Historic brick evaluation show.

Looked at a brick double wythe home from 1905 with various types of deterioration visible in the basement.
I’d like to see a NACHI.TV show on evaluation of old brick wall structures. Variations in brick manufacture, mortar mixes, construction methods and how the ways that these things have changed over the years has resulted in different types of defects.
I think this would help inspectors identify defects and describe how serious they are, whether they’re likely to continue and the likely causes.
It might also help them date changes in the home structure, which can be an issue in homes over 100 years old.

Does anyone else find this stuff interesting?

Furnace and water heater vented into a chimney. Looks like it has a continuous flue, but check out the debris in the cleanout beneath the point at which the flues enter the chimney.
If it doesn’t have a continuous flue and deterioration continues it could block the exhaust vent. Or the sealant could shrink and crack.
Note brick/mortar damage from window leakage. You can also see at this window one of two sewer pipes which left the home (ABS disappeared into mortar and wall). The other is the PVC pipe in the last photo (3" to 6").

I think that would be a great educational idea for all Members Kenton.

Thank you for bringing it up.

Marcel :):smiley:

I’m interested. I live in a historic district. Many double and triple wall brick homes. Also many with limestone stone foundations and retaining walls.
Also with multiple chimneys.

Yep, a lot of the old brick homes and other buildings in Denver have stone foundations of different types although some have brick inner wythe right to grade in the basement.

This one appeared to start out as a crawlspace and then was excavated to make room for heating equipment and storage… thus, the step, so they avoided compromising the cone of compression.

The 4" duct between the gas pipe and furnace not attached to anything, what’s it for? I have never come across something like it. I suspect some sort of fresh air make up or return.

Looks like combustion air Gerry.

Thanks Larry.
Thought as much, but without seeing where the duct went I wasn’t sure. Still I have never seen it done this way.

By the way I agree with you Kenton on the brick evaluation course.

Those of us working in older cities and towns have great interest in this subject Kenton.

Combustion/make up air, you guys got it.

Some fairly good basic information on brickwork can be found in the Brick Industry Association Tech Notes.

I’ve found a trainer on just this subject. We’ll see what we can work out with him.

Thanks for the confirmation. And keep us posted.

Those Tech Notes are very useful Kenton.

I found this site in your own State that apprears to have good information.
I went through it and found it pretty resoruceful.



That’s a good one Marcel, thanks!. I’ll be giving them a call tomorrow.

Great link, But l spent 3 hrs reading all about brick and missed the Bears game. :frowning:

I feel your pain, Mark.

Sitting here working on an IAQ course 2 blocks from Bronco stadium. I can hear the crowd cheer occasionally and hear the loudspeaker but can’t make out what they’re saying. Someone else has control of the TV.:frowning:


I was wondering if someone could help me. I just bought a house, built in 1983. I love the house, but I see it did have some cracks that looked bad through the mortar of the bricks. Before I bought the house, I hired a structural engineer to determine if the house structure was ok. He told me everything was fine. He tested the soil and gave me the ok and said this was normal house setting. When I was in closing that engineer statement did not want to be liable for anything he wrote on paper. I thought that was odd, but figured it was his standard procedure. I am writing to you with pictures of the cracks, to see what other opinions maybe. I have attached pictures of the cracks. Ps, the house is on a hill and I have small cracks in the drywall, but doesn’t match with the cracks on the outside.

What state do you live in? Does the ground freeze? It’s not possible to say with any certainty what is or isn’t happening from photos. From what I do see you should install gutters and get the water away from the foundation. The crack in the basement appears to be wider at the top but that only tells me that something either heaved or settled.
I would recommend you have a qualifed mason repair the cracks, install gutters, check for tree roots in the area remove any trees that could be causing the problem… And see if the cracks reappear if they do something is still moving.

Patrick, like Mark said, are you in a frost prone area of the Country?

There is a lot of exposed foundation on the lower side of the house and wondering how much of a frost wall there is in the ground that might be the culprit for the cracks.

If not the frost, it would definitly be some differential movement caused by settlement.
I noticed that there is a heavy parge coat on the outside and inside of that foundation and wondering if that was not done to hide more cracks that have not since moved.
Who ever did the parge coat, was a little sloppy around the edges at the brick. :wink:

The cracks in the foundation and the brick where it was repointed are signs that it has been there for a while, so it could be possible that these cracks occurred in its early stage and hasn’t moved since.

Monitoring the cracks for awhile would tell you if something is still moving.
If not, then you can prepare for some remedial work to fix it.

Good luck.

Marcel :):smiley:

Thank you for the replies…
I live in Northern Mississippi (Hernando). I do have some trees in the front and back, that I thought about cutting down. When it rains, I notice the water runs around the house down the hill to the lake, which is about an 1/2 acre away. On the side of the house there are no cracks in the brick, just in the back where you see them. I did notice that there is erosion that washed away some of the soil that exposes the cement patio underneath. If I monitor the cracks, how long should I do it, and how much does it have to move, before it could be considered dangerous?
The windows and doors shut good, so I didn’t think there was too much of a problem, but i am worried that one day the windows will just break or crack.
The previous owners hired the builders to renovate the house and they did a half %$# job.

Patrick; Check here;
General Suggestions for the Evaluation of Foundation Cracks

VERTICAL FOUNDATION CRACKS - Vertical Foundation Crack Patterns

Hope this helps.

Marcel :):smiley: