Dipy

Wall has step in bricks

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Hi all , My wall has a part where the brick is stepped out, is this something I should address ?

 

Edited by Dipy

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That would worry me.  I am 99% sure it was not built like that. So I would want to know what has moved (and been patched up by re pointing) to make it like that now?

 

Have you just bought or about to buy this property?  do you have a zoomed out photo?

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Thanks for replying I’ve had it a while, there had been a collapsed drain which is now fixed.

there is also a slight gap in pointing on the vertical line.

 

 

Edited by Dipy

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Thanks 

Edited by Dipy

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Can you post a less close up version of the window opening with the slipped section of wall.

 

 

Edited by Carrerahill

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That's a very fat re pointing line.  It suggest to me (not a professional) that the whole back corner has moved and been patched up. But more to the point, why is that back corner seemingly not coursed into the side wall?

 

How long have you owned it and have any cracks opened up in the time you have known it?

 

Did you notice it or have a survey when you bought it?

 

The more I look at it, the more wrong it looks. Different brick for a start.  Extension or alteration gone wrong?

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I’ve got this but I’ll take a better one later 

 

Edited by Dipy

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You mentioned a collapsed drain, was any of the wall rebuilt as a result of this?. It looks to me (not a professional) that the newer brickwork has moved in the lower section. To check for further movement you can glue a slip of glass across the crack (wide pointing), if the glass breaks it’s still moving, if it does not then it’s settled.

Edited by joe90

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6 minutes ago, ProDave said:

That's a very fat re pointing line.  It suggest to me (not a professional) that the whole back corner has moved and been patched up. But more to the point, why is that back corner seemingly not coursed into the side wall?

 

How long have you owned it and have any cracks opened up in the time you have known it?

 

Did you notice it or have a survey when you bought it?

 

The more I look at it, the more wrong it looks. Different brick for a start.  Extension or alteration gone wrong?

Thanks I thought that when I bought it , but the house on the other end of the terrace is done the same.

ive had maybe 6 years

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Get a crack monitor on it for a year.

Edited by Ferdinand

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I would get a report done. 
 

fletcher broadbent  are not too far away and I would recommend them. 

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10 minutes ago, K78 said:

I would get a report done. 
 

fletcher broadbent  are not too far away and I would recommend them. 

 

Which is another version of the same thing.

 

The will assess and monitor, then feedback.

 

It perhaps depends on how authoritative an outcome you need.

 

Your other approach is to talk to your building insurer, who may then do the monitoring as part of their claim investigation.

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It is a really clay heavy area. Could be seasonal movement? (expands in winter, shrinks in summer)

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That whole left hand wing looks to have been rebuilt.  Was that rebuilding what was there previously, or a completely new extension?

 

I would have asked more questions at time of purchase.

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not sure that the rear has been rebuilt as the dentil returns round the corner.

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I'm trying to understand the building. It's not unusual to have different, cheaper, bricks on the side of a house, compared to the front, but I've never seen a corner tied in quite like that. It's obviously a two brick, solid wall, so we can only hope that the inner bricks have better bonding at the corner, and the outer ones went for a decorative coin.

 

But it is strangely unsettling to see it, particularly with that wide mortar joint. I would guess that it's been repointed with  OPC mortar over original lime mortar, which is now seen as a Bad Idea.

 

I was once told that an ordinary settlement crack will tend to follow the lines of mortar (and which lime mortar is much better at coping with), but if a crack goes vertically through a brick it may indicate something more serious. One of those photos appears to show two such cracked bricks. Are there any cracks, or repairs inside?

 

It's hard to imagine how a building could have moved to produce that sort of fault line in the bricks, where the upper part of the wall appears to have slipped sideways over the lower part. But something must have happened - it certainly won't have been built like that. Maybe it's ground heave, but it's unusual. Have there been any earth tremors in the area?

 

If it's new, or getting worse, then I'd be worried, but if it's been like that for a long time, I guess it's not such a concern.

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53 minutes ago, Stewpot said:

I'm trying to understand the building. It's not unusual to have different, cheaper, bricks on the side of a house, compared to the front, but I've never seen a corner tied in quite like that. It's obviously a two brick, solid wall, so we can only hope that the inner bricks have better bonding at the corner, and the outer ones went for a decorative coin.

 

But it is strangely unsettling to see it, particularly with that wide mortar joint. I would guess that it's been repointed with  OPC mortar over original lime mortar, which is now seen as a Bad Idea.

 

I was once told that an ordinary settlement crack will tend to follow the lines of mortar (and which lime mortar is much better at coping with), but if a crack goes vertically through a brick it may indicate something more serious. One of those photos appears to show two such cracked bricks. Are there any cracks, or repairs inside?

