Brick mortar cracks

I will be inspecting a new home with cracks in the brick mortar. The cracks are horizontal. Obvious foundation movement. Not quite sure what is going on, but would like to be able to assess problem correctly. Don Miceli -Miceli hme Inspections


You may want to defer this inspection to another seasoned inspector. I gather from your comments you may be new to the industry.

You mention brick mortar cracks. Then you say obvious foundation movement, next statement you’re not sure what’s going on.

I suggest defering the inspection because there is no absolute way to access the problem correctly from getting a few opinions on the MB.

Plus you are providing minimal generic information. If you want to get useful information I’d suggest putting more thought and effort into your posts such as detailed information, where you reside, age of home, type of foundation, pictures, and so on.

I’m not being a jerk, I’m just alarmed of what you described and your post in general.


Go to

“Distress Phenomena Often Mistakenly Attributed to Foundation Movement”
Document FPA-SC-03-1 dated 1 May 2004
This is a very helpful chart to explain a lot of type of cracks.

This was post a while back by Marcel, another InterNACHI member.

Ray-thanx for your reply. I am new to posting I probably didn’t phrase my question properly. It was for a what if situation. My Inspection is in a problem area of Denver. Did my research, and will do the Inspection to Nachi standards. If I follow our SOP and do my inspection, I feel I should have no problems. Doesn’t hurt to bounce ideas of the rest of you guys with more experience. Each Inspection is a great learning experience, but client always comes first. Thanx again for your concern-Don

Get some photos up and we will look.
It is dependent on the location of the horizontal cracking.
Might be brick veneer expansion movement and not the foundation.
Is there serpentine cracking above basement windows.
Do they go from a wide opening to a hair line crack at the ends.
Where does the crack begin and end is all part of your hypothesis.
Love to see photos.
Good luck.

He will learn with experience.
Maybe he can share the inspection.
Call another inspector to act as a shadow or vice-verca.
Tell the client he will be bring another set of eyes. Sell it as a gift.
He does need the experience from the questions he is referring to. I will admit that.
The practical experience he can get from a shadow will be endless in my opinion.
Just a thought.
I say with the INACHI members here and good photos he can do the inspection if he feels up t the challenge.
I will be waiting on the message board.
Mr. Mecili do not speculate.
Observe and report.
That’s all.
**Suspect **: brick veneer movement.
Horizontal brick bed-joint separation ( cracking ).
Recommend: Licensed mason or masonry company repair deficiencies to the ( south, north, east, west wall)
Just a simple layout.
Top west wall; under the bedroom window sill ( south west corner ) ; horizontal masonry cracking xx feet long.
Look you do not have to be so precise at the start.
Good luck.

Suspect: possible water infiltration.
Deficiency in brick motor joints.
Recommend Licensed, registered , insured, masonry contractor repair brick joints.
Tuck-point all areas of concern.
Evaluate if further work is required.
This is just a sample.

brick deficienecy.JPG

brick deficienecy.JPG

“Problem area of Denver” ? This could be anyplace. I just did an inspection on a home in an exclusive area and had the same issues as your house. I identified the problem, referred to a qualified mason and moved on.
You will find that problems do not care what part of town you are in.

You should also come to the monthly chapter meetings. I think I saw you there once. There is also a chapter meeting in Colorado Springs every month. I try to get to both. Free education and learn from each other.

Very cool Marc. Don pay attention to what Marc has posted. Extremely helpful.

Thanks Billy.
Nice site.

Thanks Billy, Actually Marcel get’s credit for the chart. The web site is really good as well.

Worth the 100 dollars Marc?
Just curious.
I will be roaming for no paying sites first before I invest.

Mr Young,

You lost me. What do you mean? Can you explain. Thanks