In many old houses, doors and windows will have a lintel to support them. These lintels are sometimes made of wood, steel or stone. Lintels are a vital part of any building as they provide additional strength at weaker points. If these lintels are damaged, they need to be repaired or replaced.
How to Make a Lintel
The most important thing to do when making a lintel is to choose the correct material for your project. Different materials will suit different locations, so it is crucial to consult a builder or engineer before choosing your lintel.
Whether you are using a brick or concrete lintel, it is essential to ensure that the surface is smooth and free of holes. Using a hammer drill and the appropriate masonry tools is the best way to do this.
Before starting to work on a wall, check with your local governing office and find out what the regulations are for your location. This will prevent any issues later on down the line.
If your lintel is a steel one, be aware that steel lintels can rust over time. This can affect the integrity of the lintel and its surrounding brickwork.
This can lead to structural damage and may cause serious issues in the future if left untreated. It is therefore a good idea to have your lintel checked regularly by a professional.
You should also make sure that the lintel is at least 300 millimetres longer than the gap it sits over, and you should ask your builder to show you where to place it. They will also be able to tell you what type of lintel will be needed for the project and the amount of material it will require.
Lintels that are not properly installed can cause problems in the future, especially if they are in an older building. They are often not designed to handle the weight of the masonry above them. This can lead to the masonry cracking or even breaking and causing further damage to your structure.
Fortunately, lintels are not as difficult to install as they might seem. Usually, they are made of bricks or concrete, and can be placed horizontally above openings in a masonry wall.
Once a lintel is installed, it is critical that you allow the mortar to cure before applying loads to the lintel. This is because the lintel will be very heavy and could break if it is not allowed to rest and dry fully.
To avoid this, it is a good idea to insert an additional load-bearing beam into your wall as well as the lintel. This will help to spread the load of your masonry throughout the wall and help prevent it from buckling or cracking over time.
It is a good idea to have your lintel tested by a specialist once a year. This will allow you to identify any problems with it as well as any areas that need further strengthening or repair. The results of this assessment will determine the best course of action for you.