Cracking Under Pressure

I’m often faced with issues where mortar is cracking between the brick surface of a building and it is inevitable that a client will ask me if what they are seeing on a building is serious or not.  The answer often depends on a number of other elements that may or may not be present at the time of the inspection.


The different elements affecting a building are a complex intermix of interrelated components.  When looking at a crack on the side of a building, it is essential to also look at  what is the root cause of what is being observed.


More often than not, cracks on a brick wall are caused by a movement that is acting either vertically or laterally.  Certain cases are caused by foundation movement, other cases are caused by frost heaving.  Other cases are caused by an insufficient number of tiebacks during construction.


Above all, the most important issue at hand is safety.  Whatever advice is provided in these cases must above all keep in mind that the solution must be permanent and avoid any danger to anyone passing by.  That responsibility is not to be taken lightly and it is important to proceed with the advice of a licensed professional before any action is taken.

See you next month when I’ll be back with another article!