Wall Decor

How serious are vertical cracks in a brick wall?

Cracks in the walls of bricks are difficult to assess with the naked eye just looking at them. This is because it is necessary to determine whether a portion of the wall structure is still moving and why it has moved, which requires a period of observation. There are many reasons that can cause a crack vertically on a wall, but finding the underlying cause is the most difficult.

 brick wall


Initial Assessment
On a large piece of paper, draw a pencil sketch of your house or wall. Check all visible cracks you can find. Takes note of its length and see if you continue beyond the brick through the structure. Inspect the interior of the house and notes on the finish cracks or doors that do not close properly. If you see cracks inside, looking for evidence of patching or repairs. The doors do not close properly can provide evidence that a part of the house has settled wrong, so that makes door frames are out of alignment. It also notes the width of each crack. See every wall from the side, to see if she leans away from the center, which can be an indicator that the systems side of the retaining wall is damaged.

Did the crack moves a little?
This is the most difficult to assess, since you’re trying to estimate future consequences by a perception in the present. If the crack is still moving, it means that the problem is increasing. The age of the crack can provide some clues to this. If the edges of the crack are worn or no waste accumulated inside of it, this may be the evidence that the crack is very old and stable. A crack that has been recently opened again, is strong evidence that the crack is still moving. Special devices for monitoring cracks can be installed on either side of the crack, they provide a more definitive answer to whether the crack is still moving and in which direction.


Why has moved?
Determine why a crack has formed, demands some experience and knowledge of construction techniques. The most common causes to explain the reason for the appearance of one, are: thermal expansion and contraction of materials, the foundations, the root of a tree, a frost heave, faulty connection between two sections of the house and structural errors of the components. A crack vertically at the end of a wall often indicates thermal expansion or moisture from the masonry. This can be a problem in the walls of bricks long built without adequate expansion joints.

What are the implications?
It is almost impossible to give a definitive answer about the consequences that may occur by the existence of cracks in the walls , as this requires predict movement future. If there is sufficient evidence that the crack is in motion , is wider than a hairline or that the wall is leaning, it certainly should ask a specialist to come to do further evaluation.