Is this crack a problem?

Did an inspection about 3 weeks ago and noted a crack at the upper corner of the brick. Today the client called and asked me to look at some additional cracks in the slab that he found after he pulled the carpet up (replacing with wood floors). I still don’t think there is a foundation issue but what do you think? I don’t have a pic of the cracks in the floor but it was about 1/8" and extended all the way through the room.



Look at the lower left corner on the 2nd picture. That crack in the upper left corner is also in the lower left corner. Cracks in brick veneer will take the path of least resistance. Many times once they reach a window the crack will start again at the top or bottom and continue on. If the crack is of uniform width from the foundation to the soffit its most likely a thermal crack. A settlement crack that varies in width will usually get proportionality wider with height. For example a crack that is 1/8" wide at 8 foot will be 1/4" at 16 feet. You have to put all the clues together to see if these cracks are related to a common problem. Its not unusual for a house to have multiple unrelated cracks.

Personally I do not think there is a structural problem. When I got the call back to come look it got a little concerning when I saw the crack in the bedroom and then pieced it together with the one in the cladding. The ones inside I would not have been worried about if there wasn’t one outside too.

Not enough bearing from the lintel.
Look at the window sills. They are bull header closer layout. It should be one piece concrete sill the pass the opening by half the bricks length or 4" inch minimum The sill should go beyond the opening by 4 inches or half the length of the brick. The lintel should have a 4"inch bearing on each side of the opening.

SUSPECT. Serpentine cracking in the masonry.
RECOMMEND the cracked areas be grinding out to 5/8 depth and repacked with a mixture of 3.5 sand to 1 to one Portland cement mixture type 10.
Note: Try to match the color and grade of sand.
I would *** more but it is not a large area.

Type 20 for piers and footings in humid retaking walls.

Type 30 for early form removal. cold weather, rapid cure

I will try to help more.
My mind is other places.
Family health issues.
Email me or call if you need an observation narratives for masonry of foundation issues.

SUSPECT: Pour lintel bearing.
Description. The appropriate lintel bearing on the clay brick wall opening is causing serpentine cracking.

Verbal for soft reply. Written for hard replies.

RECOMMEND: 2 courses of action can be taking
1# grind our the serpentine cracking to a depth of no greater than 1" inch. Repack using a mixture of 3.5 parts sand (try to match color and grain size. (Masons sand) (Fine, medium or course sand; Grey or brown) with 1 part type 10 cement. Tuck point or tool to the appropriate tooling. Looks like Concave.

  1. Remove the lintel. Re-bond the the last course end (closer) inside the opening so the last batt facing the opening is a half batt. Insure the lintel is bearing 4" .

**Up to you if you wish to recommend a full sill./B If there is cracking. re-point as above and observe the window openings yearly for signs of cracking.
All the best.

I see it as a need of a Control Joint in the brick veneer at the time of build.

Looks like it carries down through.

Due to all the windows, the weak link is where the crack is.

Expansion and contraction of the brick has to happen somewhere on a big facade like that.

I did not look at the sill/s but did comment on the fact that they are short and brick bull stretcher pattern not exceeding the opening by 4".

The lintel and sill are meant to line up laterally to carry the load over the opening from what little I remember my mentoring masons on site tutoring or apprenticeships Marcel.

Control joints are for large fields and on L metal brick shelf’s tied onto structure to carry load.
That style of engineering for veneer load are really seen on residential.

I will try to get illustrations and literature.

My hypotheses is this.

The veneers are calculated via engineering design.
They include the brick size, height width and length.
Head or bed and butt joint are also calculated to fit the diameter of the wall openings.

Like a jack stud carrying the header the Lintel is carried by the inside brick ends or leads, depending which way you are in the line laying brick.
Normally the brick are never cut.
They fit exactly according to the architectural work out of the opening and from the corners in.

The brick are a change in style.

I did not see all the windows ether.

You may have something on the control joint therefor but not next to an opening. Why?
The field are short and full of empty spaces.


It is a stretcher bond. The bond is lost at the weekest point. the wall opening.
DEFECT The brick bond at the walled opening lost strength.
DEFT The lintel is short and does not exceed the opening by 4 inches.

1# Look at the bond at the opening on the left hand side.
They are less than 1/4 batt.
The top brick in the opening should be a half batt…

2" Look at the butt lines in the left hand side of the sills.
2 courses butt joints line up at the openings corner.
The Sill is so badly laid that every second brick butt lines up.
The Butt end of a brick should be carried over the center of the top or bottom brick. A common or stretcher bond.
Take away the bond and you take away the strength at the intersection…

That’s all there is to it.
Bad masonry layout.
I have fixed issues like that.
My specialty was fixing areas like that.
I was paid top dollar to make it look pleasing tothe eye.
I would cut stone lintels, my own sill out of 400 LB slabs of 4’ by 6’ by 6" stone.

I would trouble shoot bad work.
my last big job was the church steeple.
DEFECT No full window sill 4" past the opening.

If the lintel was out 4" that cracking would not be there.

The brick to the left would carry the weight or load.
Bad layout. Foolish.

The sills maybe a major issue over time. They will be a failing point in my eyes. the home old?

Is the brick on the foundation? or carried on a angle iron Colton?

If Iron is being used the top of the field you will see control joint just below the next angle iron. A caulked space.