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  1. #1
    David Arrington's Avatar
    David Arrington Guest

    Default Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Got a call from a client on a house I inspected a couple of years ago to go by and take a look at something he discovered when doing some digging around the foundation. It appears that the foundation was poured and the CMUs (house is on a crawl space) laid so that the outside of the CMUs are lined up with the outside of the poured foundation. This means that when it was time to lay the bricks there was nothing to sit the bottom row of bricks on!

    No problem. The builder just set in 2x6s on edge around the perimeter of the foundation and set the bricks on top of that. All of this of course is underground. The house was new at the time of the inspection so the wood is still viable. So there are at least 2 obvious concerns: 1) rot/termites; 2) what happens to the brick veneer as the wood disintegrates?

    The other question from the homeowner: what's the fix? I don't know the answer to this as I have never seen it before.

    Just wondering if anyone has seen this before. Thanks for any input!

    David Arrington

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  2. #2
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    David:

    Yes the brick will fall as soon as the wood is gone, which won't be long.

    No, I've not seen this one before.

    The fix is to install a proper brick ledge - expensive.

    Aaron


  3. #3
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    David. as far as the brick work. no that should not be a problem. it should stay in place even if that wood was gone from termites and fungus... as to the fix. I would excavate to soil just six inch or so under the brick work and then out about 8 inch. CHECK YOUR SOIL. If its sofe you may need to fix that. Remove the wood at the bottom. have that area treated by a termite company with Demon TC MAX. GREAT STUFF. Lay some # 4 bar and poor concrete under the brick work.
    We see this all the time out in Calif. Kind of like a standard.
    L.O.L. Easy fix. but a few Bucks just the same.

    The Demon TC MAX treatment will cost around $ 500 to $1000 Thats a big spread but your area will be a factor on the cost. make sure the Mix is correct should be 1GAL TO 50GALS. HOT MIX.

    Best

    Ron


  4. #4
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    David. as far as the brick work. no that should not be a problem. it should stay in place even if that wood was gone from termites and fungus... as to the fix. I would excavate to soil just six inch or so under the brick work and then out about 8 inch. CHECK YOUR SOIL. If its sofe you may need to fix that. Remove the wood at the bottom. have that area treated by a termite company with Demon TC MAX. GREAT STUFF. Lay some # 4 bar and poor concrete under the brick work.
    We see this all the time out in Calif. Kind of like a standard.
    L.O.L. Easy fix. but a few Bucks just the same.

    The Demon TC MAX treatment will cost around $ 500 to $1000 Thats a big spread but your area will be a factor on the cost. make sure the Mix is correct should be 1GAL TO 50GALS. HOT MIX.

    Best

    Ron
    So, Ron, let me see if I got this straight. You are saying that the brick wall will levitate once the wood support is no longer there, right? What sort of wall ties do they use in CA? 1/4" stainless steel?

    And if, as you say, there is no problem, then why are you telling him to install a footing?

    Just curious,

    Aaron


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    David,

    It depends.

    If that is a definitive enough answer for you.

    *IF* the brick veneer against the CMU foundation wall which is below grade was fully grouted and fully grouted properly, *as it should have been*, then it may be suitable to anchor through the brick and solid grouted area (which is no effectively a solid wall), using that to support the brick veneer above it.

    It may also be possible to attach a steel angle to the CMU foundation wall (as you would do for a shelf angle over openings such as windows and doors) which will support the brick veneer above. Combine this with the fully grouted portion and that should do the trick.

    Either will be much less costly than installing a brick ledge out of concrete.

    A reputable masonry contractor needs to be called in to first make sure the part which should have been fully grouted was fully grouted, and then to assess the possibility of installing the shelf angle or the concrete brick ledge. While you may want to bounce your ideas for a repair off the brick mason, you also want to let that mason be the one to recommend and design the corrective action.

    If nothing is done, then, as Aaron said, when the wood goes, the brick will begin to follow.

    If your state is similarly to Florida (by the way, you now see why we always ask people to click the User CP and enter their city and state into the location area, we could be of more help if we knew those two things), then the builder *is still responsible for that work*, which, of course, is where the attorney comes in. *You* want to be on your client's side working with them and their attorney, *you do not want to be* on the other side receiving letter from your client's attorney.

