Category Archives: Cracking

Clay Brick Expansion – It is Real

Posted by in Case Studies, Cracking, Masonry | April 20, 2020

I just attended a webinar about movement joints in masonry.  The topics included the different types of movement joints (isolation, expansion, and contraction); why the need for movement joints; and where to place movement joints.  I’ve been designing, detailing, and… Read More

You Can’t Do THAT

Posted by in Cracking, Masonry | June 04, 2019

We have been told by some masons that a new concrete block wall can’t be toothed into an existing concrete block wall. Well…… Yes and No. Apparently, it can be done, as shown in Figure 1. However, since the new… Read More

A Primer on Basement Wall Distress (Encore May 1, 2017)

Posted by in Archive 2004 thru 2011, Basements, Buying/Maintaining a Home, Cracking, Foundations | May 01, 2017

So, you have found your dream home: perfect location, quiet street, great landscaping, room layout fits your life style, colors match your furniture. You can’t wait to relax on the screened patio or that swing on the large front porch.… 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 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 Can We Tell from This Photo? (Case Study 7)

Posted by in Cracking, Masonry, Simple Forensic Methods | April 20, 2015

  This concrete block wall exhibits an unusual pattern of cracking.       What can we tell from these two photos? The line of the horizontal joints and the line at the top of the wall indicate that wall… Read More

What Can We Tell from This Photo? (Case Study 4)

Posted by in Basements, Cracking, Masonry, Simple Forensic Methods | October 20, 2014

  This is an exercise to develop the abilities of observation. What can one know from examining this photograph? The pattern of the joints under the coating indicate that this is a concrete block wall. The coating appears to be… Read More