? About Cracks

Thought I would share these pictures for educational purposes. I am posting this to gain a better understanding of cracking (for me and others). Would like to get other inspectors take on them, as far as the type of crack, the possible reasons why it’s cracking, how you would write it up and any informational links about foundation cracking that you might have. Thanks for the responses






For many cracks, a photo of the crack along doesn’t give enough information. A crack open at the top can be caused both by settling (possibly caused by inadequate compaction/ consolidation or excessive loading) or by heaving (expansive soils, frozen soil or tree roots)
Lateral displacement indicates a lateral load that has cause the foundation to split clear through. Through-splits can be hidden by parge coats.

Splits in brick can be through the mortar joints, indicating that the mortar was weaker than the brick, or vice versa.
Keep an eye out for the 65-page “Visual inspection of Concrete” which should be released soon. It’s written, it’s in the editor’s hands, and it’s got about 70 photographs

David, it is always good prax to I.D. the materials at hand as best as you can for the rest of us who were not there.

Around Port St. Lucie, FL we have a lot of stucco apps that look like ‘brick’.

For all I know, those 1st 3 pics could be of mf’d housing skirting.

Those look like mechanical masonry cracks.
Possible foundation movement.

They can be combined with other destructive forces but concrete or clay brick should not be in contact with the grading.
6 inches above grade.I have seen others that quote 4" inches.

The vertical cracking that follows the horizontal crack looks mechanical. JMO
( serpentine cracking ) would follow the masonry bedding head and butt joints ( in my opinion.)
Water penetrates the exterior masonry envelope through ground contact.
Therefore allowing a higher degree of RH to enter the building units. Bricks. Clay or concrete.
The constant wet and drying action causes expanding and contacting on the masonry. Those forces are displaced throughout the masonry wall unevenly.
Causing horizontal and vertical cracking along the masonry bedding weakest points.
( The head and butt joints.) at first and then a shearing forces if the conditions are right.
As in the vertical cracks through the bricks in photo number 2 attest.
There are other possibilities that can drastically effect the exterior envelopes condition you are showing.
Foundation settlement, land movement, structural failure ( foundation, footing, land-slope, downspout to close to the home, etc.)
They should all be addressed before you make any conclusion.
I would write as follows from the 5 photos you have shown.
This is just and exercise remember.

SUSPECT: Mechanical deficiencies in the masonry and concrete brick units.
The brick are in contact with the land or grading.
Recommend a licensed mason.
SUSPECT: Foundation or footing deficiencies.
RECOMMEND: a licensed foundation evaluation company.
Good luck.

Good to here Kenton!
Yes agree with you Robert!
Those look like mechanical masonry cracks.
Possible foundation movement.