Mock inspection - crack larger than 1/8th inch

Above the garage there is a decent crack. After some research it doesn’t seem to be related to the foundation but a shrinkage crack. Since it’s larger than 1/8th inch I believe I’m supposed to report it. Would I recommend they seal it up? I’m guessing this is a good point for water to enter.

The second picture is the same garage, smaller crack at what appears to be a cold joint (is that the correct term?). Do I write this up and tell them not to worry about it but to keep an eye on it? Recommend they seal it as well?
Thanks for the help!

it sure looks like a foundation crack from Ohio… That is not from shrinkage imho…


I agree Jim. That expansion joint in the brick is right over a drop in the foundation. Something moving there.
The lintel and header of the garage door must be sagging to create that crack in the brick. Hard to tell without seeing the whole picture.


The brick cracks needs attention. Unable to ascertain from the photo’s if that is the parge coat, masonry sill or the actual foundation. You will need to note what you see and what you cannot see.

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It may be hard to see from where You are but from Ohio it seems pretty clear…


I agree with it not being shrinkage cracking, there is movement. But what happens below that starter course is not exactly clear. For example, the “drop in the foundation” may be transition between the garage pour and the actual foundation. And as @mcyr stated, a sagging lentil will pull the brick inwards at the middle of the opening and “open up” the crack at the expansion joint. In fact, that may not be an expansion joint but rather a transition seam because the two pours were not aligned. For me, I need more info and a wider shot as well as type of foundation.

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Not in this case, just by looking at the crack, the way the keystone was installed, the slivers of brick above the keystone, and the lack of skewed bricks on either side, you would recommend a qualified masonry contractor to review the conditions and repair as required.
When taking pictures of a defect, you always take one from farther away and then closer shots so members can get a better sense of what you are dealing with and better able to help you.


Thank you all! I will get wider pictures next. So to be clear I would recommend a masonry contractor and not a structural engineer in this case, correct? If it weren’t a lentil over the garage and it was coming up from the ground, then I would get a structural engineer?
Oh and the foundation is slab on grade; no basement, no crawl space.

A crack of 1/8 " or more was observed in the foundation wall. The cracking implies that foundation movement has occurred. Recommend further review and inspection by a qualified foundation / masonry contractor and / or a qualified geo-technical or structural engineer. The exact / precise measurement of such conditions is not within the scope of our inspection. Past or future movement may be related to soils and geological issues, which are beyond the scope of our expertise.


There is pretty significant movement in the second pic. Would be wise to call it out in my opinion.

I agree with Jim, again. :smile:


Bricks do not shrink and mortar typically does not shrink. And when you see bricks split down the middle, there is a force applied somewhere.

I am the odd man out here with my opinion that it may not be a foundation issue. Many of our brick veneer homes here have their own brick sill separate from the foundation. I fact, there is an air space between the sill and the foundation. If that is not a monolithic foundation, the garage pour is separate. For me, brick contractor recommendation 1st. I also have doubts by looking at the crack pattern that the brick is moving down.


the pictures dont give the rest of us the information we really need but, As I understand the picture of the Keystone Brick is in the middle of the front wall of the garage, and the cold joint picture is from the side of the garage were the house meets the garage. I have seen Frost heave cracks open in the winter and close in the summer But, you said the house has a slab foundation. is the garage slab part of the pour? Most likely not and water is the subsoil on either sides of the door can be different as to where the down spouts are located. The key stone crack looks like an uneven frost heave from one side to other, and the cold joint gives you the evidence that the garage has frost heaved. just my opinion based of the limited info. Have a Great day and Work safe.

Best to report all cracks you see in brick and photograph it for documentation even if you don’t offer an explanation or advice…Look carefully on any brick home as many will have a crack somewhere. Even if you only say “noted a crack in the brick at the pictured location” is better than saying nothing. Report what you see… and remember sometimes giving advice will take you away from reporting what you see as far a the amount of time you have to prepare a report so in the end you might miss something important.


Just my opinion (others may argue), but Yes. Report it, regardless of the crack width/depth. Think about what a detached masonry unit over a vehicle doorway can do :flushed:. Confirm that the cracking doesn’t translate to the interior side of the wall.
Also give some attention to the installation & movement of the garage door and it’s automatic opener. An improper installed opener head-unit can cause the opener rail to vibrate that wall, and sometimes even pound it like a battering ram. Just sayin.

This is a good book for those that want to learn more about building crack patterns.