What Is A Lintel In Construction?

What Is A Lintel In Construction
What Exactly Is a Lintel? – Simply put a lintel is a beam that is usually placed above windows and doors. The lintel’s main job is to support the load from the structure above it. Both doors and windows are not constructed to structurally withstand massive loads by themselves. Lintels are mainly found in masonry or brick structures.

What is the purpose of the lintel?

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  1. Close, A lintel is a structural horizontal support used to span an opening in a wall or between two vertical supports.
  2. It is frequently used over windows and doors, both of which represent vulnerable points in a building’s structure,
  3. Lintels are generally used for load-bearing purposes, but they can also be decorative.

The most common materials for lintels are timber, steel and concrete, Timber is low cost, readily available and can be easily cut to size on site, However, it is generally only suited to small openings with low loadings. Precast concrete lintels are economical and provide robust support for structures such as masonry over door and window openings.

They are able to accept a wide range of surface finishes, Steel lintels are generally made from pre- galvanised steel which is cut and either roll-formed or pressed into the required shape. Steel has the advantage over concrete in that the lintels are usually lighter and are easier to handle on site,

The lintel can be shaped so that it is not visible above the opening. Steel is also versatile and can be custom-produced according to the specific building requirement, whether arched, in a corner, forming a bay window, and so on. In order to specify the type of lintel required, the nature of the load to be supported must be calculated.

This includes both dead and imposed loads, Dead loads refer to the static mass of the building components such as floor coverings, roof tiles, masonry, and so on, whereas, imposed loads refer to the weight of furniture, fittings, people and so on. Lintels must have adequate support at each end, and typically, the length of lintel for a masonry wall is calculated by measuring the total width of the structural opening, and adding 150 mm for end- bearings at each end.

If lintels or end- bearings are inadequate specified, they can cause cracking in decorations, or in the structure itself, and ultimately can cause structural failure and collapse. Lintels are also important in terms of their role in reducing heat loss from a building and the occurrence of damp and condensation,

Lintels must be designed and constructed carefully to avoid thermal bridging (a direct connection between the inside and outside through elements that are more thermally conductive than the rest of the building envelope ). This may include the creation of a cavity within the wall above the lintel, and the insertion of insulation,

Lintels may also need to incorporate a cavity tray or damp proof membrane to direct water within the wall or cavity to the outside through weep holes, Stop ends at either end of lintels prevent water flowing off the end of the lintel back into the cavity where it may dampen the inside wall,

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What is the difference between a beam and a lintel?

Function – The function of the beam is to support the slab resting on it. It also provides support for the floor and ceiling. Whereas the main function of the lintel is to support the masonry wall above the openings like the door, window and transfer its load to sidewalls.

What is the difference between a header and a lintel?

Essentially, headers and lintels are mostly the same. Most people in the United States use the word lintel, while in some parts they are also called a header. Both of them do the same job. They are beams that mainly function to support openings in homes and buildings.

When should a lintel be installed?

Do I need a lintel? – Lintels are required for all openings over timber frames greater than 600mm in width, & for all openings over steel frames greater than 900mm. Often the specifications on the building plans will also state additional reinforcing measures such as steel rod through bed joints in subsequent courses of masonry above openings.

What happens if a lintel fails?

Identifying Damaged & Failed Lintels – When lintels fail, they often cause vertical cracks to appear in the surrounding masonry. Vertical stepped cracks in the brickwork are therefore the clearest evidence that your lintel has failed. You will generally see vertical cracks appearing diagonally up and in from the top corners of the windows.

  1. Lintels generally bow downwards when they fail, which forces the brickwork up and inwards resulting in cracks and bulging masonry.
  2. With failed lintels, the cracks shouldn’t extend beyond the width of the window or door.
  3. The most common reasons for lintel failure are faults with the lintel such as the corrosion of the steel.

