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  1. #1
    Jon mackay's Avatar
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    Default Brick house disaster?

    I came across this house on Friday and the brick areas around the windows and doors are just wrong.Also there is some cheap trim at the top areas installed that is falling down. The house was built in 1990.

    I know that this needs immediate attention but can someone give me some more information that I should include, I just have never seen this before.

    Thank you,

    Jon

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon mackay View Post
    I came across this house on Friday and the brick areas around the windows and doors are just wrong.Also there is some cheap trim at the top areas installed that is falling down. The house was built in 1990.

    I know that this needs immediate attention but can someone give me some more information that I should include, I just have never seen this before.

    Thank you,

    Jon
    Jon, just report what you see. You were at the home so you have a better grasp on the conditions.

    The frieze board is the piece of trim that you are talking about. The cracks are most likely due to some type of settlement.

    Overall, just by looking at your photo I don't think that it is as bad as you might be thinking it is. What I'm seeing is just a good amount of poor workmanship and design.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    I have to disagree. The house looks like an on-going maintenance nightmare. I think your client will have to spend a lot of money up front to complete work that was not done properly in order to reduce damage.
    - Is that deep discoloration on the wide chimney photo? Looks like lots of moisture into the wall.
    - The window/wall joints have to be closed off. Windows should have been pushed out another 1" or so to cover the joint then caulked. I don't know if caulking will handle that gap and look good. They may have to cap.
    - The bricks as a window sill (there's a name for it, don't remember) never works. They always soak up water into the wall under the window.
    - The picture of the wall area with bad joints, doesn't look so much like settling but poor adhesion from a bad mud mix.
    - The algae at the bottom of the wall should be addressed. No weep holes, negative grading and pooling?
    - Is that an entire row of bricks not installed at the top of the wall?
    All these things are indicators that workmanship was very bad ... which often times translates into ongoing costs to repair and maintain.
    If they have $10K in the budget for a good mason then it might be OK to buy.
    Time to look at the pictures again

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    In the picture with the 2 windows the chimney looks like it needs pointing.
    More importantly though, in the closeup picture of the window and wall ... What the hell is going on there?
    - The vented soffit runs on top of, above and past the brick wall. Is the brick wall not tied into the rest of the structure? Is the top of the wall just floating? Is this a 1 layer brick over framing or CMU?
    If so considering what the rest of the work looks like, did they really use sufficient wall ties?
    I would strongly urge caution

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    I agree. It looks like it will take some work. The frieze board don't look like they have anything to attach to. The missing row of bricks in one picture would make me look hard for other mistakes. even if that area was to be covered with a frieze board it's still wrong. The loose bricks around the windows and the sill breaking out, probably from freeze/thaw leads me to believe there could be a lot of water behind that brick. The lack of weep holes concerns me even more now. Any water marks inside?

    Rick

    Rick Sabatino
    Sabatino Consulting, Inc.
    Oak Park, IL

  6. #6
    Jon mackay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    Yes, it all looks wrong.
    The trim was used to conceal the upper portion of brick missing. In this picture, what is there supposed to be at the top?

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  7. #7
    Jon mackay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    This area here is offset at the angle with more cracking at the top, it was touched up with mortar.

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  8. #8
    Jon mackay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    [QUOTE=Markus Keller;39027]In the picture with the 2 windows the chimney looks like it needs pointing.
    More importantly though, in the closeup picture of the window and wall ... What the hell is going on there?
    - The vented soffit runs on top of, above and past the brick wall. Is the brick wall not tied into the rest of the structure? Is the top of the wall just floating? Is this a 1 layer brick over framing or CMU?

    This is over framing. It looks like the brick has no gap behind it either and may just butt up against the sheathing.


  9. #9
    Jon mackay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Sabatino View Post
    The loose bricks around the windows and the sill breaking out, probably from freeze/thaw leads me to believe there could be a lot of water behind that brick. The lack of weep holes concerns me even more now. Any water marks inside?

