Defective lintels are a serious hazard and a very easy way to obtain a Building Code Violation, especially in Chicago.
If you asked around, you would find very few people who know what a lintel is. You are more likely to get an answer associated with cooking than you would one with masonry repair. For the building owner, lintel replacement is a vital part of building maintenance and restoration of old buildings. In a brick house, there it is a piece of metal (angle iron) above the doors and window. Those are lintels, also called angle irons. The piece of metal is called a lintel, which sole purpose is to carry the load of the masonry above the door or window opening.
As a building ages and inevitably settles, the building owner is going to have to contract with someone for lintel replacement. In the case of a condo building, apartment building or high rise repair job, this can get rather tricky. It may look like the bricks are resting on a door or window frame, but actually it's the lintel that is completing the structure and are an important element in any brick building. High Rise lintel replacement can be over 100 feet in the air and will require a special scaffolding system and someone not afraid of heights to complete the repairs. The repairs must also be completed very carefully. If something should fall off the building or scaffold it may be a long way down before it stops. Care is extremely important in any sized building for us whether a condominium building, apartment building or high rise building. Care must be taken to protect the public, but also the tenants of the building, possible employees or anyone else for that matter.
A lintel is a shelf that the bricks can rest on. The problem is that these things are exposed to the changes in weather like the rest of the brick wall. In a lot of buildings, you may never see the lintel because it is covered with mortar. And the case of a high rise repair job, it may be so high up, that you will never see it. However, when it ages or corrodes, it can cause cracks to the entire wall, which can also let in moisture. A crack in a brick wall can start small but then it can grow as a wall settles and changes over the years. This is why lintel replacement is a common occurrence.
A broken or corroded lintel is a way that water can get into a wall and then as it freezes and expands through the seasons, it will put pressure on the wall from the inside. And the higher the wall, the more likely you are going to need lintel replacement and masonry rebuilding. There can be greater temperature variations in tall buildings that do not exist in single story buildings. Although, being a one story dwelling does not prevent you from having to have lintel replacement. For the layman, this is a very difficult job and you should do yourself a favor and find a way to make it easy.
You will need skilled craftsmen and experienced masons to finish this work and make sure you have an easy time. You need to look for a company that specializes in both brick repair and lintel replacement. This way, you will get the best of both worlds even if you are dealing with a single story building. High rises, by their very nature, have a lot of unexpected problems arise with any repair job. If you contact a company like Bruno Construction, we will assess what needs to be done and know all the infrastructure requirements before we ever begin work. We will start by looking at what needs to be repaired in order to maintain the safety of the building. Then we will be happy to talk to you about aesthetic concerns and the kind of look you want your building to portray. They are masters both the technical needs of masonry and the appearance of your brick wall. Bruno Construction is knowledgeable about all the legal and regulatory requirements necessary to work on buildings from single family homes to multifamily buildings and to high rise repairs. Our customer service is very good and you will be pleased if you need anything from a complete restoration of a wall or something that is relatively simple as lintel replacement or masonry repairs. Lintel Replacement Needed? Call Bruno Construction!
Bruno Construction Masonry, Inc. is a Chicago based, Family Owned, Contractor serving the surrounding Suburbs with Tuckpointing and Masonry Services.
Bruno Construction has been a Tuckpointing Chicago Contractor Since 1984.
Lintels need to be replaced over a period of time. If a steel lintel fails you risk the chance of the masonry above coming down and crashing to the ground and also the chance that a person can be standing there at the same time.
Steel Lintels found within a wall between floors are called shelf angles. These shelf angles also rust and deteriorate over time and need to be replaced to support the masonry above properly.