Do brick walls flex without causing damage?


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Old 05-13-07, 04:10 PM
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Do brick walls flex without causing damage?

Hi,
I'm just wondering if the insurance company that represents the truck that hit my house is being fair with me. A wrecker truck drifted about 75 ft. and struck the side of my car and pushed it into the side of my home. It totaled the car and bowed my inside studded wall about 3", bent my hot water radiator, and splintered the studs. The brick exterior wall is still straight, although a few bricks are cracked in the center. The insurance co. says there is about $200 damage to wall. My thought is... for the interior wall to be hyperextended 3" it probably had to travel 6" to maintain the bow, does a brick wall flex this much without damaging itself. No cracks are evident on the exterior joints and the interior mortar joints are not visable due to insulation board, but I would expect damage here due to expansion from being bowed. The cracked bricks on the exterior I assume were created from the compression of the impact. What do the experts think????
thanx
kevin
 
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Old 05-13-07, 04:53 PM
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Get a home inspector or structural engineer out ASAP for an inspection. An insurance adjuster is neither. Just eyeballing the visible damage will give you no peace of mind.

"Interior mortar joints are not visable due to insulation board, but I would expect damage here due to expansion from being bowed." Insulation board will likely have to be removed to assess damage from sill to sill. Damaged structural integrity of the wall is not something that can be assessed by a few exterior cracks and broken studs. For the studs to be broken, the wall experienced a major impact not only at the point of impact, but along the length of the wall.

Buckling and spalling failures of brick cavity walls and brick veneer cladding occurs because of differential movements between frame and cladding. When the truck hit the wall, it moved everything. Brick failure should not necessarily be confined to what is seen at present.

All cracks in brick will have to be sealed to prevent moisture entry. Freeze and thaw of moisture inside brick will cause spalling.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 05-13-07 at 05:38 PM.
 

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