It’s important to note that lintels may be cracked or blown due to other structural issues such as movement in the wall or foundations. You should consult a structural engineer to rule out a more serious underlying issue. Problems with lintels are often noticed when hardwood windows are being replaced, usually with new uPVC windows.

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Before installing new windows, contractors should check the condition of the lintels. Evidence of cracks at this stage is obviously a concern for the homeowner. In these instances the lintel will need to be reinforced (or replaced) before you remove and install new windows. If you are dealing with a brick flat arch lintels, you can easily carry out lintel repair with helical spiral bars.

These stainless steel bars are bonded into slots above an existing lintel. This imparts load-bearing strength and provides a highly effective repair with minimum disruption.

Do I need a structural engineer to replace a lintel?

Lintel failure – Load-bearing lintels, when damaged, will need repairing. One of the first signs of a problem will often be cracks in the masonry above the window in question. If you suspect lintel failure, you should, Lintel failure is usually recognised during window replacement or upgrading to modern double-glazed windows.

Do all houses have lintels?

Openings with no lintels – Some openings do not have a lintel across them. For example, from the 1950’s to the 1970’s and earlier it was common practice on housing developments for the outer leaf of a cavity wall to have the brickwork built across the top of the door or window frame without using a lintel.

  • The timber door or window frame was of sufficient size and strength to be regarded as providing support for the masonry above.
  • With the introduction of replacement windows (and doors), especially ones made of PVCu, the masonry no longer had any structural support from the frame below.
  • Typically PVCu windows are designed to have a gap of about 5mm all round the perimeter of the frame to allow for fitting in the existing opening, and thermal movement, so they provide no loadbearing support at all.

As a result the masonry can crack and sag, and lintels have to be fitted retrospectively to correct a problem that should have been rectified by the window installer before the replacement windows were fitted. This is a commonly found problem.

How common is lintel failure?

Lintel Failure Repair in 10 Easy Steps

A particularly serious structural issue in buildings is that of lintel failure. Most doors and windows have a lintel above, meaning that lintel failure is a common problem whether the lintel is made from brick, steel or concrete. Problems with lintels usually manifest themselves as diagonal cracks or step cracking in the masonry above doors and windows.

Such cracking should be immediately investigated and a remedial plan subsequently developed; failing to address the problem allows it to develop further, leading to costly, intrusive and time-consuming repairs becoming necessary. Brick lintels may be in the form of a traditional curved arch or of a straight flat arch.

Both types masonry arch lintel utilise the compressive strength of the brickwork transfer vertical loads, horizontally to the brick abutments on either side of the opening. Oftentimes the underside of the lintel is fortuitously supported by wooden or steel window frames.

When these frames are removed and replaced with UPVC units the contribution to the support is lost, causing the lintel to sag and the brickwork to crack. Where window lintels and arches have failed, simply repairing the damage without reinforcing the brickwork can prove futile. By introducing high tensile stainless steel bars into the masonry above the opening it is possible to convert the brickwork itself into a load-carrying beam.

This can be achieved quite easily by introducing a pair of Twistfix helical rods into two separate mortar joints above to span the opening and then repointing so that the helical bars are fully concealed. Installation of helical bars is simple and rapid method of repairing failed lintels; the process can easily broken down into 10 simple steps.

  1. Cut a slot in the horizontal mortar bed directly above the first brick course above the lintel to be repaired; if a brick arch is present, this slot should be cut above the arch’s crown. It is essential to cut the slot to the correct depth to suit the thickness of the individual wall.
  2. Remove any mortar or other loose debris, before flushing the joint with plenty of clean water.
  3. Mix the anchoring grout according to the instructions and load it into a pointing gun.
  4. Pump grout into the slot until it is around two-thirds full.
  5. Firmly insert a helical bar, ensuring that it extends 500mm to either side of the window or door below.
  6. Completely cover the helical bar with grout, before clearing the excess.
  7. Introduce a second bar to half of the slot depth, ensuring it is at least 10mm distant from the previous bar.
  8. Fill the slot with grout to approximately 10mm from the surface, making sure that both bars and grout are firmly packed into place.
  9. Repeat the entire process for at a higher level, which should be four to twelve courses above the first (the greater the distance the more the load carrying capacity.
  10. Fill the vertical crack with coloured mortar.

