Cracks to pointing reveal movement

There had been some movement in the external walls/brickwork which can be seen by cracking in the brickwork on the front elevation around and above the opening particularly the front lounge of this Birmingham home.  

The cracks noted are generally 1mm – 2mm wide which are categorised by the BRE (Building Research Establishment) as “Slight” and “Aesthetic”. Cracking which is aesthetic purely affects the appearance and whilst it might be unsightly is recognised to not have an effect on the structural integrity.

There is no obvious cause of the movement such as major trees or drain damage in the immediate locality. 

The damaged sections should be professionally repaired.  

Having the damaged brickwork professional “stitched” with reinforcing bars, should be considered along with replacement or strengthening of damaged lintels over time. Some repairs and maintenance are required but these are not considered urgent however. 

Long term stability can only be confirmed by monitoring movement cracks in a building over a period of time and this is not practical in the home buying process. 

However the level of damage is considered slight and not of a degree to indicate serious defects to the foundations or a progressive problem in my opinion. 

It is important that buyers should, through their insurance company/mortgage provider, ensure that the costs of remedying any serious future structural movement that may occur, is adequately covered by the house insurance policy.

Post Author: Frances Traynor