    I've never seen that before either, but I have seen similar conditions with the block walls where the block itself was out past the slab, and the solution there is to fully grout the first course or two of block, transferring the loads from the face shells of the block above through the fully grouted courses to the slab.

    A similar principle (similar to what I described above) might work here too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Somewhere around here I've got a picture of about 40 feet of brick veneer cut back about 8 inches above grade and just hanging on the wall - the mason knocked the bottom courses off to install missing flashing above the foundation wall to correct a bad leak.

    I thought it was about the craziest thing thing I've ever seen a mason do, but he was completely comfortable with it and the brick hung up their for several days - long enough for him to do the work, in any case.

    It was a nearly continuous wall, with no door only a few window penetrations, but still...

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 12-04-2008 at 04:22 PM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  7. #7
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    So, Ron, let me see if I got this straight. You are saying that the brick wall will levitate once the wood support is no longer there, right? What sort of wall ties do they use in CA? 1/4" stainless steel?

    And if, as you say, there is no problem, then why are you telling him to install a footing?

    Just curious,

    Aaron
    Aaron this is not brain surgery see the diagram very easy fix. and yes that brick will just float in the air for some time all on its own. Look at some termite damage some time look how these little guys work. they will cut a wall down to the very last paper thin peace of wood and have just the right amount to hold up a complete wall. very smart little guys. I have cut the footing out from under home remove all the stem walls and the only thing holding the house up was the Stucco.

    I known this is not your world but its been my world for over 30 years working with termites and fungus damage. all i can say is it works just find every time.

    sorry for the PDF.

    Best

    Ron

    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. #8
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Somewhere around here I've got a picture of about 40 feet of brick veneer cut back about 8 inches above grade and just hanging on the wall - the the mason knocked the bottom courses off to install missing flashing above the foundation wall to correct a bad leak.

    I thought it was about the craziest thing thing I've ever seen a mason do, but he was completely comfortable with it and hung up their for several days - long enough for him to do the work, in any case.

    It was a nearly continuous wall, with no door only a few window penetrations, but still...
    Michael:

    I have also seen such stunts pulled off without a hitch. On several occasions I've witnessed the replacement of garage door lintels which were undersized without damaging the brick veneer above. On several occasions I have seen the same feat go south - along with all of the bricks.

    Also seen a couple of older homes with extreme cantilevering of the brick veneer over the brick ledge with only moderate damage. But, those were much older homes built with proper mortar, good bricks and real masons - that also happened to be very lucky.

    Brick levitation is not something I would attempt and certainly not something I would sign off on during an inspection, neat trick that it may be.

    Aaron


  9. #9
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Aaron this is not brain surgery see the diagram very easy fix. and yes that brick will just float in the air for some time all on its own. Look at some termite damage some time look how these little guys work. they will cut a wall down to the very last paper thin peace of wood and have just the right amount to hold up a complete wall. very smart little guys. I have cut the footing out from under home remove all the stem walls and the only thing holding the house up was the Stucco.

    I known this is not your world but its been my world for over 30 years working with termites and fungus damage. all i can say is it works just find every time.

    sorry for the PDF.

    Best

    Ron
    Ron:

    I built houses for 20 years before getting into this for the past 12 and would never have attempted such things. But hey, to each his own. If expediency is foremost, then by all means **** fire and save matches.

    Sorry for the fleeting expletive.

    Aaron


  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    I inspected a new build home where the builder had the wrong stone work put on for the first 8 feet. The bricky removed the stone work and applied the proper stone work. Not one of the upper bricks even loosened up. I was kinda shocked since there was 12 feet of brick above it.

    As far as the fix for that house it would be a bolted angle iron the home owner under it.(engineer sized) with 3/8 to 1/2 inch left for a mortar joint. Obviously a lot of trenching, drilling and such. If nothing is done the brick work will slowly and then the rest quickly come down.

    I inspected another new home were there was a crack horizontally about 4 feet up from the brick ledge. When I looked down the side of the home and then put a 4 foot level and checked plumb it was an inch out to that line. They had started to put the brick up out of plumb to 4 feet and then corrected it the rest of the way up to the top of the second story. The weight of the brick above was pushing down on that lower brick and causing it to pull away from the home. I could pretty much guarantee that in a week or so with the rumble of a truck down the road that the brick would have been lying on the ground. Maybe with the home owner under it.