It is vital to source helical bars from a reputable supplier with the appropriate test certification in order to guarantee reliable and durable at a competitive market price. That’s where Twistfix come into the picture. Find out more about on our website and if you need any advice at all. Posted in on 7th December 2018

: Lintel Failure Repair in 10 Easy Steps

Is it OK to drill through lintel?

How to Drill Through a Lintel – ArmstrongCheshire If you’re hanging curtains in your home or fitting brand-new blinds, you’ll need to fasten them above your Windows or, Your tape measure has done its job and everything fits your window frames fine, but when you try to affix the fittings, you may come across some resistance.

  1. This is the lintel – a solid beam located above both windows and doors in buildings.
  2. In order to attach the fittings for your window coverings into position, you’ll need to penetrate this structural support beam.
  3. How difficult this will be is dependent on what the lintel in your home is constructed from.

Timber lintel beams were once common and quite easy to drill through but eventually fell out of fashion for their lack of durability and vulnerability when it comes to fire. Concrete and are more common options now, but can be just as tricky to drill through.

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While mainly used as an essential structural support element in construction, lintels are sometimes included as a decorative feature in architecture, such as in churches.Drilling into both lintels made of concrete and steel can be problematic in different ways, but with the right tools you can still get the job done, regardless of whether you’re into DIY or a professional builder. How to drill into a concrete lintel

When drilling into a, you should start with the smallest drill bit for masonry you have in your set. A drill bit of 3mm is a good place to start, and you can then work up from there to get the size of hole you need. When it comes to concrete, the smaller the drill bit, the easier it will penetrate.

  1. Concrete is often reinforced by steel rods, so there’s always a chance you might hit one when drilling.
  2. If you do, you could try moving your fixing hole.
  3. Alternatively, if you have (SDS) drill bits, you’ll be able to penetrate both steel and concrete should you come across it.
  4. How to drill through a steel lintel More difficult than concrete to fix to, steel lintels provide extra challenges.

After penetrating the plaster and reaching the lintel beam, you must change out your drill bit for a high-speed steel bit when utilising self-tapping screws to fix in place what you need to hang. The last step can be challenging as you will need to locate your drilled hole and insert the self-tapping screws through typically 20mm of plaster.If you choose to use a drill, make sure your set is up to the job with a full range of drill bits, including SDS ones.

  • Good practices for drilling When drilling holes in any surface, always remember to keep your drill straight at a right-angle to the wall.
  • This will make sure the fixing hole you’re making will be straight.
  • If you drill at any other angle, the screws you fix after will go crooked too.
  • Always check your drill bit is not worn before working, and be prepared to discard and use a new one as necessary.

Blunt bits will make your task tougher and put unnecessary stress on your drill motor. What’s more, steel and concrete are hard surfaces to drill through, so make sure your bit is sharp before you start. : How to Drill Through a Lintel – ArmstrongCheshire

Does every window need a lintel?

1. Do we have to fit lintels to every window and door? – In new build properties: yes. Under the current regulations, a lintel must be fitted to any brand new buildings. A FENSA registered builder or installer should do that. Replacement windows: no, we don’t have to fit a lintel every time.

Do lintels go above doors?

What is a Lintel? – Lintels are additional supporting structures, which are found above doors and windows. They are essentially load-bearing structures made from timber, steel, concrete or other types of stone. They can also be decorative; however, they must support any heavy loads above the door or window.

What is the most common type of lintel?