 

It's hard to imagine how a building could have moved to produce that sort of fault line in the bricks, where the upper part of the wall appears to have slipped sideways over the lower part. But something must have happened - it certainly won't have been built like that. Maybe it's ground heave, but it's unusual. Have there been any earth tremors in the area?

 

If it's new, or getting worse, then I'd be worried, but if it's been like that for a long time, I guess it's not such a concern.

Thanks for that I’ll monitor it, would Lime mortar be normally used on houses just after 1900 ?

would it be better to rake it out and redo in lime mortar , or just point it ?

could have happened during the war I suppose ?

 

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Theres something odd with that whole back wall. It doesn't appear to be tied into the existing brickwork anywhere on the elevation and just has a fat mortar line. It may be tied in somehow behind it but who knows. Also if you look at the insert you have zoomed in on the "new" wall is 13 bricks high, the old wall is 12 bricks high and hence the mortar lines don't line up🙄

 

I would guess at some stage the whole back of the house has been replaced, either as an extension or it collapsed during the war maybe and was rebuilt?

 

Regarding the step around the window I doubt that is movement (not a professional opinion) as all the perps in that section line up and are all offset to the perps in the section below. That to me implies it was laid that way. Why it was laid that way is anyones guess and also why that end of the house isn't tied in.......... I would have thought that would be noted under survey when you purchased?

 

If not and you are concerned monitor it as above, but if it hasn't moved for a long time then I "guess" there's no reason to suspect it will anytime soon. For me personally though, i would want to understand how that rear wall is tied in🤨

 

Cheers,

 

MM

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15 minutes ago, Dipy said:

Thanks for that I’ll monitor it, would Lime mortar be normally used on houses just after 1900 ?

would it be better to rake it out and redo in lime mortar , or just point it ?

could have happened during the war I suppose ?

 

I think that Ordinary Portland Cement was in invention of the late 19th century, and it would have taken time for its use to become widespread. Certainly around here houses are built with lime mortar into the 1920s and beyond.  Looking at the pointing on the front, below the window, I'd say that was lime, but I could be wrong. The trouble is, it's now a specialist topic - many many houses have been repointed with OPC mortar over lime, and, particularly on a solid wall, this reduces the ability of damp within the the wall to dry out - damp walls and frost damage can ensue, but you may be ok if only small areas are affected. You should really befriend a builder who knows about lime.

 

Meantime, I think you are right - monitor the situation.

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16 minutes ago, mm289 said:

Also if you look at the insert you have zoomed in on the "new" wall is 13 bricks high, the old wall is 12 bricks high and hence the mortar lines don't line up🙄🤨

 

 

 

That's well spotted. But I don't think there has been any rebuilding going on there - I think the bricks on the front of the house are expensive facing bricks, but the rest of the house is made with cheaper stock. The cheap stuff also have thicker mortar beds (so fewer bricks, and quicker building), and hence the mismatch. These were houses built for poor people made to look smarter than they really were.

Edited by Stewpot

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1 minute ago, Stewpot said:

 

That's well spotted. But I don't think there has been any rebuilding going on there - I think the bricks on the front of the house are expensive facing bricks, but the rest of the house are made with cheaper stock. The cheap stuff also have thicker mortar beds (so fewer bricks, and quicker building), and hence the mismatch. These were houses built for poor people made to look smarter than they really were.

Could well be the case, but if so surely even on a "cheap" house they would have tied the brickwork together. Also it is not just a facade but quite a substantial piece of the house with that sloping roof, built in a totally different brick with different mortar.......

 

But that is the joy of old buildings - trying to understand what has been done before :)

 

Cheers,

 

MM

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Just a thought.  Could that have been WWII bomb damage, and the left hand part of the building as viewed was rebuilt, with different bricks.  If so it might have been a poor job hence the unusual coursing, but if it has stood since then it can't be all bad,

 

I wonder if there are any records that might tell the story?

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The main thing that makes me think the wall is original, and not rebuilt, is that topmost string course (is that what a crown moulding is?). That just looks original and untouched, and I would hazard a guess once acted as the supporting bracket for wooden gutters. I imagine that top window is a more recent addition, cutting through that course.

 

Perhaps compare it to other houses in the street, and see if they are like this, too.

 

 

Edited by Stewpot

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WWII bomb damage is part of the problem of our previous re-build, partly paid from insurance.

 

Half the original bungalow had been bombed and rather than knock down and start again, they rebuilt the bungalow after the war.  That led to the original having foundations measured in inches with the new part with foundations measured in feet.

 

Add unstable ground into the mix, the different foundations caused the bungalow to move differently, leading to very large cracks.

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