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I don't see any lintels in my house

Postby KDM » Tue Aug 02, 2022 7:53 am

Hi.
When I bought my house, all but one windows were double-glazed. I got the one remaining window measured up and the fitter came to install it. First thing he did was knock out the existing wood frame. I noticed that it seemed to be build in the fabric of the house and that there didn't appear to be a lintel over it. He said it would be fine a there are only 3 rows of bricks above it and then a flat roof.
But then I looked at my other windows, and I can't see ANY lintels, even on the downstairs windows.
Each window does have a soldier course, but the bricks are laid horizontal and transverse rather than vertical.
I am also aware that there's s thing like a folded metal lintel which hides in the wall cavity.
How can I tell if I have, or if I need lintels?
Thanks.
KDM
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Postby stoneyboy » Sat Aug 06, 2022 9:19 pm

Hi kdm,
You will have lintels supporting the inner skin of your brick walls. You can check by drilling a small hole up into the reveal using a masonry drill. You lintels may be timber, concrete or steel depending on the age of your property.
It used to be standard practice to used the window frames to support the outer bricks. If you have cracks or sunken bricks either side of the window openings you may need to get this sorted, otherwise if it ain't broke don't fix it!
Regards S
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Postby KDM » Sun Aug 07, 2022 7:54 am

Yes, I suppose there would be; the window's only in the outer skin.
The mortar in the brickwork above the one window is cracking, but it's only between the bricks of the soldier course.
KDM
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Postby stoneyboy » Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:27 pm

Hi kdm,
Cracking is inevitable, replacement windows are made undersize so where you had a timber window it was supporting the soldiers. The replacement window will only support them with the frame sealant which hides the gap.
Regards S
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Postby KDM » Mon Aug 08, 2022 8:45 am

...and, assuming metal ties have been used to tie the inner wall to the outer wall, this explains how I managed to burn out my mortar removal tool when I was trying to repoint.
KDM
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