  11. #11
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    That stuff can hang on that wall for years. or fall off next week.

    I do think we can all learn something for termites and how they work on the building we put together.

    So David how is the home working with you on the problem? is he pissed off? is he holding you for anything?

    and do you think you could have found this? Make me want to check every brick veneer just a bit closer

    Did you say anything in your report about this?

    Best

    Ron


  12. #12
    David Arrington's Avatar
    David Arrington Guest

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Thanks guys for all the good input; this is very helpful and gives me good stuff to go back to the client with.

    Ron: the client stated when he first called me "this is not anything you would have seen". It is below grade and he understands "visual inspection" and "accessible areas". He was starting with me just for lack of knowing where to turn.

    Thanks again!
    David


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    The veneer can be supported by wood or by steel or a brick shelf. The photo shows what seems to be deteriorating wood.
    Has anyone looked to see if the veneer is indeed supported by the wood or is there a concrete brick shelf in back of that wood.
    Is the wood that far gone to compromise the integrity of the veneer that is supporting it?
    If the homeowner wants to remedy the situation by having steel angle installed and there is fear that the veneer supports will be compromised, remove the wood in sections. As the wood is removed, install the angle in that section.
    2006 International Residential Code R703.7.2 explains the minimum size and attachment details plus the maximum height.
    The homeowner can also hire a local architect or structural engineer to look that the situation and assess:
    1) the necessity of performing repairs
    2) if repairs are necessary, then the designer can write a scope of work and sketches if necessary.
    The homeowner can use the documents to get bids.

    The cost would be nominal for a qualified (and perhaps licensed) person to determine if a fix is even necessary and the homeowner can get a solid opinion of the situation and how to remedy it.


  14. #14
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth Bauer View Post
    The veneer can be supported by wood or by steel or a brick shelf. The photo shows what seems to be deteriorating wood.
    Has anyone looked to see if the veneer is indeed supported by the wood or is there a concrete brick shelf in back of that wood.
    Is the wood that far gone to compromise the integrity of the veneer that is supporting it?
    If the homeowner wants to remedy the situation by having steel angle installed and there is fear that the veneer supports will be compromised, remove the wood in sections. As the wood is removed, install the angle in that section.
    2006 International Residential Code R703.7.2 explains the minimum size and attachment details plus the maximum height.
    The homeowner can also hire a local architect or structural engineer to look that the situation and assess:
    1) the necessity of performing repairs
    2) if repairs are necessary, then the designer can write a scope of work and sketches if necessary.
    The homeowner can use the documents to get bids.

    The cost would be nominal for a qualified (and perhaps licensed) person to determine if a fix is even necessary and the homeowner can get a solid opinion of the situation and how to remedy it.
    What if he wants to sell the home. this is going to be an issue and could hit 5 to 10K I don't have info on how long this wall is but. it can be a chunk and any buyer would want this fix before buying. I would.

    Best

    Ron


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth Bauer View Post
    The veneer can be supported by wood or by steel or a brick shelf.
    Kenneth,

    That answer really is "It depends.", not "veneer can be" supported by wood, steel or a brick ledge.

    First, "it depends" on what seismic area the structure is in and the seismic category for that area. David is in Fayetteville, TN appears to be in Seismic Category B, wood and steel are not allowed in Seismic Categories D0, D1, or D2, so wood or steel could be used in Fayetteville, TN .... provided ...

    ... the masonry veneer does not weigh more than 40 pounds per square foot.

    Looking up the weights of typical building materials puts the weight of typical 4" thick brick veneer wall using standard (hollow) brick at 42 psf, up to 70 psf for solid brick, which exceeds the maximum weight allowed to be supported by wood.

    Maybe others can come up with other weights in their searches?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Food for thought!

    I think I would opt for concrete and not steel. Steel buried in dirt will rust and flake in a decade or so. I know you all have seen damage that is caused from steel swelling. I know you all seen steel post for decks that have rusted through at grade.

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  17. #17
    RANDY NICHOLAS's Avatar
    RANDY NICHOLAS Guest

    Exclamation Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Yeah, placing a steel angle under the brick veneer...attached with expansion bolts "epoxied" into concrete beam (or cmu beam).
    I sure would hope the bricklayers used and placed the wall ties as directed.
    The vibration of the hammer drill could cause the wall to come crumbling down.
    Have the home owner hire a structural engineer.


