Cracked Bricks & What the Different Crack Types Mean

Cracked brick wall

Homeowners love brick walls for their durability and the aesthetic they can add to a home. However, many people assume incorrectly that cracks in brickwork are a natural part of the aging process when they are, in fact, a strong signal that your foundation is experiencing failure of one type or another. Cracks in bricks are not something a homeowner can fix with a DIY approach, but understanding the three types of cracks possible and what they indicate can help you better communicate the issue to a professional foundation repair company like The Foundation Specialists.

1. Horizontal Brick Cracks

Bricks with a horizontal crack running through.

Cracks running along a brick wall in a horizontal line are a can’t-miss sign that your home’s foundation is in trouble. They occur as a result of the soil destabilizing and pushing your walls and foundation inward. As long as the crack is left to grow, the wall will eventually bow and become more susceptible to complete collapse — which can take the rest of your home down, too.

2. Vertical Brick Cracks

Bricks on the side of a home that are cracked vertically and separating.

If you spot cracks running up and down your brick walls, you should be concerned about shifting ground. If the ground under your foundation shifts, the home can’t settle normally. If you fail to address this soil shifting, it could lead to significant foundation damage and compromise your home’s structural integrity.

3. Stair-Step Brick Cracks

foundation repair

While they are alarming to look at, stair-step bricks are actually the least severe type of brick crack you can encounter. You’ll find these cracks above the foundation on the exterior walls of your brick home. They are signs that the foundation is moving, and you’ll need professional intervention to repair it.

Additional Signs of Foundation Failure

While brick cracks are sometimes the first sign that something is wrong with your foundation, there are plenty of other signs that may occur first or simultaneously. Exterior signs of issues include:

  • Doors or windows developing gaps
  • Sinking or sloping porch
  • Leaning chimney
  • Standing water accumulating around your foundation

Look for these foundation failure signs in your home’s interior:

  • Sagging or sloping floors
  • Doors or windows becoming difficult to open and close
  • Cracks in the ceiling or drywall
  • Walls bowing inward
  • Water leaking into the basement

Don’t Panic: Call The Foundation Specialists

Discovering evidence of foundation damage is enough to make any homeowner break out in a cold sweat, but there’s no need to panic. The Foundation Specialists is here to pinpoint the problem and fix your foundation with minimal hassle and top-tier service. With more than 20 years of experience in the business and partnerships with manufacturers of leading foundation repair products, The Foundation Specialists is the go-to foundation contractor for Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama.

Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation on what brick cracks may mean for your home’s foundation.

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