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  1. #1
    tyronbm's Avatar
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    Default Brick Veneer Cracks

    Inspected a house with a substantial crack above a window (window is just out of the picture to the right) with smaller cracks below it near the HVAC package unit lintel. Seller called me to say he had a licensed engineer (a friend of his) look at it and said it was a crack from a rusted lintel only. Said it was not structural. Told seller to have engineer put it in writing on letterhead and with his seal. In the crawl space at this area of the foundation, standing water was present as well. House is 28 years old. I have never seen a rusted lintel cause this size crack and length. In my report, of course, I stated a qualified engineer needs to evaluate. Thoughts?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Brick Veneer Cracks

    Sounds as though you reported correctly.

    My questions would be.
    Even if it's "Not structural", it does not mean it's not a problem.
    Where is the water in the crawlspace coming from and why?
    What caused the cracking in the brick?
    What repairs are needed to correct the problems?
    Not just "It's not structural".

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Brick Veneer Cracks

    The good part, if there is a good part, is that the crack is following the mortor. I do not see any bricks that are cracked through the middle, which tells me that it is probably just a settling problem and not a structural problem....at this time! Veneer is just cosmetic, however, something caused the crack...........


  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Brick Veneer Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    The good part, if there is a good part, is that the crack is following the mortor. I do not see any bricks that are cracked through the middle, which tells me that it is probably just a settling problem and not a structural problem....at this time! Veneer is just cosmetic, however, something caused the crack...........
    Water could have caused the crack, but a rusting lentil could also cause a crack like that. The rust expands and forces the masonry to move and you end up with a stair-step crack that follows the mortar, just like in the picture. Usually with water caused cracks you will see bricks that are cracked and also separation at the frieze board and the wall.

    All you can do is to tell them to get it in writing from the PE.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Plano, Texas
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    Default Re: Brick Veneer Cracks

    "Seller called me to say he had a licensed engineer (a friend of his) look at it and said xxxx"
    That is the problem in a nutshell.

    I can't really tell what caused the problem is with the building, but there is a problem. What the buyer or seller wants to do about it is really not my concern. Report the problem and move on.

    My personal opinion though is that is a settlement crack which fits in with water at the foundation. The crack appears to widen out as it goes further toward the corner of the building, at strong clue the foundation has dropped on the left corner.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  6. #6
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Brick Veneer Cracks

    Iron can expand up to 11 times its normal size as it rusts and delaminates. It can really push bricks around when it corrodes.


  7. #7
    tyronbm's Avatar
    tyronbm Guest

    Default Re: Brick Veneer Cracks

    Thanks to all for your feedback. You just confirmed my conclusions. Have to check myself every once in a while. Thanks again!


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