DIY Doctor

Ensuring lintel is supported when exposing old fireplace

Postby James7758 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:42 pm

Hello,

I've been exposing an old fireplace in my house, however, when it was bricked up one of these bricks supporting the lintel was removed and bricked up as well (I've attached some images).

Obviously I want to make sure the bricks above the lintel are supported, I also have some spares of the original bricks used to build the house. I would ideally like to leave the brickwork inside the fireplace exposed, although this is assuming the brick faces not yet visible are in good shape.

I've been trying to decide the best way to deal with making sure the lintel is supported. If anybody with experience could give me an opinion I'd really appreciate it, as I see it my options are:

1. Remove the modern brick and replace it with half an original brick.
Advantages
When finished the exposed brick header would look nice vs a modern brick chopped in half.
Disadvantages
Might not adequately support the lintel.


2. Remove the modern brick and the half of the original brick and replace it with a full original brick.
Advantages
Having a whole brick there would provide a lot of support to the lintel and bricks above.
When finished the exposed brick header would look nice vs a modern brick chopped in half.
Disadvantages
The lime mortar holding everything in place is ancient so and the material above looks like it could easily come away with the brick below.


3. Chop the modern brick in half leaving just the half supporting the lintel in place.
Advantages
This would be the least intrusive and wouldn't risk causing further problems with material above falling away.
It would take less time.
Disadvantages
The brick is already smaller than the others and only about a third would actually be left, this might not provide a huge amount of support.
The cut brick would have to be rendered over if I leave the rest of the brickwork exposed when finished.

https://ibb.co/564q2Rt
https://ibb.co/pJZPqph
https://ibb.co/ZG71xdk
James7758
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Postby stoneyboy » Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:00 pm

Hi james7758,
Quite honestly you need to rebuild the right hand buttress below that shown in your photos.
Leave the bricks directly under the lintel in place while you do this.
Regards S
stoneyboy
Rank: Project Manager
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