Concrete Lintels – Concrete lintels are one of the most common types of lintels used in construction. The reason why concrete lintels are often used is that they are able to support heavy loads and larger spans. One of the biggest advantages of using concrete lintels in the construction of your building is that they can adapt to any size and shape to fit above your windows and doors.

  1. Other advantages include that they are economical as well as durable.
  2. Even with these benefits, this type of lintel can be susceptible to failure.
  3. If there is a horizontal crack within the concrete lintel, then this will need to be dealt with as soon as possible.
  4. If there is a crack in the lintel then over time it can allow water into the crack that can cause the steel reinforcement within the concrete to rust.

If rusting does occur within a concrete lintel, it might be worth either using a different concrete product or having it replaced altogether.

What is another name for a lintel?

Category: – Common Words Unique Words Related Words Synonyms Find another word for lintel, In this page you can discover 16 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for lintel, like: tie beam, purlin, soffit, header, joist, brickwork, cornice, sill, parapet, architrave and chimney-stack.

How thick should a lintel be?

The steel for lintels, as a minimum, should comply with ASTM A 36. Steel angle lintels should be at least 1/4 in. (6 mm) thick with a horizontal leg of at least 3 1/2 in. (90 mm) for use with nominal 4 in.

How long do lintels last?

How long do steel lintels last? – Steel lintels are fairly durable and can last between five to 10 years before they need replacement. Maintaining steel lintels will increase their lifespan. Be sure to scrape, prime, and paint them regularly to protect steel lintels from rusting.

Where the lintel is to be placed in the house?

What is a Lintel and Why is it so Important? Lintel? Isn’t that a type of soup? Actually, it is a very important part of your home’s structure that not many homeowners know or think about. In this blog post, we will learn what a lintel’s true purpose is and what your responsibility is as a homeowner to ensure your lintels are kept in good condition.

  1. So, what is a lintel? A lintel is a beam placed across openings like doors, windows etc.
  2. In buildings to support the load from the structure above.
  3. Windows and doors are not made to be structural members of the home.
  4. When an opening is made in a home, there is a concentrated load above the doorway or window opening that must be supported.

The one last important note is lintels are mostly found on brick or other masonry structures. There are beams in wood structures that are usually called headers that serve the same purpose. Where do I find lintels? If your home or building is built with brick or masonry block, then lintels should be present between the window/door and the brick/masonry block above the window.

Steel Lintels – Angle steel is the most popular type of lintel and you can see a good visual of its installation in the picture below. Two pieces of angled steel are placed to support the brickwork of the opening and bear on the sides of the opening. The steel supports the masonry wall so your windows and doors don’t have to.

What Is A Lintel In Construction

Stone Lintels – A large rectangular stone is used as the lintel in the case and supports the brick walls for the doors and windows. The lintel strength is not as great in this case, but can be more aesthetically pleasing and also will not rust like a steel lintel. See the figure below for a picture of a stone lintel installation.

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What Is A Lintel In Construction What do I need to do to maintain my lintels? For steel lintels the biggest thing is to protect them from the environment and from rusting through. Proper installation of flashing during construction is key, making sure water is not ponding around the lintels.

When you start noticing surface rust on your steel lintels, it is time to have the re-coated. Make sure the contractor removed any existing rust prior to repainting the lintels. For stone lintels, the same holds true about proper drainage. You will not have to worry about the stone rusting but if you notice the stone deteriorating that is a sign of water intrusion and you should hire a contractor to take a closer look.

You may also like: What are signs of a lintel failure? If a steel lintel starts to thin because of pitting (rust that starts to eat away at the metal) there is a possibility a lintel can fail. Step cracking around the mortar joints of the window or door that the lintel is supporting can be a sign the lintel has failed or is starting to (See Figure 3 Below). What Is A Lintel In Construction For a failed stone lintel the signs via mortar cracking can be similar however you may note a crack on the stone itself. Fixing these broken lintels can be expensive as it requires removing several layers of bricks, removing the old lintel and replacing with a new one.

