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Jawton 07-06-2011 09:21 PM

Brick Veneer on Rowhome in Baltimore Mortar Crack
5 Attachment(s)
Hello all. I have a question I hope to get answered. I recently bought a rowhome in Baltimore City knowing that there was some separation of the mortar and bricks on the front first floor of the home. Is this due to foundation issue? From water not draining out the gutter they put in above the facade? The previous owner had flower pots in the gutter (concrete) and it looks as though it didn't drain properly. The house was built in 1855, so I'm guessing nothing is going to change overnight foundation wise I am just hoping that it is a relatively quick fix and not a 20,000 dollar project. I've attached some pictures for reference.


nealtw 07-06-2011 10:53 PM

It looks to me that the brick on the front is newer than the sides, the corners are not tied together. We can hope that it sitting on something substantial and is tied to the wall behind it. Houses do flex from time to time and without the corners joined together, this is where movement will show up. Perhaps this morter should be changed to a plyable concrete chalk. Others with more knowledge of brick will be along.

TxBuilder 07-07-2011 10:14 AM

I concur. The front facade looks newer. You may be able to just bring down that front panel of bricks and redo them simple enough. I am no expert though...

TxBuilder 07-07-2011 10:15 AM

Could you show a picture of the brick meeting the slab?

nealtw 07-07-2011 11:42 AM

I would only replace the joints in question with a filler as seen at this site.

Jawton 07-08-2011 06:43 AM

I will try to get a picture of the slab at the bottom, but from looking at it there doesn't seem to be any abnormalities. It literally just looks like the bricks started to separate from the top down. What does having corners 'tied' together look like?

TxBuilder 07-08-2011 08:13 AM

1 Attachment(s)
This is what a corner should look like:

slownsteady 07-08-2011 03:42 PM

I'll guess that the door was replaced at the same time the facade went up. Possibly to shield the door. I would take a real good look at the top seam. Check under the gutter. If water is seeping down between the wall & facade, the other repairs won't be worth much.
Also, is there any movement in the facade? can you lean on it or shove it?

stonemason 07-18-2011 10:09 PM

it looks to me like water is getting between gutter and the newer brick wall. Also vertical mortar joints always crack. Have a mason inspect the wall if it has any movement it should be repaired .

BridgeMan 08-11-2011 10:32 PM

The pix would indicate that whoever installed the brick veneer front didn't bother to tie same into the wall's framing members underneath (using brick ties), nor did they bother trying to bond the new brick into the existing at the corners by removing alternate half-bricks and replacing with full bricks projecting a bonding pattern into the front wall's brick lines.

Doing the latter can still be done by an experienced mason, but it could prove to be a bit expensive. And there's still no guarantee that the front wall won't continue to want to move, without the ties to hold it in place. Maybe a ledger bolt system, with counter-bored holes in existing bricks for the bolts to pass through, lagged into the wall's studs, and then be mortared over? (I dunno, I'm not a mason).

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