  18. #18
    John Wilcox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    I know all footings for CMU walls retaining or not require minimum of 2" projection. I suppose if there was if there was some sort of engineered design criteria you could build the stem wall on the footing as long as you were bearing at least 3/4" on the footing.
    Extreme Sarcasm Intended Please do not try this at home or at somebody else's.


  19. #19
    John Wilcox's Avatar
    John Wilcox Guest

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Sorry, my last post was before seeing your picture. Where as it may be nice to have a footing under your vernier as long as it is anchored to the block it should be fine .


  20. #20
    Doug MacDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    This is a simple one. Firstly, we should know the geographic location as frost or the absense of it will definitely play a part in the restoration method.

    The brick veneer weight must be calculated and therefore the height of the wall must be measured prior to calculating the weight (per lineal foot) at the bottom of the wall. Typically, the weight a clay bick veneer wall is approximately 35 psf. - if the wall is 12' in height the load at the base will be 12' x 35 = 420 plf. A standard hot rolled steel angle section which would be acceptable for this project would be an L-3 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 1/4". This shelf angle should be secured (bolted) to the wall using 3/4" dia. through-wall bolts or threaded rod and the spacing should be such that it will not be loaded in excess of it's double shear capacity. (The material to which it is bolted must also considered in this shear determination.) The wall which is securing the threaded rod and shelf angle is assumed in this case to be a concrete block or poured concrete foundation wall. Note that the steel angle must be supported in maximum bolt spacings of 4'-0" or so. The dead load deflection of the angle should not be greater than L/500 or so or the masonry will crack once the wall has settled into position on the new support angle.

    Once the wall has been supported there remains the concern mentioned above - frost. If the dwelling is in an area subject to frost action - measures must be taken to ensure that the angle will not be subjected to heave due to frost - assuming of course that the wall will be backfilled above the restoration work and shelf angle. This can be achieved with the installation of 4" of 'SM' styrofoam insualtion to an appropriate distance below the new angle and fitted tightly to the underside of the angle.

    It should also be noted that the masonry material in the zone which will be below grade (backfilled) will need to be 4" concrete block material, parged and coated with a waterproofing membrane. The untreated bricks should be maintained a distance of 6" above grade. If it is desirable to leave the existing brickwork in the below grade portion, then they will require parging and waterproofing prior to backfilling.

    While the restoration work is in progress the existing wall can be temporarily shored (held in position when the 2"x6" shelf support is removed) It may be possible to do the work without temporary shoring if it can be accomplished in maximum 8'-0" horizontal intervals at a time. This is dependant upon the level of care which should have been taken in the construction of the wall ties. Veneer wall ties should be spaced at intervals not exceeding 16" horiz. x 24" vert. (I have seen single storey clay brick veneer walls hang in a wood frame wall just with the steel veneer ties.

    Hope this helps.

    Doug MacDonald, M.A.A.T.O., BCQ,


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug MacDonald View Post
    Doug MacDonald, M.A.A.T.O., BCQ,


    M.A.A.T.O.??
    BCQ??

    What do those stand for?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  22. #22

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Jerry,

    B.C.Q--- Building Code Qualified (on- line search found it).

    My guess for MAATO after doing a search is that he is an architect, but I may be wrong. (ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGIST OF ONTARIO)


  23. #23
    Tim Saunders's Avatar
    Tim Saunders Guest

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    David, Randy gave you the the most correct answer, the fix is whatever the structural engineer recommends. They will do all the soil bearing calculations as well as the weight load for the brick (both wet and dry).
    It should not concern about the cost or the method they would use if a fix is required.

    Good luck
    Tim


  24. #24
    mike cassara's Avatar
    mike cassara Guest

    Default Re: Will the Brick Veneer Fall?

    Dave,

    1. I'm a mason in south jersey and after looking at your pic I have some suggestions.since it is a crawl space, you could dig down and see if you have enough room on the existing footing to lay up a 4" cmu veneer within 8" of the brick work. then 4' at a time remove the wood and lay up the last course to the underside of the brick.
    2. not enough existing footing? pour a new one and the proceed as in the above.
    3. dig down 16" then locate the anchor bolts for the sill plate verify that the core is grouted to the footing if so, bolt a galvanized angle 8" below the brick and proceed as in step 1.
    mike cassara


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