Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi there,

I'm writing because we are looking to buy a 1920's construction home in Atlanta. Our home inspector found the following step-crack in the brick siding. The crack is located above a sun-room addition that was put in around 2006-7.

Click to Enlarge
tn_201532616737_Clipboard01.jpg

27.37 KB

Most of the research I've done suggests that step-cracks result from differential movement related to settlement. However, the home inspector seems to think this may be more related "inadequate support where the brick meets the

roof framing." Could this be brick moving down due to inadequate support? Could it be movement/settlement of the entire sunroom addition? How could I tell the difference? The seller initially balked at doing anything more than repointing the masonry, but is now sending out a structural engineer.

We are not on the ground in GA yet (moving from CA), so I just want to know what to look for in a report from the structural to see if this is a huge huge problem, huge problem, minor problem, or no biggie.

Thanks!

V

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

I'm writing because we are looking to buy a 1920's construction home in Atlanta. Our home inspector found the following step-crack in the brick siding. The crack is located above a sun-room addition that was put in around 2006-7.

Click to Enlarge
tn_201532616737_Clipboard01.jpg

27.37 KB

Most of the research I've done suggests that step-cracks result from differential movement related to settlement. However, the home inspector seems to think this may be more related "inadequate support where the brick meets the

roof framing." Could this be brick moving down due to inadequate support? Could it be movement/settlement of the entire sunroom addition? How could I tell the difference? The seller initially balked at doing anything more than repointing the masonry, but is now sending out a structural engineer.

We are not on the ground in GA yet (moving from CA), so I just want to know what to look for in a report from the structural to see if this is a huge huge problem, huge problem, minor problem, or no biggie.

Thanks!

V

Is that the whole story on this crack? No other cracks anywhere?

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Marc,

That is correct. I actually just got off the phone with the home inspector, who specifically looked for interior drywall cracking and "reciprocal cracking" and found no evidence of either.

At 95 years old and only one crack, I think it's too soon to signal the alarm.

I'd just pressure grout the cracks to help keep rainwater out. Don't paint the interior surfaces of that brick wall, otherwise moisture might become trapped inside it. If it's already painted on all sides, watch for signs of failing paint or mold growth. That's what trapped moisture will do.

Stay tuned. There's a lot more folks here who'll offer their opinions if you hang around. Me, I just sweep the floors here.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, from one Lafayette resident to another (albeit in different states), I appreciate your input. Let's see what other folks have to say. I will say that my level of concern is diminishing.

Hi Marc,

That is correct. I actually just got off the phone with the home inspector, who specifically looked for interior drywall cracking and "reciprocal cracking" and found no evidence of either.

At 95 years old and only one crack, I think it's too soon to signal the alarm.

I'd just pressure grout the cracks to help keep rainwater out. Don't paint the interior surfaces of that brick wall, otherwise moisture might become trapped inside it. If it's already painted on all sides, watch for signs of failing paint or mold growth. That's what trapped moisture will do.

Stay tuned. There's a lot more folks here who'll offer their opinions if you hang around. Me, I just sweep the floors here.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

Was the original brick removed below the roof line, which would now be an interior space, when the sunroom was added?

My understanding is that the original brick below the roof line was removed to create the interior space for the sunroom (off the kitchen).

Is the wall made from brick or is this just brick veneer?

The inspection states that the house is a wood framed structure in which the exterior walls are "clad with brick siding without weep holes". My guess is that means the brick is veneer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The photos are not very good. From what I see I assume a wide opening may have been made in the wall when the addition was added. That is a significant crack. Best guess with limited info is that the lintel supporting the brick wall or veneer is undersized.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The photos are not very good. From what I see I assume a wide opening may have been made in the wall when the addition was added. That is a significant crack. Best guess with limited info is that the lintel supporting the brick wall or veneer is undersized.

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Clipboard01.jpg

62.42 KB

I think that is my fault. Maybe this will come out better?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with your inspector. I assume the original support for the brick (the other brick below the roof line) were removed and they did not provide adequate support for the remaining brick which have succumbed to gravity along the diagonal step crack.

Whether it will be a problem in the future is a big unknown but it would warrant a closer look in my book.

Can you see the structural support below?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Those photos are better, but my opinion is the same. Inadequate lintel. The brick would extend down below the roof to a horizontal lintel (or should) it should not be supported at the roof framing.

Also, it does not look like the step flashing is set into the mortar joints. If that flashing was just installed against the face of the brick I would be looking at the entire addition structure closely.

In my area it seems to be a challenge to find a contractor who actually can build an addition correctly (even with permits and inspections).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

I'm writing because we are looking to buy a 1920's construction home in Atlanta. Our home inspector found the following step-crack in the brick siding. The crack is located above a sun-room addition that was put in around 2006-7.

Click to Enlarge
tn_201532616737_Clipboard01.jpg

27.37 KB

Most of the research I've done suggests that step-cracks result from differential movement related to settlement. However, the home inspector seems to think this may be more related "inadequate support where the brick meets the

roof framing." Could this be brick moving down due to inadequate support? Could it be movement/settlement of the entire sunroom addition? How could I tell the difference? The seller initially balked at doing anything more than repointing the masonry, but is now sending out a structural engineer.

We are not on the ground in GA yet (moving from CA), so I just want to know what to look for in a report from the structural to see if this is a huge huge problem, huge problem, minor problem, or no biggie.

Thanks!

V

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...