Vertical Crack above Window Lintel

1 Jan 2013
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United Kingdom

I'm new to this but any help would be appreciated.

I recently purchased a house (build 70's or early 80's) and on the survey it came up that there was a vertical crack above one of the windows (starting from the corner (of a concrete boot lintel) and running up a couple of feet. I rang the surveyor and after a long conversation he said that although this was unusual, he did not believe it was as a result of movement and in his opinion would be due to thermal expansion of the bricks.

A friend (who had a similar issue) also mentioned that it could be where they've replaced the windows with double-glazing and disturbed the lintel in the process.

The crack is pretty small (Hairline) but just recently (after being in the house about 18 months), I'm sure that another brick has cracked above the others. The crack it's self definitely doesn't appear to have got any wider.

I guess the question is whether this is anything to worry about and the most likely reason for the crack. Also, whether getting a builder in to replace the bricks would actually make it look worse?

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There are a number of issues here:

1. in recent years, surveyors reports, that i'm familiar with, have included pics of significant, or possibly contentious, defects. Do you have a surveyor's pic(s) of this issue? If yes, then you can make a comparison with then and now.

2. Can you post pics - interior and exterior, detailed and large area's.

3. Have you recently had DG windows installed?

4. How do you know what type of lintel is in-situ?

5. Carefully examine other window and door heads, preferably from a ladder.
Vertical cracks in that location are invariably thermal cracking, and not an issue.

You are correct in that any repair can make it look worse, so just fill it with clear silicone
Thanks guys. Is there a reason why it would crack around the windows if it were thermal cracking? Also, there is a window above. Is there any risk to the bricks falling down?
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