A brick wall is a beautiful addition to any home, but it will not stay that way if you don’t take care of it. Brick walls are susceptible to cracks, which can develop for various reasons. These cracks are unsightly and can sometimes be dangerous due to the risk of falls or other accidents. Luckily, there are many ways of repairing cracked walls. In this guide, we’ll cover everything from different types of cracks and their causes, as well as how you can fix them
Brick walls are susceptible to many different types of cracks, which can all be dangerous in their own way. To make this guide as thorough and useful as possible, we’ll go over each type separately.
Types of Cracks by Direction
- Horizontal Cracks
The first and most common type of crack in a brick wall is the horizontal one. These cracks often appear due to soil or moisture buildup, which may be caused by leaky pipes, improper grading around your property line, frost heaves, etc. Horizontal cracks can also form if you have a low water table near the foundation.
- Vertical Cracks
Vertical cracks often happen because your brick wall isn’t getting enough water or exposed to too much sun and not enough moisture. They are also caused by freeze-thaw cycles in colder climates.
- Diagonal cracks
Diagonal cracks can be due to improperly installed bricks or a problem with the mortar. You can also get diagonal cracks due to structural issues such as old age, improper load-bearing in the spots where your brick wall meets your foundation, and so on.
Depth Crack Types
- Cosmetic Cracks
These cracks are superficial and usually only affect the outer layer of mortar. These types of cracks don’t need to be repaired, but they can still pose a problem due to how unsightly they may look if not properly maintained.
Cosmetic cracks do not need repairing unless it is affecting the structural integrity of your brick wall.
- Structural Cracks
Structural cracks can be more dangerous because they are deep and require significant effort to repair. These walls may not have enough mortar or bricks in that area, which means the wall is at risk of falling on its own weight!
Depending on Their Location
- Interior Wall Cracks
These are cracks that happen on the interior side of your brick wall. Interior walls can develop a crack for many reasons, but improper installation is one of the most common causes.
- Exterior Wall cracks
Exterior brick walls often develop cracks due to freeze-thaw cycles in colder climates, improper grading around your property line, or any other number of things. These wall cracks can be more difficult to repair because they are exposed and may not have a mortar bed for you to work with on the inside.
- Foundation Wall cracks
Foundation cracks are the most dangerous and most difficult to repair and are often caused by improperly installed bricks or poor mortar. Beware of these types of cracks because they can lead to a significant amount of structural damage.
Causes of Brick Wall Cracks
There are several different types of brick wall cracks, all with their own causes. This section will go over the most common ones if you don’t know what might be causing your issue!
- Soil Subsidence
The most common cause of cracks in brick walls is soil subsidence, which happens when the soil becomes saturated with water and starts to shift. This can be caused by a leaky pipe, improper grading around your property line, or frost heaves.
- Climate and Seasonal Changes
In colder climates, freeze-thaw cycles are a common cause of cracks in brick walls. You can also get these types of cracks due to improper installation or because the bricks are exposed to too much sun without enough moisture.
In warmer climates, cracks in brick walls often happen due to improper installation of bricks or mortar. In other words, the wall may have been built with too much dry mortar or not enough brick in one area.
- Structural Issues
Structural issues are usually caused by the age and wear on your brick wall. For example, old buildings or buildings with improper load-bearing can end up developing cracks over time.
How to Repair Brick Wall Cracks
If you have a cosmetic crack on your brick wall, there is nothing to worry about. But if the mortar around these cracks has gone soft and they are affecting the structural integrity of your brick wall, then you may need to call a professional.
Structural cracks can be repaired by replacing bricks or mortar in that area with new material. Once this has been done, you need to coat the newly repaired section with fresh layers of mortar so that water doesn’t get between the bricks and create more problems.
Interior cracks are repaired by replacing the mortar that has weakened in those areas with new, fresh material to ensure structural integrity. Exterior cracks need a mortar bed so water doesn’t get behind them or through any holes, they may have created on their own for support. Foundation wall cracks can be a little bit trickier to repair. You can either fill in the crack with fresh mortar then coat it from the inside or out, but you may need to call a professional for this one!