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Old 03-10-2009, 12:43 PM   #1
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Brick wall bowing


Hello everyone. We are looking to buy a house and we found one yesterday that we really like but part of the brick wall is bowing out on one side. There is also a hairline crack in the concrete foundation under it. I've tried to google it, but all the articles I've seen talk about basement walls bowing in. The house was built in 2001. Is this a big enough problem that we shouldn't even make an offer on the house or should we make an offer, see what the foundation experts say, and risk losing some money?
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:56 PM   #2
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Brick wall bowing


hello! and welcome to the forum.
please clarify, you say both brick and basement wall (which are normally block). do you mean cinder block? or is it true brick?

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Old 03-10-2009, 01:09 PM   #3
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Brick wall bowing


It's not a basement wall (that's all I could find info about online). It's a brick wall with the concrete foundation underneath (no cinders). Does that make sense?
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:49 PM   #4
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Brick wall bowing


Are there cracks in the brick work? Are you sure it is not just poor craftsmanship? How big is the bow?
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:44 PM   #5
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Brick wall bowing


There are no cracks in the brick. My first thought was that it was built that way. The bow didn't look that big to my untrained eye. It kind of looked like an optical illusion. Is there an easy way to measure it without specific tools?
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:01 PM   #6
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Brick wall bowing


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Originally Posted by Cking4 View Post
There are no cracks in the brick. My first thought was that it was built that way. The bow didn't look that big to my untrained eye. It kind of looked like an optical illusion. Is there an easy way to measure it without specific tools?
You can easily check how bowed it is with a taught string the length of the wall. Put the ends of the string a given distance from the wall (say 2") and measure the distance from the string to the wall in various places.
Try it at several heights and diagonally to get a full idea of the bow.
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:20 PM   #7
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Brick wall bowing


If this is a brick veneer building there could be a few reasons the brick is away from the wall. Inadequate number of brick ties securing it to the wall. Water behind the wall causing the wood to release the nails holding the ties in place.
By your description I take it a trained eye picked up on it. The house inspector?
If there's no water involved, the wall can be pulled back in place and secured. Or it can be taken down and rebuilt . You need to determine the cause and the cost to remedy the issue. Then, if you want to persue it that far, decide if it's worth the effort.
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:51 PM   #8
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Brick wall bowing


Can you upload pictures to one of the free hosting sites, and link to them here?
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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Brick wall bowing


If there are no cracks in the wall I wouldn't be surprised if it was just a crappy job. Just to make a point. I know people nail wall ties in but that in my opinion is not a good anchoring system. If you are going to use wall ties screw them in.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:40 PM   #10
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Brick wall bowing


It does not have to have cracks to have structural movement and bowing. As a rule, if it is bowed IN the ties are failing, and if it is bowed OUT, then either both ends are restrained and there are not proper control joints, or there is structural failure. Poor workmanship is also a possibility.

What is the inside of the wall showing, if anything (Cracked sheetrock for example).

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