Vertical Cracked Mortar Wall

Hello Everyone,

We are about to closing on our new construction, our first home,in couple weeks. However, we noted multiple cracks, from the roof line to down to ground. We are really concerned about these cracks, not sure how to go about this issue. Please advise. We will hire professional home inspector when close to closing date. We’re not sure if these cracks associated with significant structural damage. We are exploring different options, including back out as well. I will meet with the contractor tomorrow. Any recommendation is very appreciative.

Based on your photos, I would recommend that you hire a professional (structural) engineer to evaluate the structure and make recommendations before you take possession of the home.

Seems a bit premature.

I need to see an establishing shot of the area, looks like an area above a door or near a header, but based on those photos, I wouldn’t be calling for an engineer.


The bricks are stacked vertically and not interleaved with a running bond unlike the rest of the wall. A context shot from further away would help with the overall picture. It’s similar to an expansion joint, but filled with mortar. I would say that mortar cracking is almost inevitable due to the way they have laid it. I expect that any simple mortar repair will crack again once you have a few heat and cooling cycles that cause the wall to expand and contract.

You can always tell your builder that you want his engineer to evaluate it and document his assessment with his professional license, signature and seal, along with any repairs that he prescribes - put the issue on the builder and get documentation. I strongly advise you to have a pre-closing inspection done on the house by a qualified inspector of your choosing, one who is familiar with new construction and who works expressly for you. Don’t trust your builder’s QC inspections or relay on municipal code inspectors, who typically have many houses to do in a single day and are often cursory, at best.

Looks like thermal shrinkage cracks to me. As mentioned a vertical mortared joint creates a weak spot for any thermal movement. I see this all the time where stone or brick accents are built at the corners of an all brick house.

Hi All, thanks so much for your response. I spoke with the builder and ask for a written report from a structural engineer and he said it’s not necessary 'cause he said it’s not foundation related; however, he is willing to provide one if I wanted to.

After I posted the question, builder sent people out to fix it, however, it cracks again after 2 DAYS. I hired a home inspector to come out next Friday to have the inspection done; however, when i mentioned about the cracks, he was nice enough to swing by and took a look and he said it doesn’t look like structural problem; cracks due to shrinkage.

Here’s the more pictures of the cracks.