Dallas, Fort Worth homeowners with brick cracks often discover they are clear signs of house foundation damage. Fact is, there are many things that can cause cracks in the brick exteriors of houses. For this reason, it’s wise to have your concrete slab foundation evaluated by a pro. Fissures that are 1/8” wide can eventually become 1”, 2” or wider. If your home does show signs of deterioration, take steps to have it repaired. Issues of this kind will only be more expensive to deal with later.
About Repairs, House Foundation Damage And Brick Cracks:
A lot of houses in the Dallas, Fort Worth metroplex have fractures. This does not necessarily mean that a foundation needs to be fixed. Small brick cracks are common and do not indicate foundation problems. That’s because brick is naturally prone to expanding.
If only a few bricks are affected by fractures, don’t worry about it. Deterioration and structural foundation damage is probably not a concern. Of course, large brick cracks in the exterior of your house (or in your concrete slab foundation) can indicate that you need house foundation repair. If the cracks in your brick are wider at the top than they are at the bottom, that’s not a good sign. You may need cracked foundation repair. That’s because these types of crevices often indicate that your house is experiencing foundation movement.
Stair-step cracks generally mean that your house foundation is settling and sinking into the ground. Vertical fractures such as these are often visible in the grout between bricks. Cracks of this sort are very common in the DFW metroplex. These breaks may be 4-5″ long or more than 2-3′ high. That’s because of the nature of the clay soils in this area. The dirt in the local vicinity expands and contracts due to weather. Over time the earth around your foundation moves. This causes cracking to occur in the exterior of brick houses. As a result of the motion, the interiors of homes are also affected. The concrete slab foundation supporting the weight of a home can be seriously impacted, too.
If you see lots of crevices on the outside of your structure, you’re probably also noticing wall cracks inside your house. Foundation damage can appear in many forms. You may become aware that your countertops are no longer level. Or, you may see that doors and windows aren’t opening or closing the way they should. It’s a good idea to learn about the causes of foundation damage. It also pays to monitor any gaps you see in your brick.
How To Know If Cracked Brick Is A Foundation Issue At Your House?
To find out, contact a foundation repair contractor and have them evaluate the cracks. The gaps could be harmless, or they could indicate foundation damage. If you like, you might do some research and find out what your bricks are composed of. If they’re clay bricks, the culprit may be the moisture in the environment that is causing the cracks. Similar to expansive clay soil, which can compromise the integrity of your home’s foundation, clay bricks can fluctuate with the amount of moisture it is exposed to. When bricks are made, they are fired in a kiln so that all the trace moisture is evaporated – meaning that brick is shipped and built being the smallest it can be.
Once the bricks are installed and laid, builders can anticipate “growth” of the bricks by up to a ½”, just by the absorption of additional moisture once exposed to the elements. You may notice any cracks that result from these shifts at the corners of the house, or diagonal cracks along the brick. To resolve cracked brick foundation issues, take immediate action.
How Can You Prevent Brick Walls From Cracking?
If you are building a new home, ensure you choose a professional builder that understands the importance of creating small gaps in the brick veneer to allow for expansion without compromising the integrity of the brick wall. It is up to the homebuilder to ensure that your brick walls are built in such a way to either accommodate any expansion, or are made with a composition that won’t expand with moisture.
If you have already experienced cracked brick in your home, keep in mind it could also be a foundation issue. Shifting foundations in concrete slabs and pier and beam foundation can also be due to expansive clay that can cause the brick to crack and make foundation uneven. It’s important to have a company that specializes in foundation repair evaluate your home in order to determine the cause of the cracks, as undiagnosed foundation issues can become very costly and time-consuming to fix.
If you think your house has experienced deterioration, contact us. We’re a qualified foundation repair company that services the entire DFW metroplex. HD Foundations provides free repair estimates.