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Old 12-10-2014, 01:00 PM   #1
GBunny
 
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Step Cracks - Exterior Wall


I have step cracks in the mortar leading from a basement window to a ground floor window. I assume the wall has shifted slightly maybe because there is no lintel. The ground floor window does not slide as easily as before.

How do I find out what caused the damage? Could it be from the weight of the snow on the roof last winter?

If I have a lintel installed, are there any precautions they need to take before removing the window? Will this ward off future problems or is there something else we should be looking for?

Here are some photos.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ys7behjob...%20CRACKS?dl=0

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Old 12-10-2014, 01:11 PM   #2
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Step Cracks - Exterior Wall


Normally, step cracks are shrinkage cracks. If the cracking extends through the units, then it is probably a foundation issue. Concrete block or concrete brick are as big as they are ever going to be when put in the wall (they shrink, as does the mortar with time), clay brick are as small as they will ever be when put in the wall (they expand with time).

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Old 12-10-2014, 01:59 PM   #3
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Step Cracks - Exterior Wall


The house was built in 1974. The cracks formed in the last year. I would notice that in the winter, some doors if left slightly ajar would open by themselves but in the spring the process would correct itself. This past spring, it did not correct itself.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:03 PM   #4
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Step Cracks - Exterior Wall


It sounds like some settling issues then.
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