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  1. #1
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Step/Vertical cracks in brick ... NONE in foundation

    Trim feature on three corners of house had vertical cracks in same location. Step cracks were located in trim feature at one of three corners. Viewed several other homes in development ... all had same cracks and step cracks.

    There were NO cracks in foundation on any of the homes. Attic framing was stable.

    All homes are same age (built: 2002-2003) and all by same builder.

    Observations please?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Step/Vertical cracks in brick ... NONE in foundation

    Being in the location of a downspout it leads me to think about overflowing gutters or downspouts draining next to the home causing settlement and although you didn't see any cracks in the foundation this still could have caused it. Poured concrete? or block. Any freezing where you are? Water running down the side of the home from a clogged gutter or damaged downspout and freezing in the mortar joints could do that.


  3. #3
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Step/Vertical cracks in brick ... NONE in foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    Any freezing where you are? Water running down the side of the home from a clogged gutter or damaged downspout and freezing in the mortar joints could do that.
    No freezing. No clogged gutters. Only one of three corners had gutter adjacent.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Step/Vertical cracks in brick ... NONE in foundation

    Mabey it has something to do with the way they tied that raised detail into it. there is no stagger at that joint


  5. #5
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: Step/Vertical cracks in brick ... NONE in foundation

    Do you have a wide angle shot of one of those corners?


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Step/Vertical cracks in brick ... NONE in foundation

    Many times those quoins are the last part of the two joining walls. This makes it an ideal location for cracks to form. If I could not find any additional signs of movement around the home, I would say that it is more cosmetic and that the mortar joints need to be repointed.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Step/Vertical cracks in brick ... NONE in foundation

    Update:

    Met with my foundation "go to" specialist this morning and he says he sees this "a lot". He finds that it ends up being a quality control issue ... close to what Wayne suggested.

    Likely there are no 'brick ties' supporting the brick at the corners and (as you know) brick and mortar without support is very weak in the scheme of things.

    Ends up being a cosmetic issue, but worth the homeowner keeping an eye on ... just in case there is more separation and a 'fix' would be to remove some/all of the brick and be sure some ties were put in for support.

    My contact said that is what is the usual fix for such.

    Thanks everyone!


  8. #8
    Brenda Grant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Step/Vertical cracks in brick ... NONE in foundation

    My home is a year old. Is on a raised slab with of course brick being the outer layer. At the front entrance corner of my home, the brick has begun to crack, first one brick, now two, now it's working on it's third. These are the three top bricks before by siding begins. I am very concerned about this. Especially since I have noticed settling cracks around the ceiling in the room where this bricks are cracking. Any advice? Homebuilder brushing me off and one year home warranty runs out 3-28-09. Called city inspector this morning. Thanks for any input as I know my builder will do the least that he can do to fix the problem.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Step/Vertical cracks in brick ... NONE in foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenda Grant View Post
    Homebuilder brushing me off and one year home warranty runs out 3-28-09.

    Sounds like settling is affecting more than just the brick.

    First, document all issues you see with overall photos (showing the area large enough to be able to tell where the area is in the photo, such as an overall view of that side of the house and use something - I use a tape measure extended out - as a pointer to point to the location) then progressively closer in photos (the nice thing about digital photos is that you can take as many as you want for no additional cost), finally showing the cracks relative size with a ruler or tape measure across the crack or in line with the crack to show wide or length of crack.

    Now describe what you have in a document, attach the digital photos, and mail it to the builder return receipt requested, then take a printed copy to the builder's office and leave it with the receptionist and get a signed receipt stating you left such-and-such on such-and-such-date with whomever.

    That now documents that the issue exists before the end of the one year warranty, it now simply becomes a "scheduling matter" for the builder to address it.

    If you really think you are going to get short changed, drop two copies off at your attorney, and for probably a couple of hundred bucks the attorney will send a letter with one of the copies to the builder. Cheap insurance that the builder knows you are serious about it and that he really needs to respond to the complaint.

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Step/Vertical cracks in brick ... NONE in foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    Update:

    Met with my foundation "go to" specialist this morning and he says he sees this "a lot". He finds that it ends up being a quality control issue ... close to what Wayne suggested.

    Likely there are no 'brick ties' supporting the brick at the corners and (as you know) brick and mortar without support is very weak in the scheme of things.

    Ends up being a cosmetic issue, but worth the homeowner keeping an eye on ... just in case there is more separation and a 'fix' would be to remove some/all of the brick and be sure some ties were put in for support.

    My contact said that is what is the usual fix for such.

    Thanks everyone!

    I see that on many occasions Nolan. I thought the same thing as your foundation folks with no ties. Many times it is just a vertical crack straight up beside them straight thru the brick that does not stand out.

    By the way I took your advise with the Whisper software. I already love it and you can easily template about anything you want.

    Thanks. I was leaning there anyway but listening to one more person complimenting it pushed it over the top. Talk about customer service. I had a couple quick questions and he about immediately got right back to be. Hooked into my computer and pointed everything out. C annot get much better than that.

    I was amazed that when I printed to PDF it took about a half second, emailed it off, done.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

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