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I bought a house in Longmont, CO, USA, about a month ago. It was built in 1998 and mostly has vinyl siding, with exception of some brick veneer. One of the previous owners had sealed two bad things to seal off the original ventilation of the brick veneer (see below). The worst part is, after carefully removing sealant from the top crack, I noticed that most of the house wrap had been removed when they redid this wall, exposing the plywood sheathing.

What are my options? Do I need to hire a mason to demo the wall, replace the house wrap, add in-wall flashing, reconstruct the wall, and add proper z flashing?

Looking for responsible short term options, if any, that can avoid having a mason do all the above. On top of that, I'm concerned about the health of the plywood sheathing. Pictures/more details are below.

  • First noticed how they sealed off the ventilation in the brick veneer:
  1. They filled the weep holes with mortar/cement.

As you can see in there are gaps in the middle of every 3rd brick (now filled with mortar):

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Click to embiggen

  1. Seems like they removed the original z-flashing above the brick, then sealed it

Up close to the sealed crack:

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Near the window:

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The side of the brick veneer:

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I suspect there was once Z-flashing tucked under the vinyl and sitting above the brick veneer, however, if so it was removed. Then, It looks like they'd sealed the brick veneer to the actual wall (or possibly the vinyl siding) using mortar, possibly in the same act of sealing the weep holes. This makes me question what's behind the brick, i.e. flashing? Is there any space for airflow or is it just mortar? Then, when the brick veneer separated, they attempted to reseal it with polyurethane mortar sealant in pic 4.

  • Finally, after removing some of the sealant, I see that the house wrap was ripped away from the plywood sheathing.

Taken from the far left side of the brick veneer wall:

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The pink tatter on the left is the remaining house wrap hanging down from behind the vinyl siding. In the middle is mortar/concrete. It looks like they filled the whole cavity with it. Way more than any would have broken off. On the right, you can see all the exposed plywood sheathing.

Seems like this happened when they redid the masonry. It definitely was not a result of me scraping away the sealant - I can see further along and below, and it's all exposed plywood sheathing.

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  • Would open the weeping holes up. If it is recommended to do a re-do by the ones who know better, one option is using mortarless brick that a DIYer can do themselves. While laying brick is not difficult work, there is an art to it to do it right.
    – crip659
    Jul 21, 2022 at 18:30
  • @crip659 Thanks for the reply! This is helpful. I decided to bring a mason in for inspection/estimate. Depending on what he says, the mortarless brick option could very well be in the mix.
    – JohnX
    Jul 26, 2022 at 17:38

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