Cracks in brick mortar.

I have just started home inspection and I am seeing several different types of crack in brick veneer walls. I am mostly seeing small hairline cranks that typically run about 3 foot and stay in the mortar and it will usually start at a window and run downward at roughly a 45 degree angle. I have never seen it make it to the concrete foundation. The worst ones typically run through bricks and the mortar. Can someone please give me input on why the crack stays within the mortar? Thanks

The mortar is the weakest link. It will separate there before the brick itself cracks.

See if this works for you.

Some minor cracking (hairline, less than 1/16", etc.) was noted. These generally appeared to follow the mortar joints between the courses of brick and are a normal occurrence found in homes of this design. No visual evidence of structural problems was found, however, the cracks should be filled and monitored for further movement.


“There are some relatively small cracks in the brick walls, which are probably attributable to shrinkage and minor settlement and have little structural significance. Generally speaking, cracks that are less than 1/4” are not commonly regarded as being structurally significant, but our opinion should not dissuade you from seeking a second opinion from a structural engineer, foundation contractor, or general contractor. Nonetheless, they should be monitored to see if there is active movement in this area, because such cracks can become a contentious and litigious issue. We recommend sealing the cracks with mortar to prevent further deterioration and water entry behind the walls."

Was it always brick or has it been installed later ? Was there a brick ledge ?

Why do you want to complicate things Wayne? :wink:

Yes it was always brick. And it is resting on a cement slab.