Looking for a lintel replacement? Structural Beam can handle any lintel replacement job in Chicago IL. Call us today at 773-917-8998 for a free estimate!
Need Lintel Replacement Job Done Professionally? Call for an Estimate to Structural Beam!
Window and door lintels are structural load-bearing elements of your house. Lintels, if compromised, need to be replaced ASAP, to prevent structural damage to the walls of your house. If you are planning to remodel your windows and doors, lintel installation has to be done by qualified professionals.
Structural Beam is a local Chicago IL general contractor with masonry capabilities. We can do that for you, professionally, quickly, and at a very reasonable price. Call us today at 773-917-8998, we’ll offer you the best solution!
Lintel function, types, and materials
Lintel, what does it do?
A lintel is a horizontal structural support member. This is very important information for you to start taking lintels and their integrity and structural stability very seriously. Let’s rub it in a little deeper.
Structural and load-bearing element
A lintel is a structural load-bearing element, that bears the structural load from above the window or doorway, and transfers it to the walls on the side. You see, the door and the window, structurally speaking, are just “holes”. So, there’s also a concentrated unsupported load hanging above it, and it needs to be somehow supported.
Failure can lead to partial masonry collapse
The weight of brick masonry above your window lintel or door lintel is supported by that lintel. If lintel failure occurs, it will cause a collapse of the masonry above the window. A dangerous and ugly situation, isn’t it? So, remember to inspect the lintels once in a while, to make sure nothing of sorts will happen to your home.
There are different types of window lintels and door lintels, some older types are found in heritage masonry structures, and newer types are found pretty much everywhere, in private houses, apartment buildings, and commercial properties.
Metal lintels are actually structural steel lintels, made of hot-rolled structural steel products, like angle beams aka L-beams, tees, or T-beams, C-channels. Since ASTM A36, mild structural carbon steel, is not rust-proof, it’s a good practice to use galvanized lintels to ensure their long-term structural stability.
Concrete lintel, made of concrete. Two main types are prestressed precast lintels and reinforced concrete lintels. Good for standard applications, but have inferior weight-to-strength ratio compared to steel lintels, and are less versatile for custom projects, due to standard length.
Timber, brick, and stone lintel
More ancient timber lintels, strange choice nowadays, but much in use before the advent of structural steel and concrete. Particularly vulnerable to elements, affected by rot, and not fire-proof.
Honorary mention of heritage brick arch lintels and stone lintels is due, but good chances you don’t have those in your home.
All are prone to failure
The main thing to remember here is that all of these: steel lintels, brick lintels, stone lintels, concrete lintels, timber lintels, are all prone to lintel failure and need to be inspected during the regular house-maintenance self-inspection that we hope you practice.
Signs of lintel failure
There’s a very particular pattern to the lintel failure that you can’t miss. If you see any cracks appearing in the surrounding masonry above your doors or windows, you should already be paying attention and calling for a specialist to check what’s going on.
If you see a pattern of stepped cracking starting at the corners and moving up and towards the center of the lintel as if a wide Christmas tree forming on top of it, the chances are that the lintel has failed.
There could be a bunch of factors, contributing to the lintel failure
Structural reasons like movement in the foundation and in the walls, applying weird tension to the lintel. Powerful energy discharges during the earthquakes, or soil moving the foundation during the landslides, etc., could be another reason. Hope it’s not your case, but we have to mention it.
Non-professional existing lintel installation
Yes, improper, non-professional lintel installation happens, and that’s why it’s always important to use professional, reputable construction services.
Remember, window and doorway lintels are structural load-bearing elements. As such, they better have predictable and stable characteristics. At Structural Beam, we install structural steel replacement lintels. Structural steel has excellent load-bearing capacity due to its mechanical properties, which are standard and thus fully predictable. Structural steel lintel has a service life of at least 50-60 years.
Proper lintel failure can occur when lintel has become structurally compromised. Wood rots, steel corrodes, stone and bricks crack.
There are reasons for that happening, too. If you find that the existing lintel has been exposed to water from the inside of the brickwork and that there’s dampness there, that issue has to be addressed, as well.
Use this as a chance to get professional advice to make sure that the new lintel will not follow the case of the existing failed one, by addressing the root causes of the failure.
Structural Beam, a one-stop lintel replacement solution
The best way to go about the complex house repair issues is to hire a general contractor, that’ll coordinate all the contractors, working on the project. Structural Beam offers you an “all in same hands” approach.
We are capable of handling projects that involve both structural steel design, fabrication, and installation, along with a brick and concrete masonry. This creates a comprehensive lintel replacement service package, with all responsibility concentrated in the same hands.
Work with us, and let’s find the cause of the lintel failure, and replace it with a new structural steel lintel, that will serve you long and well.
Lintel replacement job, an outline
- Our specialists assess the on-site conditions, inspect the lintel and surrounding area, from inside and from outside the house
- Structural engineer works along with builders to come up with a solution
- You’ll be advised on the types of permits you need to get so we can move forward, remember, lintels are structural load-bearing members
- Our estimation team calculates the overall cost of the project
- Structural Beam’s fabricators cooperate with our engineer to produce shop drawings to fabricate the structural steel elements accordingly
- We will arrange the supplies of raw materials, at the wholesale price, so our fabricators can start fabricating that new lintel
- Our builders will install temporary supports and will remove the compromised lintel and a part of the brick wall above it
- A new lintel will be installed, and masonry specialists will do the necessary repairs to restore the brickwork
By working with reputable professionals, like Structural Beam, Chicago IL area general contractor, you’ll only need to get in touch with us and tell us about your problem.
We’ll handle all the logistics, metal lintel replacement, and masonry work. We’ll do our best to keep the lintel replacement cost low and the quality of the lintel replacement high. Call us today at 773-917-8998, we’ll take it from there!
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I replace my lintel?
You absolutely must replace your lintel, if a crack “Christmas tree” pattern developed over it. It is usually a sure sign of the lintel failure, and, since lintel is a load-bearing structural member, you have to replace it to prevent partial wall collapses.
How do you replace an old lintel?
When we do the lintel replacement, we first need to create temporary structural support for the masonry above it, remove the existing failed lintel, insert the new one, and repair the masonry. It’s complex and serious structural work, best handled by qualified and reputable professionals, like the ones that work at Structural Beam.
Is a cracked lintel serious?
Yes, it is, actually. It always holds until it doesn’t, and you don’t want a part of your walls to suddenly collapse. It’s better to address the issue right away and head-on, to make sure to prevent further complications, danger to health and life, and property damage.