Mortar Cracks - foundation issues?


Old 07-10-12, 09:16 AM
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Mortar Cracks - foundation issues?

Hi there,

Our house is about 18 years old, and we bought it 6 years ago. We had our home inspected before buying, and everything passed. Shortly after buying, we noticed some cracks under a couple of windows, and a small crack on the concrete base. Thing is, we can't recall if these cracks were there during the home inspection, or if they've been there for the past 4 or 5 years.

We filled the cracks in a few years ago, as they run in a stair step fashion within the mortar only - none of the bricks themselves are cracked, and we've never had any water problems. We didn't really think too much of it until we saw the smaller crack about the basement window as well:

Wall Crack | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

And this window is at the back of the house:

Wall Crack 2 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Is this a problem, or is it just the way that the house has settled since there are no cracked bricks?

Thanks for any responses, they will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-10-12, 02:53 PM
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Are the bricks concrete or clay? Concrete bricks and blocks have a tendency to shrink over time, giving the characteristic vertical crack, where the movement is taken up by the mortar joint.
If the crack was wider at the top than the bottom, (or vice versa) and had gone through some bricks, that would indicate more serious problems, such as foundation settlement.
IMO it's more of a cosmetic problem.
Old 07-11-12, 08:08 AM
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Thanks Tony, much appreciated. I know it's hard to tell by the photo, but what do you think of the crack on the foundation, under the basement window?
Old 07-11-12, 11:40 AM
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The cracks in the foundation wall and brickwork could well be related. Is the foundation wall of rendered concrete block? Its one of those things which look alarming but may well not be a serious problem. It might not seem very constructive at this stage but just keep an eye on it to make sure it deoesn't widen over time. I wouldn't be surprised if 12 months from now it's just he same

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