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brick veneer bowing out

brick veneer bowing out

brick veneer bowing out

I am looking at a 1980's ranch on concrete basement foundation with brick veneer. (picture attached)
Preliminary indications are that brick ties were not used.
There is 1" rigid foam between the wall studs and the brick.
Not sure yet if there s plywood sheathing on the walls but I think there is.
No abnormal cracking on the drywall inside.
Not a foundation movement problem.

Here's the issue - The brick is buckling outward at about 2/3 to 3/4 up from the bottom of the wall. Bowing is very slight (1/4" +/-) and horizontal crack is consistent and seems wider at the outside face of brick.

I'm wondering what force would be causing this behavior. Maybe some sort of weathering?
House faces east and east face is least affected.

Looked up under the soffit and it does not appear that there is any roof truss bearing on the brick.

I know this is a red herring but... any thoughts?

RE: brick veneer bowing out

It could be buckling under its own weight. Unsupported veneer that tall is really slender. Whether they used steel brick ties that eventually corroded and fell away or went without them, weathering and thermal strains could weaken joints slowly over time and result in a gradual failure. It's just held together by enough stuff at the eave that it's still "stable."

I doubt there's a definitive cause you can pinpoint and remove, so I'd just do retrofit screw-type brick ties, patch it, and call it day.

RE: brick veneer bowing out

Wind suction as well. 4" brick veneer doesn't exactly have a lot of lateral capacity.

RE: brick veneer bowing out

I cannot see the bowing from the photo, but I do see the horizontal cracks.

Is there an air gap behind the brick or just insulation? Any path for water to get behind the brick, freeze and expand?

Since the buckling is in the upper half of the wall, water may be entering from the top of the wall and trickling downward.

I'd bet few or no brick ties.

RE: brick veneer bowing out

Sorry - you're in Ohio - freeze/thaw could be a real concern if water is getting trapped. Ignore my "and call it a day" comment before.

RE: brick veneer bowing out

Another possibility is thermal expansion of the brick. I seem to recall that brick grows due to thermal expansion and does not return to its original size.


RE: brick veneer bowing out

From the photo, i cannot see the wall leaning.

If the wall does collapse, what is the consequence of failure? situation appears very low risk (from the limited information available).

RE: brick veneer bowing out

Are you sure that the brick has a "new" bow in it, or was it built that way? Masons try to build to + or - 1/4" in 10' so a 1/4" bow may not be unusual. Could that crack be from something else? Freeze/thaw damage? Was the crack there since it was built? I would do a little more investigation such as using a pachometer to see if there are wall ties already with a couple of probe holes to see their condition.

DaveAtkins - small clarification - brick has both thermal and moisture expansion properties and it is the moisture expansion that is not reversible.

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