Brick can be expected to last for the life of the house,100 years or more. And with repointing of the mortar as needed, plus other regular maintenance, it is possible for a brick structure to survive for hundreds of years.
But there are multiple problems that can arise to shorten the life of a brick structure, or require extensive, costly repair. We have covered many of these issues in a series of blog posts listed below:
• What does freeze damaged brick look like?
• What would cause long horizontal lines of brick mortar to fall out?
• What causes the surface of old bricks to erode away into sandy powder?
• What are those powdery white areas on my brick walls?
• What causes stair-step cracks in a block or brick wall?
• What causes a vertical crack in a brick or concrete block wall?
It’s also important to know that the brick wall of a house your are looking at may a solid brick structural wall or only brick used as siding over a wood stud framed wall. Visit our blog post Is a brick house sturdier than a wood frame house? to learn how to tell the difference.
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post ”How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?”
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To learn more about exterior walls and structures, see these other blog posts:
• What is the average lifespan of a house foundation?
• What causes vertical cracks in fiber cement siding planks?
• What causes raised white lines of residue on a block wall that are crusty and crumbling?
• What is the difference between soil subsidence, heave, creep, and settlement?
• How much ventilation is required for the under-floor crawl space of a home?
• How can I tell if a diagonal crack in drywall at the corner of a window or door indicates a structural problem?
• What are the pros and cons of concrete block versus wood frame construction?
• Should I buy a house with a crawl space?
• Why is my stucco cracking?
• There's cracks running along the home's concrete tie beam. What's wrong?
• How do I recognize serious structural problems in a house?
• What is engineered wood siding?
• Should I buy a house that has had foundation repair?
• What is a "continuous load path”?
• Should I buy a house with asbestos siding?
• How can I tell if cracks in the garage floor are a problem or not?
• What do you look for when inspecting vinyl siding?
• Why is housewrap installed on exterior walls under the siding?
• Why did so many concrete block homes collapse in Mexico Beach during Hurricane Michael?
• How can I tell if the concrete block walls of my house have vertical steel and concrete reinforcement?
• Should I buy a house with structural problems?
• What causes cracks in the walls and floors of a house?
• How can I tell if the exterior walls of a house are concrete block (CBS) or wood or brick?
• What are the common problems of different types of house foundations?
• What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?
• How can I tell whether my house foundation problems are caused by a sinkhole or expansive clay soil?
Visit our EXTERIOR WALLS AND STRUCTURE and BRICK and LIFE EXPECTANCY pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.