Common problems with a Brick Veneer
Common Cracks in Brickwork
Sunday morning you walked outside to get the paper. As you stroll back to the house down your long driveway, you notice something that catches your eye. You walk around the corner of your house and stop sharply in amazement. You are looking in disbelief at your awesome Massachusetts brick house there appears to be a big vertical crack in the brick work.
How in the world did that happen?
And how do you go about fixing it?
Everything can be repaired and fixed, so take a deep breath and relax. This happens quite a lot to large spans in masonry walls. So you are not alone.
Millions of homeowners find cracks in their veneers, chimneys and steps every year. So don't call your real estate agent quite yet! Below we have prepared some information to allow you to understand how this happens.
1.) Settling - These types of commons cracks are sometimes appear as a stepping or stair type of crack. It moves along the bed joint and steps up following the vertical joints. Commonly close to the end of the wall, near the corners or where the masonry would be its weakest, like next to an opening, angle iron or quoins. It is advisable to monitor this type of cracking to see if it will continue to move or if it has stopped. Once it has stopped it can be repaired quite easily.
2. ) Thermal Expansion Failure Cracking - A vertical crack usually located lengthwise on the wall. It is the result of thermal heating of a masonry panel, without proper control joints. Masonry veneers especially brick expand when the sun is beating down on them. These walls have metal ties in them and expand in the sun. Without proper control joints a crack will develop.
3. ) Expansion due to steel - Another type of crack that appears quite often over openings. What usually happens is the steel that is imbedded inside the masonry for support heats up and heaves the masonry. The steel and masonry will both heat and expand. Steel just does it at a quicker rate.
4. ) Leaning or bulging walls - Pressure to the back side of the wall can cause the wall to lean, bow or bulge. Sometimes it appears that the wall is leaning or sinking. This is the most serious type of wall problem and needs immediate attention. Care must be taken when repairing this defect in the wall as well. The most common reason for a wall to do this is improper tying into the structure behind the wall.
Solution to any structural issue in a brick veneer would be to contact a Harvard ma masonry repair contractor. It is advisable any time you are outside in the yard to look at your home, look at your gutters, chimney, roof, foundation. Get to know your property and you will know when something is out of place and needs attention.