Is Brick Crack Foundation Problem?

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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Judith in Arkansas is on the line and needs some help with a brick crack. What’s going on?

    JUDITH: Well, we’ve got a little crack and it’s going up the wall. And we don’t know exactly what’s going on. We’d like to just repair it and not re-brick the whole side of the house. Does it seem to be a foundation issue? And I say that because there’s not any stress cracks on the inside, anywhere.

    LESLIE: So the crack that you’re seeing is on the brick itself? Within the brick or in the mortar?

    JUDITH: It starts in the mortar but then it crosses the brick.

    TOM: Is it surrounding a window?

    JUDITH: Let me look, because I’m walking out here to look at it.

    TOM: OK.

    JUDITH: No, there is no window on this side of the house.

    TOM: And you’ve never seen a brick crack – is this brand new? Like how new are we talking here?

    JUDITH: We bought this house in 2008, right before they gave the tax credit that you didn’t have to pay back. We got the one that you had to pay back.

    TOM: OK. OK. So it’s new since 2008?

    JUDITH: Right.

    TOM: Look, there could be a lot of reasons for that brick crack. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a problem with your foundation. It could be a poor drainage condition around the house that’s making it cause more movement.

    What I would do is unless it’s absolutely active – means it’s continuing to grow – I would simply seal it. I would choose a silicone sealant that would closely mimic the color of the brick and the mortar and I would seal it. Because the more water you let get in there, the faster it’s going to freeze and break and expand and get worse. Almost all, you know, brick homes and masonry foundations have some kind of crack in them, so it’s not unusual. But I would seal it and then I would monitor it. And if you think it’s continuing to grow, at that point I would have either a professional home inspector or a structural engineer look at it, OK?

    JUDITH: OK. Alright. Thank you so much.

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