Some brick cracks can be dangerous and also costly repairs if not taken care of in a timely manner. Brick are generally laid and concrete mortar used to set them in place and provide a more stable foundation. While cracking is a natural occurrence for any concrete-based work, there is a major difference between normal wear and tear cracks and structural damage and brick cracking that is dangerous.
Homes expand in the summer and shrink in the winter because of weather. In some regions, flexing foundations and wood structure flexes brick walls Concrete mortar is a non-porous material and breathes in air and moisture. It also naturally expands and contracts in the same way. This movement will cause cracks and are usually found in the corners of a home. The natural settlement of a home can show vertical cracking that can potentially run up the height of a foundation.
In areas of highly expansive soils, most notably theGulf Coast South, brick masons install vertical caulk joints every 20 to 30 feet in a running brick wall to prevent or control routine flex cracking. These brick walls are not structural, but are instead cosmetic fascia walls.
Perhaps the most dangerous cause of brick cracking is too much load. Buckling can occur if there is too much load on a particular load, from poor planning or from both. These load cracks are dangerous and need repairs and fast. They oftentimes will run the length of a wall horizontally, and can extend from one end to another of an entire wall. A home inspector can properly inspect the foundation and brick structure to look for any potentially-dangerous and costly repairs to a home.