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Ben H

On it or in it?

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Decent size two story deck/balcony for a duplex. The white painted boards appear to be original (1950's build) There is a fairly large crack in the brick veneer below a couple of the connections to the house.

I'm not real sure what to make of the connection to the house. The joist all attach at a place where I wouldn't think a band/rim board would be present. Way too low.

Could someone actually have tucked these boards into the veneer loading the deck off of them? If so, don't you think I'd have way more damage than a stair step crack in one spot?

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I'm not sure from your photos that the crack has anything to do with the deck/porch or how it is connected. I would be looking at foundation settlement or moisture entry from the joints on the window sill.

I don't see any way those joists would still be horizontal if they were not passing through the brick veneer wall.

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You know Cary, looking at the photos more, I'll bet when they cut the bottom of the wall out to insert a window a/c unit, they might have damaged the structural integrity of that wall....

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I'm not an engineer, but that deck doesn't look like a heavy structure to me. I would like it to have some diagonal bracing.

There are no cracks around the AC unit.

I think the weight of the brick, two storeys worth, along with some typical settlement and shrinkage, may be the main reason for the crack. In other words, the crack may have appeared anyway, without the deck and the AC unit being there.

I think I would be reporting what is there and not speculating much further beyond that.

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I wouldn't doubt the joists are attached to wall studs of the main sturcture and likely to be sitting on top of jack studs built into the wall.

I think if the deck joists were stressing the veneer enough to cause movement, the failure would be begin at or much closer to the joist penantration of the veneer.

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Brick veneer is installed around the joists, the joists were there first. Look at how the bricks run and are cut to go around the wood. I'd be looking for flashing above the joists and rot near where they touch the brick.

As for the diagonal crack, one of your photos shows a downspout emptying next to the wall. Are there any other drainage issues, especially near that corner of the building? Building settlement can sometimes be stopped/prevented with better drainage.

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