HELP! Brick siding pulling away

Our stick built home with brick veneer was built in 1983. We purchased it in 1994. At the time of purchase, we had it inspected and no major problems were identified.
However, about three years ago I noticed the caulk lines around the windows and doors on the back and one side of my house beginning to crack. The space between the steel header and top of the window frames began to widen. On the rear of the house the siding has pulled away to such an extent the back edge of the brick is now visible "in front" of the brick molding. (In other words the brick has pulled out so much that the brick molding no longer conceals the space between the framing and the back side of the brick. As mentioned, the window frames have dropped. On a few windows I have a 1" space between the top of the window frame and the underside of the steel header. If I shine a light into this space... it appears the space between the wood framing of the house and the back of the brick veener is about 1 1/4 inches. I'm afraid all the siding on the backside of my house is all going to come crashing down in one gigantic failure.
Obviously I'm sure I'm not the first brick veneer home owner to be faced with such a problem. However, I have no idea what the fix is. I've inspected the foundation inside and out and don't see any cracks, so I'm not sure if its a foundation failure or an inadequate brick sill.
In searching the Internet for an answer I read on some "Home Inspectors" site that inspectors should "examine brick veneer for evidence of pulling away and to verify that the brick veneer has an adequate sill."
Unfortunately I found nothing that told me if I'm screwed, if my house is going to fall down, or if the problem can be solved/repaired? Is it possbile to "move" the siding back in place and re-attach it? Can anyone with experience shed some light on this. Identify my options... Point me in the right direction... Thanks Don
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The mason didn't bother using brick ties to tie the brick to the house frame or put them in wrong. Very common because the mason knows it will stay up for years even if he does a crappy job and he'll be long gone before it falls apart.
If you had done something about it early you could have installed retrofit ties made by Durawal. They are expensive and hard to install but better than replacing a brick wall which is probably what you are about to do. The good new is that the flashing is probably missing and defective also so a good mason can put the wall up correctly this time with flashing and ties and flashed weep holes. The brick institute has a site that describes how brick is supposed to be installed. I would highly recommend you read it, learn it and make it part of any contract you might have with the mason you hire to do the new walls. Or better yet, put up siding. Next time I will.
By the way, to tell you how you can be sure ties are missing or defectively installed in most houses, think about this.... The ties must be installed into the studs. But after framing they cover up the house with tyvak or other paper and don't mark the studs. So even if you have an honest mason, how could he possibly get the ties into the studs except by random luck.
Also even the good masons often use the corrugate flat metal ties which aren't much good anyway.
Also, if your brick mason says the retrofit ties will fix it, remember they also have to go into the studs so someone has to be inside locating the studs for the mason outside. If there is no one inside the house locating studs you are being ripped off.

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Art answered your question really well, but I'll just add that there is *supposed* to be a slight gap between the brick veneer and the side of your house. If the house wasn't built to code (and it certainly reads as if tiebacks weren't used), you probably could chase down the contractor (who's name should be on file with your municipality's Code Enforcement office) and sue him. Better yet, create a class action suit by checking out the construction of your neighbor's homes.
Dave

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