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HELP: Brick expansion pops corner of foundation.


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Anybody have a good authoritative reference for this.

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Appraiser noted it requesting a structural engineer review. Bank is going along with it.

I'm looking for a good authoritative reference (cause and effect) that the bank might accept in lieu of a $400 structural engineer.

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Anybody have a good authoritative reference for this.

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95.06?KB

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tn_201211814536_A056.jpg

88.81?KB

Appraiser noted it requesting a structural engineer review. Bank is going along with it.

I'm looking for a good authoritative reference (cause and effect) that the bank might accept in lieu of a $400 structural engineer.

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No reference other than my own experience. I've seen hundreds, maybe thousands, with no structural or seepage concerns. I've called it a "corner shear". A name I made up.

It's not peculiar to brick veneer as the stated in the article Tom linked but just as harmless. I walked outside and took a pic of the corner of my own house which is solid masonry wall construction.

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Tom Witherspoon has his Phd and is a PE in the D/FW market and has written about "corner pops" or "wedge cracks". He is well respected and an involved engineer.

Here is the URL to his website:

Tom Witherspoon

Below is what I put in my reports about the "corner pops" or "wedge cracks":

Comment:

Corner(s) of foundation were observed to be cracked. W. Tom Witherspoon, PE; has commented in his book: Residential Foundation Performance about cracked foundation corners:

"Cracking at the corners is a very common feature in concrete foundations. It is very common to see spalling concrete, commonly called "wedge cracking" at the corners with no damage to the brick. This anomaly is normally caused by a thermal expansion coefficient difference between brick and concrete which terminates at the corners. Seldom is there a foundation problem, but it is very unsightly and must be repaired in severe cases."
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My understanding...

Brick is the driest (and smallest) the day it leaves the kiln. It expands slightly as it gains moisture. Concrete shrinks slightly as it cures, and it never completely stops curing. Thus, the brick wall gains length as the foundation gets shorter. Different rates of thermal expansion/contraction also play into it. Eventually, the immovable object meets the irresistible force. Then, cracks happen.

Clients sometimes ask about it. Even if not, I talk about it to make sure they know I saw it and that it's not a big deal. It does not make it into the report. I'd go outside and take a picture of the cracks on my own house, but it's dark, I'm lazy and they wouldn't look any different than the one you posted.

Sorry, but I can't help you with an authoritative source to save the $400. Appraisers should stick to appraising.

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I see it all the time but I've never accepted the premise that expansion causes it. I think it's just the weight of that veneer at that corner on the corner of a green not-yet-fully-cured foundation wall.

Never seen it cause an issue,......ever.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I see this all the time up here in the land of 4 real seasons...

We had a PE in to an ASHI New England meeting once... did a seminar on brick masonry..

It's that coefficient of expansion thing..

It's supposedly worse/better depending on the type/color of the brick and sun exposure, wind, etc,...

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