Identification of brickwork defects and their causes
Brickwork cracks and fissures
The presence of cracks and fissures in brickwork concerns many homeowners, who worry about their significance. However, the vast majority of cracks that occur in masonry walls are the result of moisture movement in porous materials. In the case of a stone-built house, most movement occurs in the mortar (especially cement mortar) rather than the stone.
Fine cracks between the mortar, brickwork and the stone are quite normal and are probably of long standing and not significant. Such cracks are of narrow width and can extend for a considerable length. If you become aware of cracks or fissures that conform to the points below you should seek professional advice.
Further advice on cracks is required when they:
- have recently formed,
- have started to increase in width,
- are more than 2mm wide,
- become wider at the top of the crack/fissure,
- extend through both the stone and mortar.
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