A crack in the outside brick is an early sign of a foundation problem. Have these wall cracks and the brick foundation looked at by a foundation repair specialist.
When a concrete slab bends or curves downward along a brick partition, this will eventually break. If you live in the northern regions of Texas is possible that you’ve noticed shifting in your foundation walls. This is due to the kind of soil present in these areas.
Are Cracked Bricks Signs of Foundation Damage?
In some circumstances, a crack or gaps in a brick foundation could be relatively harmless. However, other times it could indicate a serious issue. To start you want to identify what the bricks are made out of. Clay bricks for instance can be impacted by excessive moisture or clay soil.
When a break or crack follows the mortar line, the damage from foundation failure is easily repaired with a mortar touch-up. When stress causes the brick to fracture, bricks must be replaced. Cracks in outside brick replacement may cost $100-$200 per linear foot.
Addendum: Recently a reader who repairs foundations wrote that most cracks can be closed with foundation underpinning. In a lot of cases, this is true. But to raise customer expectations when it is not a sure thing is disingenuous.
At Granite Foundation Repair, we advise our customers that a crack may close. To say otherwise, to say that they will, is promising the moon in order to close the sale. We have seen brick cracks close almost completely on one side of a house, while fractures barely close up on another side of the same house. This is why we always recommend that foundation underpinning be performed early. When a customer postpones repairs, it’s not always possible to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
So if you think that you have a crack in the outside brick or other foundation issues, you can minimize your repair cost by nipping the problem in the bud. A crack in mortar can be easily repaired/touched up. And as we said earlier, fractures in the brick are quite costly.
How Limit Fractures in Brick Foundation Walls
For new constructions, work with a trusted structural engineer or foundation repair professional as they’ll be able to properly install the bricks and reduce gapping and cracks. They’ll also be able to take into account the potential expansion of the bricks due to natural exposure to moisture over time.
For a home that has an existing brick foundation, have a foundation repair company come in to assess any fractures or shifts. The sooner you bring in an expert the better because the longer these issues go unaddressed, the more expressive the foundation repairs will be.
Will a Crack in Brick Walls Close After a Repair?
Brick foundation walls after a repair job – What can you expect?
Most of the time, fractures in brick walls after foundation repair will settle and close. Foundation repair does not guarantee that your cracks in the bricks will close, but the chances are good.
Consider a crack that is wider at the top than at the bottom that has occurred about 10 feet from the end of a sagging structure. As the slab is lifted, the crack in the brick will probably close.
If the crack width is relatively uniform from top to bottom, it is seldom practical to close the crack by lifting a slab. Lifting a slab may close the top of the crack, but the bottom will probably remain open. As the foundation has undulated up and down with changing moisture and expansiveness of the soil, the brick wall has literally walked along the slab.
In the example above, the crack will probably close when the sagging foundation on the right is lifted. The crack is wider at the top than at the bottom. Photo courtesy of Granite Foundation Repair.
Closing a crack in your structure, interior or exterior is a benefit of foundation repair. A crack in your bricks almost always mean you have some sort of foundation problem. To understand what type of foundation problem you have, it is best to schedule a foundation inspection to pinpoint what issue you have and what it will take to fix it.
Fractures in your brick should at a minimum become smaller after foundation repair. Again, many times they will close completely, but not always.
Why Wooden Trims Separate at the Top Corner of My Brick Walls
Wood trim separating at the top of your brick could signify a foundation problem.
Here is a photo of the trim separation. This problem was not caused by poor carpentry.
Corner trim separation is a tell-tale sign of a foundation problem.
As the concrete slab drops on an outside corner, the brick veneer walls in that area remain somewhat perpendicular to the slab, while the trim remains affixed to the roof system. The result is that the veneer pushes outward on the trim.
One trick for hiding the foundation problem is to caulk and paint the trim. A thick caulk joint at what should have been a perfectly aligned carpentry corner is a dead giveaway of a foundation problem.
If you spot a crack or several in your brick foundation, contacting foundation contractors is essential. They’ll be able to assess how serious the issue is and can determine the best course of action moving forward.
For more information on foundation repair or to schedule an entire foundation inspection, please get in touch with Granite Foundation Repair today.