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Old 08-12-2009, 12:40 PM   #1
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cracking on exterior brick wall


Hey all really new here:
I've just found a couple of cracks in my exterior wall of my home. Now my house was built in the 50's and the brick is the concrete style, I think?,. The cracking starts from my egress window ( which have been replaced) to another window above it. Now the wall is facing west and has had a shed close to the house this is why i and the inspector missed these cracks in the first place.
I guess my question is how to fix, is it just a matter of repionting the mortar joints???. Or is this going to be an issue of foundation settleing and am i in for a big surprise.
Any help on this one will be greatly appreciated.
I'll attach some pics soon.
Thanks
H

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Old 08-12-2009, 01:50 PM   #2
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cracking on exterior brick wall


How wide are the cracks? Are they an equal width from top to bottom, or are they wider at the top, or wider at the bottom. Do they go through the brickwork or the joints? Pics will help a lot.

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Old 08-12-2009, 02:22 PM   #3
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cracking on exterior brick wall


yah sorry about the pics, having a lil trouble with the downloading. But the cracks are about the width of a dime and only one of the three cracks gets wider at the top. The other two are equadistant all through the crack. But all three cracks go through both the joints and brick. The cracked brickwork is ony minimal.
The bigger of the cracks runs from the egress window in the middle of the basement to another window above it, which happens to be a bathroom window.
Hope this helps
H
I will get pics asap.
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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cracking on exterior brick wall


Masonry can crack for reasons other than foundation problems. Thermal and moisture movement is a common cause. When brickwork gets warm it expands, and when it cools at night it contracts. It may crack at this point, often at the frames which is a weak point in the wall.
When walls were built with lime mortar they could easily accommodate this movement, but with cement mortar cracking is more likely. Calcium silicate bricks are more prone to this than clay bricks. Nowadays we put in movement joints on any external brick wall which is longer than 12 metres.
If the crack is less than 5mm and equal in width it could well be thermal movement which is not serious, but it is worth keeping an eye on it. You can fix tell tales to the crack which monitor its progress over time and will tell you if the cracking is progressive.
Its a good idea to re-point it sometime as water may enter and cause further damage.
Is the house of solid brick construction, brick block cavity or timber frame with a brick veneer?
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:14 PM   #5
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cracking on exterior brick wall


modern brick here in the colonies is veneer,,, old bldgs're solid brick &, occasionally, we'll see cavity,,, repoint & keep an eye on it - still watching what i repointed last yr its rare to see expansion jnts on anything below commercial/industrial/institutional/educational.
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