What Goes Into Repairing a Brick house Foundation?
Oh no! Have you recently noticed your gorgeous brick foundation is beginning to crack?
Or, is the brick veneer on your home showing signs of potentially serious issues?
Childers Brothers is a 48+-year-old company around the Amarillo, TX area of the country. We’ve served thousands of homeowners by restoring their foundations to a point of long-lasting strength and stability.
In today’s article, we’d like to help you by jotting through the basics of brick foundations and brick veneers, and the types of warning signs you’ll see if your foundation is the culprit.
Let’s start with the very basics of the material itself.
What Are Modern Bricks?
Needless to say, bricks have been around for a really… really long time. In the older parts of the world, you can still find brick structures that are standing after thousands of years. In fact, they’re among the oldest materials humans have used in home construction.
These days they generally come in five common types.
- Common Burnt Clay Bricks (used in many ancient structures)
- Common Sand Lime Bricks (less mortar; have a nice uniform shape)
- Common Engineering Bricks (used primarily in civil projects)
- Common Concrete Bricks (traditionally used in internal brickwork)
- Common Fly Ash Clay Bricks (lighter; often used in structural walls)
They each have their own pros and cons which determine how they’re used. For example, sand lime bricks are known for their strength, while engineering bricks are designed for great load-bearing capacity.
You can find them in different lengths and widths, and each manufacturer in each country around the world has its own slight variations.
About Your Home’s Bricks
The two major drawbacks to bricks used in modern home foundation and veneers are that a) bricks aren’t impact resistant, even less so as they age, and b) they are likely to give way and crack under the pressure of home settlement/heaving.
All homes settle. Here in the large area we serve (300-mile radius around Amarillo, TX), we deal with primarily clay-based soils. As the freeze-thaw cycle does a number to your foundational soil, a ‘little’ settlement is perfectly normal. But bricks don’t handle it well.
Not only do they age and get more brittle, but so does the mortar holding them together. If your home is settling more than usual, or you’re experiencing foundation issues, any connected brickwork will let you know!
- Brick Chimney Problems: Are you seeing cracks in the chimney brickwork? Are you noticing a slant perhaps, or a widening gap between the shaft and your exterior wall? If so, don’t wait and have your chimney professionally inspected.
- Stair-Step Cracking: Your foundation expert will likely check all around the area, especially in that specific part of the home. Are there signs of damage to the drywall? Are there signs of foundation problems like windows and doors sticking?
- Long Horizontal Cracking: Rather than telling you there is excessive settlement happening, these types of cracks indicate hydrostatic pressure that’s wearing down your walls. Your inspector will likely need to enter your crawlspace or basement to see what the extent of the damage is.
We here at Childers use an extensive 27-point inspection process to ensure no stone is left unturned. And if it’s discovered your property is dealing with foundation issues, we have an assortment of time-tested solutions at our disposal.
Once the foundation is level once again and the causes of your trouble are fixed, you can then address the damage done to brickwork through repairs or potential replacement. If you happen to live in our service area, don’t hesitate to reach out and Contact Childers Brothers.
We’re happy to take the time to answer your questions and get you up to speed on solutions. Thanks for your time today!