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Old 05-25-2014, 11:43 AM   #1
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New Construction: Vertical Crack In Mortar


Hello All,

Not a DIY situation. Simply need some advice.

As I am doing my own walk-around on a new construction home we are due to close on, on 24 Jun, I noticed a long vertical crack in the mortar on a bay window/wall corner. That vertical crack does invade one brick, thus cracking the mortar around it. In my amateur opinion, because it is a long, vertical crack, it seems to have developed from settling. Perhaps that is wishful thinking on my part. But, I'd like to hear what you have to say about it. Please view attached photos, and thank you in advance for your advice.

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/bic4...?sort=3&page=1

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Old 05-25-2014, 12:24 PM   #2
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New Construction: Vertical Crack In Mortar


It looks like an angled bay?
If so, they've just cut and mitred the bricks at the external angle so there is no bond at that point.
Normal shrinkage of mortar would suggest that any cracking would occur at that weak point.
Highly unlikely to be settlement or anything particularly serious.

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Old 05-25-2014, 12:30 PM   #3
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New Construction: Vertical Crack In Mortar


Thank you, Tony.

Crack is located near downspout to the extreme right of bay window:

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/bic4...tml?sort=3&o=0
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:52 PM   #4
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New Construction: Vertical Crack In Mortar


It is possible to have facing bricks cut and glued with epoxy to make a 45 deg. shape, so that the bricks can be bonded properly at the corner - but it is expensive and builders rarely do it.

That crack seems to be a uniform width all way down, so is far more likely to be shrinkage of mortar than settlement. As long as the brick skin is firmly tied back to the frame, there shouldn't be any issues, and the crack shouldn't get any wider. Just re-point with mortar.

Nice house, BTW.
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:39 PM   #5
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New Construction: Vertical Crack In Mortar


Thank you very much for your time and advice, Tony. I am now on my way to the house to dig out some dirt on the bottom to verify the crack is not there too. From the photos, I do not believe it is. But, I am going to verify.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:43 PM   #6
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New Construction: Vertical Crack In Mortar


Tony- here is a photo of where I dug out the dirt beneath the crack. I could not get too far down because of some septic lines. I did not notice any further cracking downward:

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/bic4...tml?sort=3&o=0
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:08 PM   #7
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New Construction: Vertical Crack In Mortar


Am I correct is seeing that those are really just facade brick?

I'm guessing it's not easy to cut brick at an angle so that it looks right in an inter-weaved pattern....which is how a normal 90 deg corner is done.

Seeing how the brick is not really structural, but rather just there as a weather barrier and for looks....

If it was me, I'd be asking the builder....and see what he has to say about it;.
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
Am I correct is seeing that those are really just facade brick?

I'm guessing it's not easy to cut brick at an angle so that it looks right in an inter-weaved pattern....which is how a normal 90 deg corner is done.

Seeing how the brick is not really structural, but rather just there as a weather barrier and for looks....

If it was me, I'd be asking the builder....and see what he has to say about it;.
They are full bricks... if that is what you are wondering. Thank you.
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:45 PM   #9
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New Construction: Vertical Crack In Mortar


I certainly agree with the other posters that it doesn't look structural at all, it's just a cosmetic crack that would be easy to read point (and should be prior to closing). Very nice looking house BTW, do you have a lift system for your septic tank? I'm guessing that because of the box with the red light on it at the corner of the house.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:22 PM   #10
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I certainly agree with the other posters that it doesn't look structural at all, it's just a cosmetic crack that would be easy to read point (and should be prior to closing). Very nice looking house BTW, do you have a lift system for your septic tank? I'm guessing that because of the box with the red light on it at the corner of the house.
I haven't become familiar with the septic system yet.

Yes, it is a nice looking house. But, I've been discovering a few things as I look closer at it- as we all do with new homes.

Take the attic, for example. This deserves its own topic... I'm quite concerned about this...

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/bic4...tml?sort=3&o=1
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:29 PM   #11
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New Construction: Vertical Crack In Mortar


You are certainly correct, some of that bracing looks strange to say the least. It also looks like some of the flexible duct work has some pretty severe kinks in it which could cause flow problems. Certainly easier to have been corrected now than after the installation is put in the attic.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:43 PM   #12
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You are certainly correct, some of that bracing looks strange to say the least. It also looks like some of the flexible duct work has some pretty severe kinks in it which could cause flow problems. Certainly easier to have been corrected now than after the installation is put in the attic.
Great point about the duct work. I did not even notice it starring me in the face.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:14 AM   #13
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Don't you have building inspectors in you area?
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:20 PM   #14
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I've never seen full bricks finished on the corner like that.

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Old 05-26-2014, 03:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by garlicbreath View Post
I've never seen full bricks finished on the corner like that.
They're not full bricks - they're mitred at the corner, so each course is not bonded across the angle, and the joint is merely pointed up with mortar.

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