Why is my brick wall cracking?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

For an analysis of the potential causes of different shapes of cracks, go to these blog posts:  

 What causes stair-step cracks in a block or brick wall?

• What causes a horizontal crack in a block or brick wall? 

• What causes a vertical crack in an exterior concrete block or brick wall? 

    Cracks along the horizontal mortar lines can be also caused by corrosion of the reinforcing ladders. See our blog post What would cause long horizontal lines of brick mortar to fall out? for more on this.


    There are two types of brick construction for residences: wood stud frame walls with a brick facing, and structural brick walls. Which kind you have will affect how the brick will show signs of structural problems. If you are not sure which one your house is, read our blog post Is a brick house sturdier than a wood frame house?
 

    Thinking the cracks may be due to a sinkhole? See our blog posts What are the warning signs of a sinkhole? and What causes sinkholes?

    And to delve further into structural issues and finding cracks, read What are the places to look for structural cracks in a house? for our brief course in crackology. 

    Sometimes bricks don’t crack, but the they deteriorate or discolor. Here’s three blogs about what could be causing that problem:

What causes the surface of old bricks to erode away into sandy powder?

What does freeze damaged brick look like?

What are those powdery white areas on my brick walls?


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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 structural problems in a retaining wall? 

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 are those powdery white areas on my brick walls?

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?

     Visit our EXTERIOR WALLS AND STRUCTURES page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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