Foundation damage shows itself in many forms, and zigzagging cracks across brick exterior walls are certainly one of them. Unless the damage is severe, it’s hard to tell what’s simply settling and what’s the start of a serious problem. But what you do know is that cracked mortar isn’t quite the barrier it used to be. Take these three steps ASAP if you see cracks around your bricks.
1. Take a picture and schedule an evaluation.
Taking a picture is Step Zero for any signs of damage around your home. You can send the pictures to professionals for a quote, you can use them to appeal your property taxes, and you can use them to gauge if the problem is getting worse over time. So snap a picture and send it to a foundation repair company. They’ll also need to conduct an on-site evaluation, but that early action can help you catch problems before they spread.
2. Get hairline cracks repaired.
If you get the ‘okay’ that the hairline cracks around your bricks are just because of expected settling, you’re not done yet. Schedule an appointment with a service that can cover over those cracks with the appropriate filler. It won’t address the settling, but it makes the end of each crack less of a weak point. It can also stop water from getting into the walls.
3. Remove and replace crumbling mortar.
If the cracks have been there for a while, they may have started to cause some crumbling. If you can push your finger into the joint and knock bits of mortar out, it’s time to replace the joint. Hire a professional or do a bit of DIY repair to remove the old mortar and add a new line. Just be sure to leave the vertical gaps between your bricks empty; they’re for expansion and contraction.
If you just discovered cracks around your bricks, start at the top of the list by scheduling an evaluation with Dodson Foundation Repair here.