What exactly is a lintel? Most people do not have the slightest clue. A lintel is a structural beam above windows and doors that takes up the space between two vertical supports. They can be made from materials such as wood, concrete, stone and steel. Lintels do not last forever, so it is important to be aware of lintel deterioration. It can become extremely dangerous because debris can fall and a building’s structural integrity will be compromised.
What is the Best Material?
Lintels can be dated back prior to the 1920s. They used to be made of wood/timber; however, they did not offer much structural integrity and were subject to rot and pest infestation. Another option is concrete and stone. Concrete can easily be shaped and stone gives off a natural look. On the downside, they are prone to cracking and should be routinely maintained with a masonry sealer. The final option is the best option. Steel is strong enough that is can be used to support any door or window. The only real downside is that it is can deteriorate and rust.
The Signs of Lintel Deterioration
Lintel deterioration is a little different for each material, but cracking is one of the best signs to look for. In terms of iron and steel, you also want to search for warping, bending and apparent rust. In wood and timber, also look for warping and rotting. In concrete and steel, see if there is pitting on the surface and movement of the masonry.
Hire a Professional
Bringing in a professional for lintel deterioration is your best bet. Instead of creating a hazardous liability for yourself, a trained professional will be able to resolve the problem. They will tell you how far it has progressed and what your next steps should be.
Handle Lintel Deterioration with Del Prete Masonry
If you’re ready to handle lintel deterioration, Del Prete Masonry has the expertise to meet your needs. With more than 25 years of experience, Del Prete has done work in and around the Baltimore area at Johns Hopkins and M&T Bank Stadium as well as Harford, Carroll, Anne Arundel and Howard Counties. To explore our residential or commercial services and to set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. To see examples of our work and get updates follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.