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  1. #1
    Catherine Newberry's Avatar
    Catherine Newberry Guest

    Default Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    I noticed a brick has cracked at the top side of garage door on my home built in 2005. Can anyone give me some insights as to why this happened? We have had a very severe winter in Michigan with a lot of cold temperatures and temperature fluctuations.

    Thank you!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    The steel lintel sits on top of that area. Moisture getting into the masonry can cause the lintel to rust. When steel rusts, it expands and that might be putting pressure on the area. Also, if the lintel was installed too short, the lack of bearing surface could cause the edge of the brick to chip out.

    You could hire a mason to chip away some of the mortar and see whats going on with the lintel. It's easy to repoint the mortar after the investigation.

    Jim also makes a good point. Without proper flashings and weep holes, the lintel would be subjected to moisture which can eventually cause rust and the issues related to it.


  3. #3
    Catherine Newberry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    The steel lintel sits on top of that area. Moisture getting into the masonry can cause the lintel to rust. When steel rusts, it expands and that might be putting pressure on the area. Also, if the lintel was installed too short, the lack of bearing surface could cause the edge of the brick to chip out.

    You could hire a mason to chip away some of the mortar and see whats going on with the lintel. It's easy to repoint the mortar after the investigation.

    Jim also makes a good point. Without proper flashings and weep holes, the lintel would be subjected to moisture which can eventually cause rust and the issues related to it.
    Are weepholes the little metal things in between the brick above the door? They look like screens. I did see those above there.

    I can get a better picture tonight. Could this be caused by the big fluctuations in temperatures?

    I do have a mortar guy coming tonight to look at it. He was going to replace just the brick.

    Thank you!


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    Second photo.

    The aluminum trim should have been recessed it's flush with the brick.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    I don't see any indication of water and doubt there would be any water reaching this area unless you have had rain blowing sideways for a prolonged period of time.
    That looks like the brick guy just cut too close to the core hole.
    Due to differential expansion of the brick and steel above at the brick angle (lintel) the sliver of brick left covering the core hole just popped off.
    The brick guy will likely replace the brick with one with a bit thicker wall and your problem will be solved.
    He may see a moisture problem once he removes the old one but I doubt it.
    Keep it simple unless the simple answer does not fit.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    What I see is that the top brick at the inside opening of the garage doorway, and possibly several of the bricks below it, are projecting out beyond the brick above. I also do not see the flashing which should be visible there.

    Not sure if it was laid that way or the brick(s) are moving outward. If the through-wall flashing is not there, not installed properly, or the brick projects forward enough, water could penetrate in above the brick and into the air space or any cavity in that area. Freezing would expand the water as it became ice and push the brick outward, however, like Jim, I don't see any water evidence there either.

    It could also be caused by the lintel flexing with the wall and bearing on that inside corner of the brick, causing the corner to break off.

    As Jim said, replacing that brick may solve the problem, removing it during its replacement will allow the mason to look inside and see what is going on.

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

  7. #7
    Catherine Newberry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    Here is another photo hopefully with a better angle. I've had a few masonry guys look at it none seemed concerned but no consensus on why it happened either. They just said to replace that one brick.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    I honestly would not even worry about it if this was my home. This is a case of where the repair will most likely look worse that what you now have and is a little more involved.

    In order to replace that single brick the alum wrap will need to be removed then the brick cut out and replaced. Unless you have extra bricks I doubt you will be able to match what you now have. Then unless the mason is very skilled at matching the mortar color you will always see the repair. Also that alumn wrap will most likely need to be replaced because it is virtually impossible to remove it without bending it and once it is bent you will always see the crease of the bends and dents.

    IMVHO, I would wait and see what happens over the next year or two. If you see seepage from the caulk you will then know that water is seeping in and is working on what you can't see. I'm not a fan of the alum wrap around garages, give me painted treated wood any day of the week over the wrap....

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    The brick may have had a hairline crack to begin with. Moisture entering the crack and freezing is one possibility. Thermal contraction of the steel lintel is another. The damage does not look like much of concern. Capping the lintel and the potential for corrosion are more of a concern.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    Capping the lintel and the potential for corrosion are more of a concern.
    Agreed.

    All that cap does is trap moisture (condensation if nothing else) between two dissimilar metals (the dissimilar metals is also a problem).

    Capping the lintel did save having to clean it, prepare, and paint it.

    Do they even have a through-wall flashing over it? The flashing should be visible along the edge of the lintel under the mortar - the cap may be hiding some of it, but the flashing should show to the sides of the lintel and sides of the cap.

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    If this were a lintel problem I would expect damage at the other end as well. No mortar cracks nor cracks on brick facing evident.

    Misfired brick?

    I think Scott summed it up best.


  12. #12
    Catherine Newberry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Catherine - Thanks for the additional picture . There are no weep holes above the door . Weep holes allow any moisture to escape. Generally weep holes would be expected in this area as there is often condensation in the cavity behind the brick in this configuration. It appears that the condensation is traveling to the end of the metal flashing and discharging at that location . Not a big deal but ,it appears to have caused the brick to scale .
    I think that replacing the damaged brick for cosmetic reasons might not be a good idea as the finished product may look worse. I would suggest considering using epoxy to refasten the loose portion of the brick back in place , ( a little thinned white paint to touch up the raw red brick will make the repair blend in well), and monitering the moisture condition.
    Hi Jim,

    There are weep holes actually there at least two or three above the door and one at the bottom. Unfortunately, the photo has to be so small that I couldn't get a better view. That is funny because that is what the mortar guy did but it doesn't look very nice as he messed up the caulking and used a black color mortar not too pretty. I think it should be recaulked anyway so that will be next on my agenda and hopefully will help with the appearance. Any pointers on how to get the old caulk off? It looks like it will be difficult to remove.

    Thanks again!


  13. #13
    Catherine Newberry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick veneer crack at side of garage door

    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine Newberry View Post
    Hi Jim,

    There are weep holes actually there at least two or three above the door and one at the bottom. Unfortunately, the photo has to be so small that I couldn't get a better view. That is funny because that is what the mortar guy did but it doesn't look very nice as he messed up the caulking and used a black color mortar not too pretty. I think it should be recaulked anyway so that will be next on my agenda and hopefully will help with the appearance. Any pointers on how to get the old caulk off? It looks like it will be difficult to remove.

    Thanks again!
    That could be the problem. There are four weep holes but none at the end on that side. The picture was taken before the repair was done so that is why you don't see the black mortar. I have another person coming today to hopefully get it looking a little better.

    Thank you for all your help!


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