What's the craic (crack)!

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Hi

I hope someone with a trained eye can give some advice on the cracks in the exterior wall of my rented house that have been filled, rather badly, with a non colour matching mortar.

Just a quick bit of background, I have lived in the house for just under a year and I'm thinking of buying it or another like it as I really like the area and value for money; it's the Kingswood Estate in West Dulwich for anyone that knows it.

The house was built in 1957 and is the middlish of 15 terraces. Now all 15 have the same cracks that have at some time been filled with varying degrees of skill; the house I'm in is probably the worst effort as you can see from the photos. Now I say a crack but there is no cracked brick just refilling of the joints in a zig zag fashion from window to window at the front of the house and window to window at the rear and patio door to window at the rear.

Is this something to worry about? The houses seem to sell frequently and for a reasonable price so perhaps it isn't? Advice greatly appreciated. I have asked a few neighbours but as many are tenants, not owners, there isn't a clear opinion.

I hope you can see the photos but I'm not great on computers so if I can make it easier for you to see them then feel free to let me know how.

Cheers Steve

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Looks like a possible lack of movement joint in the external brickwork. There should be a joint every 12m or so.. normally you tuck it behind a soil or rain water pipe.. Filling the crack will not solve the problem.
Check the internal wall for signs of a similar crack mirrored internally if so then it may be something more serious..
 
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Never mind the walls - those roofs look like dodgy Council chuck- em - up`s :rolleyes: . Funny how all the village ,post war council houses sold so fast ;)
 
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This looks very much like plastic windows have been fitted without checking what supports the brickwork above. These older houses often had wooden lintels which appeared to be part of the frame, and inexperienced fitters rip out the old window complete with lintel, and then hope that plastic will support the brickwork.
 
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That's interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if the council had all the double glazing fitted before they started selling them off. This would explain why everyone has the same problem, if the same window fitters replicated their mistake. I noticed this morning that one house has no evidence of this and looks like it has had a very professional repointing job done, so I think this neighbour will be my best port of call; I will have a knock on the weekend and see what I can find out. The double glazing could use updating anyhow, so it may be an opportunity to knock something off the asking price and replace them with properly supported, better quality windows.
 
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Check to see if there are any lintols carrying the outer brickwork, back then they used to have Crittal windows fitted inside timber frames, then used to brick straight over.
Problems of movement start when these are removed and double glazed units fitted.
I have seen some drop so much it has bowed the top frames.
 
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As Nige said, the roof and shared, box (?) gutter and RWP funnel require attention.
Your brickwork is lipping in all 3 pics, although i cant see any bulging. This indicates that there might be other details requiring attention besides the lintels and frames, and cracks.
The left hand bonding to your neighbour is different - in colour, type or perhaps bonding? I cant see clearly. Is this typical?
The GF painted/rendered panel seems to be in reasonable shape, indicating that the difficulties start above GF lintel ht.

Three long shots: has cavity insulation been installed? And the possibility of cavity ties missing. Is your upper floor a pre-fab concrete slab?

So much of the Council work back in the day was more or less unsupervised or inspected. Direct works were pools of corruption, Council members of Bldg and Planning were even worse - hence the high rise disasters of the time. The inspection is much better now - the corruption?
 

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