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There are recurrent cracks in the brick wall shown in the image. The cracks have approximately equal width along their length. The cracks appeared within the first year of construction of the house. The cracks were then repaired but keep reappearing in the same location.

There are no other cracks similar to these anywhere else on the other walls of the house. The only other cracks are shown in the image in orange below the basement windows.

The wall shown in the image has a length of around 40 feet and is south facing. Any ideas on how to solve this cracking problem permanently in a practical and aesthetic manner?

enter image description here

  • No cracks above the second floor window or below the basement window? – Jack Jul 9 at 14:13
  • There are no cracks above second floor window. But there are diagonal hairline cracks below the basement window originating at the corners. – user103692 Jul 9 at 14:17
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    The cracks at the basement windows are typical of concrete basement walls due to shrinkage from moisture loss during the curing stage. I am no expert on this, but the cracks you first mention seem to be caused by expansion and contraction from the sun heating the wall and it cooling at night, if not the seasonal extremes of the hot summers and cold winters may have brought that on. My recent experiences shown me that masonry does move during hot and cold, I used to think it was a very stable material, but I find that a 20 ft slab of concrete will move as much as a 1/4" from summer to winter. – Jack Jul 10 at 3:09
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In light of my comments above I would propose treating the crack as a "control joint". These type of joints are added in large spans of masonry to control were the material cracks Side walks and large stucco walls are a good example of this.

Since your wall has already found its' least path of resistance to crack, I would have the joints that are cracked, cleaned of masonry cement totally by chiseling it out and saving as much as possible for later use. Set backer rod in the left over void pushed in to the depth of half the width of the joint and caulk the joint. You must use a high grade of caulk close to the color of the mortar to start. It will still not look right since the caulk is a solid color and the masonry cement has small subtleties that will make the caulk look bad. This is why the old cement is saved. Grind it up mortar and pistle style to get the cement in a fine grain state again, then dust the wet joint with the dust before it "skins over". If it skins over, it will render the dust unable to stick and tone the color of the caulk to the adjacent cement.

  • Man, that's a rad tip there. +1 – elrobis Jul 10 at 17:37

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