Brick hot line

My neighbor Mel called today with a hot tip about hearing a huge KABOOM. A building on her block lost the outer wythe of brick at the top.

In this photo you can see a previous repointing job that can only be tagged hoosier rehabbing.

I'm thinking this was a combination of less than amateur tuck pointing combined with the recent freeze/thaw. There had to be water behind the brick that froze, expanded, then blew the course out.


Jeannette E. Spaghetti said...

WOW! That's crazy! I'd like to see a before picture, to see what was going on.

ty.ro said...

If you look closely there are no "header" (short) courses of brick in the area that has fallen. In good brick construction these header bricks are placed every 3-6 courses of brick. They tie the whythes together to make for a solid wall (and to prevent exactly what has happened in this incident).

Without header bricks (or modern day brick ties, which are now inside the wall and invisible), a single whythe of bricks is reatively unstable - its like stacking a pile of books really high; eventually it will tumble.

Christian said...

Hey ty.ro.

I agree with you. There had been a previous 'repair' that excluded ties. They would have been there originally...I date that building to 1912-15. It's a block way from my house which was built in 1915.