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Cracks in Brick Walls: Understanding Their Types

Brick masonry adds a strong, sturdy and rustic feel to structures. No wonder so many homeowners in Boston are embracing the “distinctive” look of brickworks on their cozy homes. But while brick masonry brings many positive aspects to home design, it also brings some problems to the floor. One common problem with brick masonry is the development of cracks.

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Cracks in brick walls can be an eye sore. They can be unappealing or manifestations of more serious structural defects, which is why it’s worth knowing about them in detail. This article discusses the different types of brick wall cracks.

Different Types of Brick Wall Cracks    

Cracks in brick walls can be defined based on their location, direction and depth.

Types of brick wall cracks depending on location

Depending on their location, cracks in brick walls can be classified as:

  • Interior brick wall cracks – these cracks appear on interior brick walls

  • Exterior brick wall cracks – these cracks appear on exterior brick walls

  • Foundation brick wall cracks – these cracks appear on foundation brick walls

Types of brick wall cracks depending on direction

Depending on their direction, cracks in brick walls can be classified as:

  • Horizontal brick wall cracks – these cracks run along the horizontal bed joint. They are either caused by weathering effects or movement of the foundation.  

  • Vertical brick wall cracks – these cracks run vertically to the plane of wall and can effectively split a brick into two. They are almost always caused by abrupt changes in temperature which causes subsequent contraction and expansion of materials, resulting in the formation of cracks.

  • Staircase cracks – these cracks follow the lines of mortar beds in a zig-zag or staircase pattern. They usually originate on exterior walls, from corners of doors and windows because these are the weakest areas of the walls.   

Types of brick wall cracks depending on depth

Depending on their depth, cracks in brick walls can be classified as:

  • Cosmetic brick wall cracks – these cracks are thin looking and are easy to fix. That said, if they are not repaired on time, they can develop into structural cracks.

  • Structural brick wall cracks – these cracks are often an indicator of serious problems. They are usually caused by natural disasters. They can compromise the structural integrity of a home or wall depending on where they’re located.

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This concludes our discussion for types of brick wall cracks. Stay tuned for our next article in the series: What Causes Cracks in Brick Walls.

Till then, take care and goodbye!  

AMN Masonry is a trusted concrete repair and brick and stone restoration company in Boston. We have over 13 years of experience in restoring damaged brick walls and transforming age-old buildings to new. Our service areas include Boston, Wellesley, Newton, Framingham, Waltham, Natick, Lexington, Concord and more. Contact us today to request a quote for your brick masonry repair project.  

Adriano Nunes