Brick Arch Failure. Very few home in the Dallas region have correctly built arches. Homebuilders need only look at the last few thousand years of architecture to see what works and what fails, and more importantly, why. If your arch entry or arch window has cracks or separation in the mortar joints, it's trying to tell you something. The last thing you want to do is ignore it and hope it will correct itself.
Cast Stone settling down. After repair
Many homes with arch entries and windows will develop settlement cracks in the first few years and then remain stable and secure for many many years. Others unfortunately, will continually move over months and years until they completely fail. (see arch research web sites)
In this case, the arch brickwork was settling downward and was continiuing to shift due to columns unable to support the weight above. Steel lintels were added and the brickwork below the arch will be able to support any future settlement. Many homeowners don't want to lose the arched appearance but this method is safe alternative, permanent and much less expensive than removing all the brickwork and rebuilding around an internal steel structure that would have to be custom fabricated. (click on an image to enlarge)
In still other cases, the arch brickwork cannot be supported at all and the best case is to simply remove the heavy brickwork and apply wood trimming finished out to look original to the house.
Types of arches. The two main types of arches used in entryways and windows are "semicircular" and Segmental"
A semicircular arch is known as a balanced arch with little sideways forces pushing outward. Segmental arches are in a constant state of sideways force pushing outward. If enough mass on each side can withstand this, everything is fine. Tall narrow columns at each side will not provide such mass and throughout history, many segmental arches have failed. Many homebuyers want arches in the home but lack the height clearance for semicircular arches. Homebuilders along with architects, wanting to attract homebuyers, give them segmental arches, without considering the physics involved. Here at Master Masonry, we can determine what your
Master Masonry has a deep concern for your complete satisfaction of our repairs.
As a second-generation mason, Roger Landry has been performing brick and stone masonry since 1970 when he began as an apprentice to his father.
In addition to being a Master Mason, Roger is a decorated Air Force veteran with a 22 year active duty career.
When it comes to trust, dependability and a very high degree of character, you can count on us to stand behind our work and our word.