Vert. crack in brick above garage (middle)

the home is nearly 3 years old with a bonus room above the garage. It was a model home when I purchased it with a vinyl wall built instead of a garage door (used for an office). I requested that the garage door be installed upon purchase. Now i have a vertical crack in the bricks running from the top middle of the garage door, to the light directly above, and up to the window (bonus room.) It is still under the one year warranty but I would like to have an oppinion before i ask them to fix it, so that they don’t just try to patch it and go back to the office. If something is wrong that they did not do correctly, I want it to be repaired. The crack is is along the mortar and through bricks- almost a straight line. Measures a little over 1/8 inch. I have a feeling this is about to be a battle with the builder since i am still in the one year warranty. :frowning:

Its my first home

Any ideas?

If you could post a few pictures it would help explain the problem. As they say a picture is worth, I am sure you will be inundated with opinions as to the cause of these cracks. As the home is less than 1 year old it should not matter as to the cause, the builder should fix the problem.

It sounds like you have a brick veneer wood frame house. The crack could be a result of movement of the steel lintel over the garage door, and/or drying out of the wood frame behind the brick. You should document the concern with the builder. He should be given the opportunity to deal with it first. If you are not happy with his answer or repair then go further. The best thing you could do for yourself right now is document and photograph the concern.

As Larry and Raymond said a few pictures would help to clear things up a bit. If the vinyl wall was framed before the brick was laid then the lintel would not have had a chance to deflect when the load of the brick was added. When that was taken away the lintel has to be able to support the entire load with minimal deflection.


Is the crack uniform? Is there any displacement either vertical or horizontal or does the crack line up with either side? It is possible the crack maybe stable, but monitoring would be needed and ideally the crack should be sealed to stop rain entry.

You can monitor the crack very easily by placing a glass slide 5"x1" with two holes drilled in each end of the slide. Then place the glass over the crack and expoxy in place. The holes in the glass slide allow the expoxy to ooze out of the holes to hold the glass in place. Obviously if the glass cracks the brick crack is likely still moving. Again you should document the placement of the glass slide.

Sounds like the hardware from the light installation may have caused this unsightly crack.

A picture would be fantastic.

also, check to make sure the header of the garage door is sufficient, It could be damage done when wall was changed to door, was header in place before or added, detailed pics would help alot

That’s what I was thinking. Since it was a model home, they might not have designed the wall to be a garage door wall. The alterations they made when changing this “office” into a garage may not have been sufficient.

As requested… Pictures attached… They dont stand out in the pictures very well but i hope they help.




Looks like brick veneer, my guess still lintel over the grage carrying the brick above may have deflected at some point resulting in cracking. More importantly is it active? Only further investigation such as monitoring and or consultation with a contractor familiar with period of construction.

There doesn’t appear to be a lintel there at all . Does the head jamb show any sign of bowing? Is the drywall inside cracked.If that’s a window above the light fixture has its operability changed for the worse?
If I were an average home owner who didn’t know exactly what I was looking for I would be inclined to call a mason to determine if a lintel is or is not in place.
If the lintel is there then I’d start looking,in the form of an engineer, for structural weakneses such as improper header and upper floor loads.

The lintel should be a heavier version than the typical ones if the opening is over about 6 feet. Around here they call them structural lintels, I believe they are at least 1/4 inch thick angle iron. They also have to be bolted to the wooden header every 12 to 18 inches depending on how much brick is overhead. I think there is some code on these, anyone have that?

That’s exactly why I think it isn’t there.
Normally you can see the lintel because it is about 1/4" thick.

The siding conractors could have possibly hidden the lintel if PVC coated aluminim wrap was used on the trim but it’s just hard to tell from the photos.

I don’t off hand remember the fastener spacing specifics but yea Bruce there is a specification.

As far as I can tell there is no bowing (keeping in mind that this isn’t something that I am used to identifying). There are no drywall cracks to speak of either, however we have noticed that after they installed the middle bracket for the garage door, one of the bolts somewhat looks like it is going in at an angle and not in all the way (we wondered if this had something to do with it). Just checked the window and it appears to be fine, but squeaks when I open it (don’t remember that from before). Also (hard to tell in the picture from the angle I shot it was shot- but the bricks below the left side of the window (on the left of the crack) appears that they are lower than the others, almost as if they came down a few hairs when the crack appeared. Something we have not mentioned yet- there is a crack that extends the length of the driveway in pebblestone, it appears to follow the exact same path that the crack above the garage does (no cracks in garage floor though)- We didn’t think they could be connected but they line up so perfectly? The house sits on a solid foundation on a hill, the back is around 4 ft, and the front is almost level. I will take more pictures over the next couple of days to give a full shot of the front of the house if that would help. what other information or pictures can I post to give you a better idea of what may be going on?

From what we have dealt with in the past from this builder- I don’t want to go in to this blind. Worried about getting the repairs to the brick, they replaced a broken brick with 3 regular red and mortar is everywhere (stated that the brick has been discontinued- just looks awful!) Can these bricks not be repaired in a manner that will appear unnoticeable since it is on the front of the house?

Thank you so much for the help! Guess im just freaking out since it is my first home.


This was already brought up, but let’s makes sure that there is a lintel installed before we go any further.

Right under the brick (where that white strip is) (see my pic) there should be an angled metal bar sitting under this bottom layer of brick that stretches across this garage door opening.

You should be able to view this lintel from inside the garage (with the door closed).

It looks like this…

Note the differential cracking ans spacing of the brick to the left of the keystone and lower mortar loss. I would say that this is incidative of downward bowing of the lintel. Check lintal size and call an SE.

One thing I was thinking too , Will, since this house is on a hill it is most likely a cut and fill lot.
You have to wonder about the soils in the fill area of the lot.
Was the soil compacted and or what relation does it have to the direction of the garage door.

Erica , sorry if I am adding more ingredients to the soup here but which way is the garage door facing with respect to the picture and the hill?
In other words is the slope (downward side) to the right side of the picture? Building settlement issues perhaps.

I thought I have answered this before, and my conclusion would be the same.

The keystone in this case caused the cracking with the lack of a steel lintel and should be evaluated by a Mason Contractor of an SE.

Marcel:) :slight_smile: