brick facing. These don't appear to be structural in nature as the cracks are in the bricks, not the mortar joints. I would say that 100+ bricks on my veneer walls have cracks like the ones pictured. A lot of them are in bricks around windows or the garage door, but there are individual bricks in the long wall spans that have similar cracks too.

I didn't notice these cracks when we were looking at the house (though admittedly I didn't look close enough at ANYTHING based on all the things I missed). I had an inspector who didn't note anything bothersome either.

Are these pre-existing cracks, or did they open up as a result of freeze/thaw or house settlement? We are adjacent to a low-lying marsh, so the water table is high and the soil is expansive clay.

The house has 6 months of the 1-year warranty left.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:00 PM   #2
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New house, lots of fire cracks in bricks


Back up and take another picture so someone can get an idea where these bricks are.

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Old 02-10-2013, 06:11 PM   #3
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New house, lots of fire cracks in bricks


Oh, hey! Thanks for jumping in so quickly!

It actually just got dark here in Arkansas so I can't get a good shot...but those bricks run alongside my garage door. I'll snap a few more tomorrow and post.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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New house, lots of fire cracks in bricks


Since I don't see any cracks in the mortar I can only guess that was in the brick before they installed it. Not knowing enough about brick I can't say whether or not that would be a problem.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:12 PM   #5
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New house, lots of fire cracks in bricks


Merely an asthetic issue, no need to take more pictures really, at least for this issue. We typically try to be a little more selective with the "heads" of the brick when we lay them out like that, but it's not going to be a longevity issue at all. That being said the small sample of brickwork work you show leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to craftsmanship...............
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:17 PM   #6
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New house, lots of fire cracks in bricks


Reason for the cracks in the bricks,is they were probably too wet when they were fired,causing shrinkage cracks but as previous poster said purely asthetic,and not a worry.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:11 AM   #7
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New house, lots of fire cracks in bricks


Shrinkage cracks from firing, no worries..
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:13 PM   #8
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New house, lots of fire cracks in bricks


These appear to standard redbricks, but they could also have a finish applied to them that tends to show what appear to be cracks in the brick when they are merely "crazing" in the finish of the brick. I have sanded finished bricks on my house and there are actually times when people think that some have cracks in them when it's really just the texturing of the brick finish. I'm not a mason, but I would say that the tooling of the mortar looks good, but I suspect that masons with an eye for this might tell you that it's a little sloppy since mortar wasn't entirely cleaned off the brickwork when they were done. But I think a little bit of smeared mortar gives the wall character, IMO.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:18 PM   #9
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New house, lots of fire cracks in bricks


Do everything you can to get out of that house. I can't imagine having to put a beam to support a floor in a new home, let alone repair the foundation.

Don't worry about trying to get them to repair stuff. Worry about getting your money back and finding another place to live.

You don't fix a lemon, the builder shoves it up his arsch.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:48 PM   #10
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New house, lots of fire cracks in bricks


Quote:
Originally Posted by cleveman View Post
Do everything you can to get out of that house. I can't imagine having to put a beam to support a floor in a new home, let alone repair the foundation.

Don't worry about trying to get them to repair stuff. Worry about getting your money back and finding another place to live.

You don't fix a lemon, the builder shoves it up his arsch.
Great advice! Finding problems like these so quickly make you really wonder what else is hidden and won't be found under warranty! Have to install an additional beam to support a floor is complete negligence on the part of the builder. Is the house had been designed correctly. This certainly would not have been an issue. Foundation problems do occur, but based on your description of the property I'm not even sure if a house should have even been built here.

At the very least, hire a competent structural engineer to survey the complete house right now, before anything else happens. Then have a lawyer discussed the findings with the builder.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:52 AM   #11
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New house, lots of fire cracks in bricks


Good advice, guys. We bought the house from a 3rd party, not the builder, and had it inspected prior to the purchase. We thought we were doing our due diligence, but most of the problems (like the missing flush beam) were hidden and only came to light after we moved in.

I do feel like we bought a lemon. I would love to give the house back, but not sure how to go about it. I know I can hire a lawyer, but being in the state of Arkansas I'm not sure if I would have any luck getting the builder/seller to buy it back.

Any thoughts, fellas?

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