Do builders replace lintels?

In most cases, the lintel will need to be replaced entirely. If there are visible cracks, a repair won’t be sufficient. Due to the nature of the work, lintel replacement should be carried out by a competent contractor, as the exterior walls will need to remain supported whilst the lintel is being replaced.

How much does it cost to repair a lintel?

Garage Door or Window Lintel Replacement Cost – The average cost to replace a garage door or window lintel is $520, but the estimated national range is $400 to $750, This average includes the labor fees and material required to replace your lintel. However, the final estimate is based on factors such as your surrounding wall’s condition and lintel condition.

Do you have to remove window to replace the lintel?

How to install a window lintel Hello, We had our single glazed wooden windows replaced with UPVC in Oct 2011. Our downstairs lounge window is 2400mm wide and has no lintel above. We were told repeatedly by our window fitter that one was not required. We can now see the window starting to bow and bricks cracking above on the outside (no cracks on the inside).

I have had 4 builders round to look at the job and give me a price for putting things right.2 say they would need to take the window out and put a lintel in, however the other 2 say that they could leave the window in place, take the soldier course and other loose bricks out and slot in an angle iron.

The prices are not much different, but I want it doing right. If I can avoid the window being removed, it would save a lot of disturbance inside. I just wondered if anyone had experience of a similar job and how they went about it. Thank you very much Best Answer yes you can put one in without removing the window.

They will need to put 2 acros above window to hold the existing brickwork above.2012-08-03T10:15:01+01:00 Answered 3rd Aug 2012 yes the builders do not need to take the window out. simply cut the silicone of the top of the frame/brickwork. fit acro props to support brickwork above soldier course remove enough bricks soldier course to allow angle iron to be fitted.

fit cavity tray and weep holes. clean off and re use bricks if possible. silicone frame to brickwork job done 2012-08-03T10:15:01+01:00 Answered 3rd Aug 2012 in our local authority people are entitled for a surveyor to give 45 minutes FREE. We had a structural surveyors report on subsidence that turned out to be historic, but this information was vital.

What is the purpose of a lintel in a cavity wall?

Cavity wall lintels are considered to be suitable for most domestic, commercial developments and framed structures. A cavity lintel is designed to be used when two layers of bricks and blocks, or ‘skins’ are used to construct a space or cavity between the structure.

The in-built polystyrene or foam insulation helps to retain warmth and reduce condensation. Our key suppliers are Birtley Steel Lintels and Keystone Lintels. All our steel lintels are galvanized to protect against premature rust and corrosion and meet the Thermal Performance requirements of all UK Building Regulations.

The NHBC (National House Building Council) recommend a damp-proof course (DPC) or cavity tray should be installed over all openings in external cavity walls. Buildbase have a large range of standard lintels for cavity walls, which are available in a variety of widths ranging from 70mm to 165mm and lengths from 900mm to 3900mm.

Can you fit a window without a lintel?

1. Do we have to fit lintels to every window and door? – In new build properties: yes. Under the current regulations, a lintel must be fitted to any brand new buildings. A FENSA registered builder or installer should do that. Replacement windows: no, we don’t have to fit a lintel every time.

Are lintels necessary?

Do You Need A Door Lintel? – If the work that you’re carrying out on your property compromises the structural integrity, then a lintel is required. The lintel material used will depend on the structure of your property. Timber-framed buildings need load-bearing support, and therefore you may need additional lintel support.

If the building has sufficient support in the door’s location, you may not need to fit more lintels. However, these days they are required as part of today’s building regulations. For all openings using timber frames over a width of 600 mm, and all openings using steel frames over 900 mm, then lintels are needed.

In addition to lintels, other building reinforcing measures may be required to ensure the masonry above the door opening becomes a solid mass to suitably take the load on either side of the opening.

What is lintel in simple words?

: a horizontal architectural member spanning and usually carrying the load above an opening