    Rick
    There are signs of water infiltration at all 3 floors and in the basement. The sill areas are wet also. Mold in the basement and at the finished areas below the chimneys at each side, 100% wet.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    Jon, starting with the 1st picture of the re-post.
    - The bricks are supposed to go up to the bottom of the rafter. The last portion of the rafter sits on top of the brick before the overhang extends out. The soffit material should butt up against the brick and be nailed up into the rafter overhang, plywood, blocks, etc. NOT extend into the wall past the brick.
    - On the second picture it appears that it is that large chimney wall section that you are showing. Considering the height location, amount of wall area and weight this is a major concern. Could be shifting, settling not really clear from the picture. Another possibility is freeze/thaw cycle. In pictures from the 1st post, it looks like the chimney caps may be cement but they look flush to the brick. There doesn't appear to be any overhang. This could account for water intake.
    - The brick should never be up against the sheathing. Typically a 1" gap is standard issue. I seen less gap done. I've seen more gap specified. It can depend on various factors. The gap is there between the brick for definite reasons, without it the building will always have problems.
    - Do you have any of the 'building construction illustrated' type books. Good illustrations to make copies of for your client.
    Or are you the client? Just wondering since your profile gives no info at all.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    Although it does exhibit signs of poor workmanship. I dont think I would classify it as a disaster. Its almost 20 years old. Could it be better, yes. Could every house I have looked at be better, yes.

    Im assuming the inspection was for a buyer. Maybe they are getting a steal on the house and dont really care if it costs some $$$ to fix it. Report what you see and let the buyer make the decision.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    Hey R.S. did you go through Oakton? Do you know the other oak park R.S.?
    Does he really get as many inspections as he claims and his he really the inspection god of oak park that he would like everyone to believe.
    Just wondering.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon mackay View Post
    There are signs of water infiltration at all 3 floors and in the basement. The sill areas are wet also. Mold in the basement and at the finished areas below the chimneys at each side, 100% wet.
    I would say, based on the above, that it what depend to the extent of the water intrusion (how much, how many places) that the brick veneer walls could have been constructed improperly in many ways, (from no air space / inadequate air space / bridged air space, to no through wall flashing, to no weather resisting barrier behind the brick veneer / damaged / cut / torn / WRB, to who knows what).

    I've inspected several buildings where the masons were cutting the WRB (Tyvek) up all over the place through carelessness of where and how they handled their trowels. Those cuts and tears allow water intrusion almost as if no WRB was there.

    There are many problems shown in those photos.

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

  14. #14
    daniel nantell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    this looks like a do-it-yourself home, I've seen, its pretty scarry the first practice house they build , but they probably will get better in time mabe. buyer beware..


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    It almost looks like they added brick to a frame house or they did not know how to finish it out.
    I doubt that job will ever be "right" just the water intrusion alone would make me run. Definite amateur hour.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  16. #16
    Jon mackay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    Thank you for the info, very helpful.

    I am not the purchaser but the inspector. This house is being sold at market value and does not live up to the typical standard in many ways but of coarse that is none of my business. I only note what I see.

    I am very concerned about this property only because it is something that I have never seen and due to the potential cost of repair, I wanted to ensure that I cover myself as much as possibe.

    I have also posted concerns with the fireplaces ( 4 of them) and the ash dump areas in the fireplace section but have had no response, perhaps one of you could take a peek. Looks like very bad masonry techniques but again, I have never seen before so I wanted some opinions.

    Thanks again for any help and I will be looking for some 'building construction illustrated' books, sounds helpful.


  17. #17
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?


    That property has a lot of problems to that brick work that is not open for view. The age of the home is a factor you should look at. Note all the cracks and voids. the brick is extending below the exterior grade. This can provide a safe entrance to sub-termites, Excessive moisture condition. I would look at even makeing at safty statement in your report.
    Was there and water stains to areas of the interior walls or blackening/mold condition. Did you check the interior walls with a moisture meter.

    Best

    Ron
    Excellence Exterminating and Thermal Imaging



  18. #18
    Jon mackay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    Yes, there are moisture problems, it is not good. The house also sits at the bottom of a hill just to make the ground moisture levels all that much worse.

    Safety statement would be for what? falling brick?

    Thanks...


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Brick house disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon mackay View Post
    Safety statement would be for what? falling brick?
    It's a take off from a Frank Lloyd Wright house ...

    "Falling House"

    How about:

    This is a deconstruction area, enter at your own risk, hard hats required at all times, as well as a other appropriate safety apparel (depending on condition present at the time).

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

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