Category Archives: Masonry

What is a Lintel and What is Lintel Lift (or Rust Jacking)? (Encore)

Posted by in Masonry | April 18, 2016

For thousands of years the openings in brick and stone (masonry) walls have been topped with an arch to provide support for the masonry above. In arch construction, the masonry that forms the arch, is generally wedged in place. The… Read More

How Important is Wall Flashing?

Posted by in Masonry, Water Sources | April 04, 2016

Take a look for yourself. I spotted these water and dirt stains on the face of a brick wall.  The water and dirt stains are directly under the joint of the metal wall cap. The lap on the metal cap… Read More

What Happens When…the Top of a Masonry Wall is Left Open? (Case Study 1)

Posted by in Case Studies, Masonry, What happens when ...? | February 01, 2016

Ever wonder if conventional wisdom, common sense, or old wives’ (in this day and age of political correctness I probably should include old husbands’) tales are accurate? This blog begins what I hope to be a new recurring series of case studies… Read More

Spalling, Paint & Repointing

Posted by in Buying/Maintaining a Home, Cracking, Masonry | November 16, 2015

Spalling is a shallow delamination, bulging, and dislodging of thin slices of a material.  In the case of a masonry chimney spalling is the delamination and dislodging of thin slices of the clay brick material which often extends into the… Read More

What is Manufactured Stone Veneer?

Posted by in Masonry | October 19, 2015

Manufactured stone exterior cladding system has been around since 1962, the 1920’s, or the 12th Century depending on the criteria used to establish its historical beginning.  However, the use of manufactured stone cladding, especially over common wood framing, became much… Read More

What Can We Tell from This Photo? (Case Study 8)

Posted by in Cracking, Masonry, Simple Forensic Methods | July 27, 2015

What can we tell from THIS photo? The portion of the wall on the left side of the cracking has dropped relative to the right.  This indicates that the cracking is probably from some type of earth movement, such as… Read More

Cracking from Lintel Lift on a Single-Family Dwelling

Posted by in Buying/Maintaining a Home, Cracking, Masonry | May 18, 2015

The above photograph shows a pronounced stairstep crack emanating from the upper corner of a window in a brick wall on the gable end of a single-family dwelling.  By pronounced I mean obvious, easily seen. In the subject case, a… Read More

What If I Don’t Fix My Leaking Basement?

Posted by in Basements, Concrete, Masonry | May 04, 2015

What can happen if I don’t properly address groundwater infiltration through my basement wall?  That is, assuming that the basement or foundation wall is not overloaded by the combination of earth and excessive groundwater pressures, what could possibly go wrong?… Read More