Cracks in Brick Home

Hi to all,
i’m working on a mock inspection. This home has a brick front and fiber cement on sides and back. The brick has multiple horizontal , vertical and stair-step cracks. It appears to be settling cracks. What do you think? How should I write it?

Minor settlement cracks noted in brick and mortar, various locations.
Recommend patching cracks to help prevent moisture intrusion. Monitor.

Thanks Thomas!

Well now, even though I see what I see, you are learning, so I will treat this as such. Such being that I am not on-site to see things with my own eyes, and most importantly… assume nothing!

With that being said, my first response is that you did not provide enough information for any conscientious inspector to make an informed determination…



  1. What is the age of the home?
  2. What is the foundation type?
  3. Is the brick being shown a brick veneer?
  4. What are you referring to as “fiber cement”?
  5. Do you have a wide shot of the affected area of the home in general (for perspective)?

That’s for starters…

Remember, never assume. If you don’t know, just say so.

I will check back in with more when I can, if others don’t reply beforehand.

So what you got from all your training is to come to the message board and have someone else do your work for you?

Getting off to a great start!

David, many inspectors come to the MB to complete their reports. No better place to learn.

Good luck Michael.

+1, as long as there were no other cracks you did not show us, you were able to visualize the foundation and saw no cracks, found no cracks on the interior walls or ceilings, and noted no buckling or warping of the siding.

There are several reasons why there is serpentine cracks, or mortar bond loss, but let’s start with a simple narrative, and how to narrate your observations.

Exterior section of your report.
A: Observation: Serpentine cracks. Location; above windows, or wall openings.
B: Recommendations: Recommend a licensed masonry contractor evaluate the cause of the serpentine cracks and make all required repairs to insure the masonry envelope is water tight.
C: Limitations: Observed from the ground, ladder, balcony, window or deck.

InterNACHI SoP. Limit your liabilities.

The cause,** poor masonry practice**.
The brick running bond is weak.

What you are looking at is called running bond pattern.
Each brick end, or brick butt, should be in the middle of the masonry clay brick or concrete brick unit, above and below, or thereabouts.

In your photos;
1: The bricks are at critical intersections, spanned wall opening, and poorly aligned.
2: The weep hole tube is suspect.
Typically you would see weep holes, not weep hole tubes that defuse condensate through a material wick.
The flashing would be thick mil plastic sheet sticking out at the metal lintel just under the soldier brick header course, but that is a lesson for another day.

Why is a masonry spanned window opening critical? Lintel

Hope that helps.