A common masonry repair is steel lintel replacement. As a home ages the steel lintels (the support for the brick work above an opening) sometimes begin to rust and fail. The signs are obvious if you know what to look for. When looking for steel lintel replacement and masonry repair issues on an older masonry building you will look for cracks and separations in the mortar and bricks where the bricks over the opening meets the openings’ side walls.
You will first notice a small crack off the corner of the window opening, where the steel meets the sides of the brick opening and a crack in the mortar will usually stair step up the wall away from the opening. This is a sign that the steel beneath the brick and above the opening has excessive water collecting on the surface. This water causes rust to form on the steel which causes it to expand as it decays, sometimes up to ten times the original thickness which requires a steel lintel replacement.
This expansion of the steel lifts the masonry causing cracks in the masonry. As soon as you notice a brick or mortar crack in these areas, it is a good time to apply a masonry sealer above the openings in hopes of preventing a steel replacement repair.
The masonry sealer may or may not work. It could certainly slow down the deterioration process. You probably will not need a masonry repair or a brick crack repair at this time. As the steel ages further, the mortar and brick cracks that were originally only hairline in width get larger and larger as the steel lintel begins to expand rapidly with oxidation. It is not uncommon to find cracks as large as 1 1/2″ due to the expansion of the deteriorating steel and this condition will usually require a steel lintel replacement repair.
At this point more water enters into the masonry causing addition deterioration and creates a circular pattern. You will have to have a steel lintel replacement repair completed to stop the problem. Estimated Repair Cost – $650 for small window and up, depending on size of window and location. Contact Us
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