Not all brick cracking on house structures will be the same. A cracked brick wall can look very different depending not only on the home but also on what’s happening underneath to crack the bricks. Understanding these differences can be vital when it comes to understanding your next steps.
Overall, there are three different types of brick cracking you’ll discover in a brick home or foundation. Here’s what the different cracks in brick walls might mean for your home.
Horizontal Brick Cracks
If you’re starting to see bricks crack along a horizontal line, these cracks indicate foundation failure. A horizontal crack in bricks along any wall essentially indicates that the soil is pushing up against the foundation, forcing the walls in.
Why does this matter? Well, when the foundation is pushing inward, it’ll start creating a bowed wall. Leave that bow for too long and it’ll collapse. Plus, if the wall in question is a foundational wall, that collapse can lead to the collapse of the entire home.
Vertical Brick Cracks
If you’re seeing vertical cracks in brickwork, that probably means you’re having different types of foundation issues. Basically, this is a sign of uneven house settling — one side of the wall is holding more strain than the other side, so it cracks down the middle.
Vertical cracks in brick walls will usually come alongside other signs of uneven settling. That can include cracked drywall and sagging floors. Even if you haven’t noticed those problems yet, if you see a vertical crack in brick wall structures in or outside your home, it means the other problems may simply be hiding.
Stair-Stepping Brick Cracks
These cracks follow up the mortar like a set of stairs. Like vertical cracks in brick walls, these typically showcase uneven settling. The problem is essentially the same: one side of the wall has more strain than the other, but due to a combination of factors, it’s simply easier for the home to crack along a stair-stepping pattern.
If you’re seeing stair-stepping cracks in a brick house, it means you’re going to need to fix the unstable soil under your home’s foundation. You may also see drywall cracks, nail pops, and sagging floors, similar to vertical cracks in brickwork.