Checking on your foundation isn’t always simple. Most of your home’s foundation isn’t visible, and that means you have to put the clues together from lots of different sources. Cracks in the concrete, soil that’s pulling away from your home’s edge, and cracks in the walls near your windows and doors are all signs that something might be wrong, and so are cracked bricks. But cracks in the brick material or the mortar lines doesn’t always mean something is wrong with your foundation itself. Are Cracked Bricks a Sign of a Broken Foundation?
The bricks themselves might be expanding.
When bricks are cured and all of the moisture is forced out of them, they shrink and compact. If builders immediately incorporate them into a wall within just weeks or months of that initial curing time, they might start to expand when exposed to rain and the elements. This growth won’t seem severe — in fact, it’s only approximately half an inch per forty feet. But that can cause a lot of damage when the bricks don’t expand uniformly or when they’re already mortared together.
When this happens, intersecting walls push together and the mortar or weak points in the brick will start to crumble. As frightening as it may look, a foundation inspector can make sure the problem is isolated to the brick or point you in the direction of a brick mason who can help.
Stair-step cracks indicate foundation problems.
If a zigzagging crack in the mortar runs along your concrete wall, that typically is due to foundation settling or cracking. If the crack is wider at the top than the bottom, that could even mean the corner of your foundation is tilting down and breaking off of the slab.
The best way to know if the damage is serious is to call an expert. Contact our team to schedule an inspection and start the first steps to repairing any foundation damage.