Brick deflection

Does anyone know what the allowable amount of lateral deflection is for a face brick wall between the brick and internal wall?

In other words, if one were to push on the brick wall just beneath the freeze board or soffit, how far can it move, and what would be the testing pressure.

Does anyone know what that code may have been in 1971?

Note: we are talking about a face brick wall, not a structural brick wall.

Perhaps you mean Brick Veneer?

Try this it may help

Not much help there?

Any other thoughts?

Hey Peter,

The Brick Industry Association provides a considerable amount of information regarding requirements. The BIA has a lengthy series of papers on property use, etc. at:

This link talks about the requirements as opposed to building codes but only points out the code references:

The Following Two specifically address brick veneer:

New Construction

Existing Construction

BIA does recommend installation of ties at those particular points and also recommends the use of the ties for those brick movement situations.

Only one question. Are you using first or second gear on your cycle, front wheel against the brick or striking it from a distance away to check movement? (an inside joke for the rest of you who do not understand it):mrgreen: :mrgreen:

What is the difference between face brick and brick Veneer?
Different terminology only I believe.

Actually the problem is with the buyers friend who wants to know.

Since I can’t see inside the wall, I can’t actually determine how it was built.

I’m sure you run into these people who love to make mountains of mole hills.

The house has been there for 35 years, and now it it a problem?

So I thought I would just see if anyone actully knows.

Also, I appreciate the link, as a matter of fact I have that same document on my computer. Unfortunately, I can’t find a definitive statement that says something like. “The maximum deflection is h/360 when subjected to a 100 lb lateral load” or words to that affect.

“Face brick” is a term for bricks that are made to be more impervious to water, and are intended to be exposed as a finish. Opposed to those are “common brick”, which absorb water quite readily and are intended only for inner wythes of a wall, where they will not be exposed.

“Brick veneer” refers to bricks which are only a finish, and are not structural, as opposed to a solid brick wall or a brick and block wall which carries loads.

Then we have “thin brick”, which is a veneer that is applied to a wall much like tile, and gives the appearance of brick without the weight or the thickness.

To answer the original question, the brick veneer may have been built with a small space between its back and the wall sheathing, and is anchored to the wall, usually by galvanized sheet metal ties which are intended to allow movement . I don’t think there is any code requirement relating to the issue, and there probably isn’t any generally accepted standard which refers to it.

The sheet metal ties, if they exist, should allow the brick veneer to move inwards slightly, and move outwards more slightly. The question should be, if the brick veneer moves at all, does it show any evidence of a crack anywhere? Do all the bricks from the brick shelf on up move together, or do only the top few courses move? Or is the movement so small that you can’t tell?

Another possible issue is that if you can see the edge of the brick veneer, the joint between it and the sheathing should be properly caulked or sealed, with a non-hardening sealant which will tolerate small movements.

So what your saying is that you know of no specific guideline that defines the distance face or veneer can move laterially. Thus it becomes a subject of debate.

No Peter we are not engineers and have no need of that knowledge.
Not sure of your level so If you need an understanding of how brick veener looks we can answer that.If you need to know what you should check as far as defects go we can answer that,so just ask.We need a clear question and you get a clear answer.You may be phrasing wrong .thats all.

My feeling is you would have about as much flex as you get out of concrete almost zero.
Flex leads to cracks then water penentration.

Hi Roy,

I feel the same way.

Exactly and makes sense.After all it does not have rubber joints.How much does a brick weigh,then multiply that by the number of bricks which is alot of weight to be moving.I always think of it as siding that just happens to sit on the foundation.(Yes I know about the rest) but thats where all the weight is.
The space behind it is usually about one finger.I just got done shooting photos of it being installed and will post them later.

Hi. Peter;

This link should help you some, hopefully.

I not sure how they build in Texas, but alot of this link would apply here.

Let me know if you need more help.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Marcel…Thank you

Your most welcome Bob.


Marcel :slight_smile: :smiley:

Missed a few post this morning, sorry about that.

What exactly is the problem after 35 years.
Could you elaborate?

Marcel :slight_smile:

No idea you had a problem .
Weep holes did some one close the weepers .
I find 60% a closed up by foam or caulking .
They think the BRICKY missed every 3 /5 brick.
Some people can not see the reason in these holes .
Has the wall at some time been sprayed with silicone this was a fad many years ago.

Is the dirt around the out side up on the Brick.
More info if you have any might help .
Marcel is the best I know of in this direction .