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  1. #1
    Greg Frazier's Avatar
    Greg Frazier Guest

    Default Brick Wall Cracks

    I'd love to know what is going on here. This is a 1970-ish home with large horizontal cracks in different areas. Some had been repaired. When I was inspecting the front door I realized that the walls were brick veneer over siding. The wall in back did not reach as high as the soffits and left uneven gaps at the wall-soffit junctions. I couldn't tell if the soffit was not horizontal or if the brick wall wasn't. Only one section of wall was out of plumb- picture #1.

    Pic 1 - rear corner. 1/4" horizontal gap. The wall below the crack has moved outward between 1/16 & 1/8". The large thick mortar repair below the crack was movable at the end, i.e. no bearing on the bricks above it. The window lintel is rusted and the window has sagged out of plumb on the right side. You can't see this part of the wall on the inside of the basement because of a decorative brick wall constructed in the basement.

    Pic 2 - House rear. Large horizontal crack above the addition. No signs of wall movement below it but much is concealed by the addition.
    Pic 3 - Garage lintel. The lintel behind the cracked/loose mortar does not bear on the bricks except at the end of the lintel. There is a visible gap beneath the lintel. No addtional settling signs on the wall below.

    Pic 4 - Front picture window. Gap has formed below the trim and at the side of the window. It appears that the wall has shifted to the right and down. The concrete porch conceals the wall below and paneling inside the house conceals the interior.

    Pic 5 - Rear wall. Gap at soffit-wall junction.

    Pic 6 - Soffit vents. Aren't these in the wrong place? There aren't any on the lower edges. Also, the ridge vents were fakes.

    Concrete block walls inside the basement were mostly concealed. The visible portions showed typical hairline step cracking in a couple of spots.

    Do I recommend a structural engineer?

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  2. #2
    Kevin Barre's Avatar
    Kevin Barre Guest

    Default Re: Brick Wall Cracks

    I'd want to see it in person to say for sure, but I think the most important clue is that the brick veneer was ADDED after initial construction. I suspect that the original footing was of inadequate width, or that the dirt covering it was not removed completely prior to laying the new brick. The lower courses have settled, and the wall ties are supporting the veneer in areas. This won't last forever -- I strongly suspect that the areas hanging by wall ties will eventually come down also. Wall ties aren't intended to support hanging brick.


  3. #3
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Brick Wall Cracks

    "Do I recommend a structural engineer?"


    Yes You need to recommend an engineer. Movement every where. Cracks in the basement walls. Cracks as open as they are. You are far beyond the point of recommending and engineer.

    What did you mean that the ridge vent was fake. Describe it please. The pic does not show it clearly. It is not uncommon to have soffit vents on the gable ends. They appear to be some what in aid of the gable vents.


  4. #4
    Greg Frazier's Avatar
    Greg Frazier Guest

    Default Re: Brick Wall Cracks

    False ridge vents were installed at the peaks. The shingle ridge caps were about 1/2" above the peak and were laid on top of what looked like 1/2" felt padding. There was no way for air to pass through the ridge.


  5. #5
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Brick Wall Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Frazier View Post
    False ridge vents were installed at the peaks. The shingle ridge caps were about 1/2" above the peak and were laid on top of what looked like 1/2" felt padding. There was no way for air to pass through the ridge.
    There is a ridge vent that looks like no more than one of those thick (a lot thicker) Scrubby pads (don't know the name of the vent) but it is a ridge vent. If you look in the attic at the ridge you will more than likely see the sheathing cut back slightly down from the ridge beam. It won't be cut much from the center of the ridge beam but about an inch on each side. You should still be able to see it. I installed one of those on a friend of mine daughters play house.


  6. #6
    Greg Frazier's Avatar
    Greg Frazier Guest

    Default Re: Brick Wall Cracks

    The decking was cut back about 3 inches on one side of the peak, not at all on the other side. No pic, sorry. It sure didn't look like it would pass air and it was hotter than heck in the attic. Then again, the gable vents were tiny. Thanks.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Oak Park, IL
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Brick Wall Cracks

    I think you referring to Cobra Ridge vent. I used it on my shop.
    GAF-Elk Cobra Ridge Runner

    Rick Sabatino
    Sabatino Consulting, Inc.
    Oak Park, IL

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: Brick Wall Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    There is a ridge vent that looks like no more than one of those thick (a lot thicker) Scrubby pads (don't know the name of the vent) but it is a ridge vent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Sabatino View Post
    I think you referring to Cobra Ridge vent. I used it on my shop.
    GAF-Elk Cobra Ridge Runner
    I've seen (in person and on the internet) the type Ted was describing. It looks like one of those scrub pads laid across the ridge. The problem with them is that they are not baffled, which allows the wind to drive itself into the ridge creating a positive pressure in the attic at the ridge, instead of the negative pressure needed to create venting - thus those types do not vent reliably.

    The type Rick posted as a baffle along its edge (at least it looks that way in the photo).

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    2,797

    Default Re: Brick Wall Cracks

    The problem we see here all the time is over-nailing and excessive compression of vent.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

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