In buildings, there are a number of independent structures that are used together to create the end result. The skeleton of a building provides structural support, wiring provides electricity, pipes provide water, and walls provide livable space. While these things are all small pieces of the puzzle, the most important aspect of a building is by far the skeleton. Structural support is absolutely necessary and without it, you wouldn’t be surrounded by walls. In this article, we’re going to explore one type of structural support, how it’s used in buildings, and how to replace it when they start wearing down.
A lintel is, like we mentioned, a type of structural support used to help support the load of windows and doors. They’re installed flat, on the top of and bottom of the structure and can be made from many different types of materials. The main purpose of lintels is to provide increased strength for weak areas in a structure, which is why replacing or repairing ones that are broken, is so important.
There are a number of different types of material that lintels are made out of. The type of lintel used often depends on the type of home or building you have, but can also be used for decorative purposes.
This is a popular option that was used consistently about 100 years ago, but is still around today. However, timber lintels are much less durable and are more susceptible to damage over time, thus will require more repairs or replacements. The main reason people enjoy timber lintels is aesthetics, but it’s a good idea to consider replacing them with another material for safety.
Metal lintels are much more durable and all around easy to work with. They don’t need to be very big to support windows and doors and are very structurally sound. Metal lintels, however, can still deteriorate so you should keep an eye on them as the years pass by.
Brick and masonry lintels are done on brick buildings by placing the bricks vertical, instead of horizontal, over the top of the structure. You need to use helical bars for repairs or replacements of brick and mortar lentils and it will also require tuckpointing.
Finally, there is the concrete or stone option. Since these are often easily malleable, you have more options in terms of aesthetics. Stone is less resilient, but can still be used to achieve a desired look.
There are a number of ways to tell if your lintel is damaged and needs to be replaced or repaired. As long as you’re inspecting them and you know what to look for, you should be able to tell if they’re damaged. When you check for damage yearly, or at least every few years, you’ll be able to make the repairs before more expensive damage incurs.
For timber lintels, signs of damage include rot and cracks. It’s very apparent if your timber lintels need to be replaced.
Look for any signs of warping or rusting on metal lintels. Bends or cracks are also a sign you need repair.
When inspecting brick and masonry lintels look for signs of cracking, failing mortar, and warping.
Finally, damage on concrete lintels is indicated by cracked stone or if the masonry surrounding the lintel has shifted.
The process of repairing and replacing a lintel is detailed and requires a level of expertise that should be left to the professionals. Since you’re dealing with the structural support of your home or business, it’s best not to take risks.
If you have a broken or damaged lintel, it’s important to address it immediately. Otherwise, more damage will be done to the structural stability of your home and it will end up being unsafe and more expensive to repair. Due to the importance of lintels, we recommend using a professional company like Chicago Tuckpointing Inc. to repair or replace one. This process requires precision and a strong understanding of the process. Experience is worth the extra money to make sure that your building is safe and doesn’t incur additional damage. Luckily, the professionals at Chicago Tuckpointing Inc. are here to help. All of our professionals have been working in masonry for over 20 years and have the expertise you want and need to repair and replace lintels. We specialize in new masonry work, repairs and replacements, updates, restoration, concrete work, and more. If you need a lintel repaired or replaced, give Chicago Tuckpointing Inc. a call today. You can reach us at (708) 942-1951 or by visiting our website http://chicagotuckpointinginc.com.