Vertical brick cracking, new build

This home is less then a year old and already has some visible issues with settlement.
This crack did not extend to the foundation, but it broke thought about 20 bricks. How serious is it? The homeowner is preparing to file a complaint to the development company and asked me for advice.
I said that it doesn’t look structural at the moment, but that it is a bad sign for a new build.
Does anyone know of any building laws/rules in Canada (Windsor, Ontario) that can help the homeowner against such poor workmanship? If this happened in a new build, how bad can it get in the years to come?

Any insights?

Considering the age of that brick veneer install, and that there are many contributing factors that can cause cracking such as that in that location, I wouldn’t hesitate to call out for evaluation by whatever Canada uses for experts on this matter.

My initial thought is that the veneer isn’t tied to the wall properly and is shifting/pulling away, which can also be caused by an improperly designed/built brick ledge. Don’t like assuming. Refer to an expert!


possibly absent control-expansion joints
you inspected show & tell us what’s not seen in your pic


That was my guess too Bear, but we never see enough of the areas and their pictures are always to big and close-up to even attempt it sometimes.
Hope all is well buddy.

You guys are assuming they left a 1inch gap behind the veneer :slight_smile:

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Thank you all very much. I’ll try to get some more photos shortly. These were taken by the homeowner who sent them to me, so I wasn’t able to look first hand. Hoping I can stop by there to look for myself in a couple days. I’ll upload more soon. Thanks again

No. I even said as much in my post…

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How long is the wall and are there any expansion joints? also which direction does the wall face is it in direct sunlight most of the day as compared to the other wall

Image at the foundation please.

I would put money it.

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Do home builders not warranty new builds up there? If it were here, I would tell home owner to file a warranty claim and get the brick replaced.


The uniform width of the crack and no vertical displacement is a fairly conclusive sign of thermal expansion producing its own expansion joint as others point out, and according to one source, the number one defect in residential brick veneer. (

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To benefit my own report writing, how would you word that in your report?

I’d normally relate vertical cracking to settlement but that close to the corner along with the somewhat fragmented break pattern in that middle brick makes me shy away from that conclusion. As noted several times, we’re all just guessing. It looks like it’s reasonably well protected from the rain so I’m doubting storm water. I’d be most suspicious of a wet post or backer material twisting/drying but, again, am just guessing.

As for the write-up - KISS: Cracking indicative of some structural movement and/or improper installation characteristic was noted at the XXX. Removing some materials will likely be necessary to determine the exact problem and to perform the necessary repairs. Further evaluation and repair from a qualified contractor is recommended to prevent pest or water intrusion and to ensure the future structural integrity of the house.

Not exactly KISS :slight_smile:

This is KISS.

Left corner, vertical brick/mortar cracking observed. Further damage may occur if not corrected. Recommend repair by a qualified brick contractor.


Yeah, maybe 'KISS" was the wrong term there. With anything structural I try to give a few more words so it holds a larger place in the report. “The drainpipe under the kitchen sink leaks and should be repaired,” is good for minor things but the lawyers tend to expect more context for (potentially) larger scale things.

I totally agree that one or two sentences is enough to satisfy SOPs and inform buyers but, unfortunately, these days you have to completely club people over the head with information. I’ve literally sat in a deposition (not my inspection) and heard attorneys argue that items with less words appear less important… completely ignoring what the words were, of course :slight_smile:

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I used to hang out on message boards a bunch for my first 10 years inspecting but took about a 10 year hiatus because I got sick of HIs arguing about which shade of blue the sky is. Still hoping for that here. We’re all good inspectors… have a good night.

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