Brick home repair

missouri1July 6, 2009

I know it will depend on what is going on but overall I'm trying to find out if it's super hard to repair a brick home. Maybe cracks or mortal loose. She's over years old and I'm falling in love with her and might buy.

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Brick veneer is not hard to fix.

Masonry (usually at least two bricks thick and weight bearing) can be a little harder, but is not bad if the damage is just in the weather courses.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 8:42PM
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Beware of large cracks running from doors &/or windows in solid brick buildings; they can be a sign of structural problems. Bulging walls are another major repair. Neither of these tend to be DIY projects. How old is the house in question & do you have any pictures?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 1:46AM
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As far as I can tell so far there is one area that cracked, it is right under a window from the corner of the window and is cracked down toward the ground. The house is on an old rock foundation that doesn't look too bad for it's almost 130 years. I don't have any decent photo's to post.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 6:36PM
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If the building in question is 130 years old and needs to have the mortar joints repointed, you MUST use the correct type of mortar or you will end up badly damaging your home over time.

Old bricks tend to be quite a bit softer than newer bricks fired in either gas or electric kilns.

Mortar of that time period used was much softer as it used no Portland Cement, which was a good thing.

Replacing the old mortar with portland cement based mortar can result in the bricks spalling badly over time because as they expand and contract the portland cement doesn't.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 4:16PM
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Oh so good advice and very true. The bricks for my house were fired on site. Yes, they are soft but have hung in there for almost two centuries. Pay particular attention to the fireplace or chimney stacks and chimneys. This is where we had to address our attention primarily.

I won't argue about structural integrity issues concerning cracks appearing at the corners of doors or windows,'s pretty common in houses of that age as foundations settle due to subsidence. You don't mention the geographical location specifically, but I assume Missouri from your screen name. We have stone foundation in our old house too. Ours is very good shape yet and there are no cracking or fissure apparent in it. Our house also has the star bolts in it, done sometime in the 1800s. It's still shifting around a bit, I still repair hairline cracks at some of the door and window edges in the interior plaster. But I don't have the same issues in the brick on the exterior. Our windows are more trapezoids than rectangles, lol and all the old doors inside have had cheaters added to the bottoms over the many decades because they're also out of square.

I'm not worried about my house falling in, but I have heard of walls collapsing. This is one you might want to have checked out.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 7:37PM
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