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It is important to check for evidence of moisture, decay or deterioration in any building materials and identify any cracks in brick and block work and cement render.
Are there construction joints in place to allow for movement, shrinkage and expansion and are they sealed to prevent moisture or vermin entry?
Ventilation bricks and weep holes should be clear and unobstructed.
Missing timbers, mouldings or putty in gaps between boards can lead to increased moisture and decay and affect the internal linings of a house.
Bulging or uneven boards could indicate a moving frame.
Garden or earth banks against a wall can lead to moisture to the wall frame and wall plasterboards and can change the condition of the foundation material around the slab.
Moist areas also attract white ants/borers.

What to look for:

Check for any cracks. These are usually found around, above and below windows and doors.
Check to see if any mortar is fretting or missing
Check for alignment
Check if any of the brickwork or blockwork is bulging
Check steel lentils above windows for evidence of corrosion
Have any bricks pitted?
Check the condition of the ventilation bricks. Are they blocked or deteriorated?
Are any ventilation bricks at ground level?
Check for any evidence of rising or lateral damp
Are there construction joints in place?
Are construction joints sealed?
Check for any gaps in the brick or block work around windows
Check weep holes in brick or block work
Are any garden beds butting any adjoining brick or block work?
Is any brickwork or blockwork below ground level?

Who to contact:

If you require advice about the condition of the brickwork or blockwork contact a licensed bricklayer, licensed builder or structural engineer.

Cracks in a brick or block wall that are 3 to 5mm or larger, may need to be inspected by a structural engineer to determine if the wall is of a load bearing nature.

Just remember that the condition of the brickwork is only one of the numerous areas of a house that needs to be checked before buying or selling – the easiest way to do this is by purchasing a Building & Pest Inspection Report.