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De facto structural element?

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The house is in 1928 story and a half. It's a rubble foundation that has been parged. There are newer (about 10 years old) vinyl windows in place in the basement.
The photo shows the bottom of the window pushed upward. It's moved enough so that the window is jammed shut and the sash itself is distorted.
I didn't see any signs of significant movement anywhere in the structure. Except for this wall, all the walls were covered in finished surfaces. That said, the floors felt flat, the doors closed square in their frames, and the house looked level and plumb.
I'm not coming up with any plausible explanation for the issue. It affects three of five windows.
The guy that I usually rely on for foundation issues asserts that it's from saturated masonry freezing. I'm not sure that explains the condition.


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