Lintel Installation in Yorkshire
The post-and-lintel system is one of the most ancient and fundamental forms of architecture, and it has been used by cultures worldwide. This system is still used in buildings today. However, it has largely been replaced by more advanced methods of construction. The Romans extensively used this system to construct temples. They also used self-supporting lintels, and the arch is thought to have originated during the Roman period. Stone and wooden lintels continued to be used throughout the Middle Ages. During the 18th century, cast iron and steel lintels became increasingly popular. Iron and steel lintels could be mass-produced in foundries, making them cheaper and easier to produce than stone. The installation of stone lintels is a skilled task that requires careful planning and execution. Steel lintel installation is generally less complex, but it is essential to ensure that it is adequately supported to avoid collapsing.
At The Yorkshire Lime Company, we have been repairing self-supporting brickwork and installing lintels in traditionally built homes for many years. We use hot lime mortar when undertaking any lintel repairs matching the colour and consistency of the original mortar. This means we can undertake repairs on listed buildings following the correct conservation methods.
Installing Lintels in Yorkshire
Over time, the installation of lintels has become increasingly crucial for traditional buildings, especially where timber windows have been replaced with PVC ones. PVC windows provide no structural support to the masonry above them, and in time cracks can start to appear above the window as the masonry begins to move. A pre-stressed steel lintel should be installed before the window is fitted.
Because most window fitters don’t make you aware that you need a steel lintel installed, by the time you realize your window is usually warping from the stress and water is ingressing above the frame, this is because the brickwork has started to move. The brickwork usually has to be altered to fit the lintel. This is typically the case where there has been a soldier course of bricks above a timber window, and the bricks don’t usually line up with the horizontal mortar line the lintel has to sit on. The bricks in the soldier course may need to be reduced in size. This can leave a void between the altered brickwork and the frame that will need filling, and this is another reason to have lintels installed before the windows are fitted.
Steel Lintel Installation In Traditional Buildings
Metal lintels have been used in the UK for over 100 years. They were initially made from iron and steel and were used to support the masonry over window openings or doorways. Steel lintel installations are essential for any building, as they help distribute the structure’s weight evenly. This prevents the bricks from collapsing and ensures that the building is stable. Over the years, lintels have been made from various materials, including concrete, stone and wood. However, steel lintels are still the most popular choice among builders due to their strength and durability. Choosing a reputable company with experience in this type of work is important if you’re planning a steel lintel installation. With so many factors to consider, such as load-bearing capacity and fire resistance, you must choose a firm that can provide you with the right advice and guidance.
By their very definition, traditional buildings are built using methods and materials that have been around for centuries. One of the repair methods used in these traditional buildings is to install pre-stressed steel lintels. Which, as the name suggests, is steel that has been pre-stressed or had tension applied to it before construction. The main reason for installing pre-stressed steel lintels rather than regular steel is that the weight of the masonry can cause the steel to bow or sag in the middle. Because the pre-stressed steel lintels have had tension applied to them beforehand, they are less likely to bend or sag.
Installing Stone Lintels in Yorkshire
Stone lintels are a common feature in many historic buildings. They provide support for the masonry above window and door openings. Masonry paint can provide some protection against the elements, but it also creates a barrier that traps moisture in the stone. Trapped moisture can cause the lintel to swell, erode, and crack over time. If your lintel is already starting to show signs of damage, it is essential to have it evaluated by a professional before it becomes irreparable. In many cases, replacement is more cost-effective than repeated repairs.
It is vital to ensure that your historic building is maintained correctly. A qualified masonry contractor should perform a stone lintel installation. The installer will first evaluate the condition of the existing stone lintel and determine if it can be repaired or if replacement is necessary. They will then install a new stone lintel using techniques that minimize damage to the surrounding masonry. The new lintel will be carefully sealed to prevent moisture from becoming trapped and causing future problems.
Concrete Lintel Installation in Yorkshire
The first recorded use of concrete lintels dates back to the Roman Empire. Roman Concrete was used extensively by the Romans for various construction projects, including constructing roads, bridges, and buildings. The Roman architect Vitruvius discusses using concrete lintels in his treatise “On Architecture.” Vitruvius writes that concrete lintels are ideal for supporting large loads, and he praises their durability and strength. The popularity of concrete lintels continued into the Renaissance when they were used in the construction of many notable buildings, including the Palace of Versailles and St. Peter’s Basilica. Today, concrete lintels are still commonly used in construction projects worldwide. Thanks to their versatility and strength, they play an essential role in the built environment.
A concrete lintel is a horizontal beam installed over an opening, such as a door or window. In the past, lintels were often made of wood, but today they are most commonly made of concrete and steel. Like any other building material, concrete lintels have advantages and disadvantages. One of the main advantages of concrete lintels is that they are much cheaper than different types of lintels, such as steel, stone, or wooden lintels.
Concrete lintels are also much more readily available, so you don’t have to wait weeks or months for them to be delivered to your project. However, one of the main disadvantages of concrete lintels is that they are prone to expansion due to rust. This can cause them to crack, ultimately leading to the collapse of the masonry above. Another downside of installing concrete lintels is that they are not permeable, which means they don’t allow moisture to transfer through them freely. This can cause damp problems in the long run.
Wooden Lintel Replacement in Yorkshire
The humble wooden lintel has been a critical construction component since early man started to develop building techniques. They have proved highly durable, outlasting many modern materials that have not been treated with care. A key reason for the longevity of wooden lintels is the use of lime mortar throughout their construction. Lime mortar protects against decay and rot while allowing any moisture in the wooden lintel to be drawn out through capillary movement. This principle was also used to treat timber windows, which were regularly lime-washed to protect them from the elements. Today, the installation of wooden lintels is somewhat less standard, but they continue to provide a valuable service in many historic buildings. Thanks to their durability and low maintenance requirements.
When installing a wooden lintel, it is essential to do so with active capillary materials. These aren’t necessarily what the industry refers to as breathable fabrics – capillarity and breathability aren’t necessarily the same. Tests in labs force air through materials to prove its breathability, but a traditional building does not function like that. Moisture gets drawn out through the walls or timbers by capillary action – this is driven by air movement circulating in and outside the home; water does not get forced out under pressure. Breathable materials can still create a barrier if the capillary rate does not match. The safest option is to use pure lime mortars, adding natural pigments to washes and pozzolans to mortars where hydraulic action may be needed.
Repairing Brick Arches in Yorkshire
Brick arches and self-supporting masonry often move because the mortar between the bricks has eroded over time. This is often caused by moisture getting trapped behind cement pointing. When the mortar erodes, it causes the masonry to move and often locks itself back together. The masonry can be packed with slate and pointed with lime mortar to prevent further movement. When the masonry is stabilised, the masonry above can be removed so that stainless steel wall ties can be installed to hold the above walls together. However, when working on self-supporting masonry, we suggest having a structural report done so that you know it’s the right repair for the job.
Repairing Self-supporting Lintels
Self-supporting lintels are a common feature in most traditional buildings. They are made from either brickwork or stone masonry and rely on the compression of weight around them for strength. However, when the mortar between the masonry units erodes, it creates voids that allow water to ingress into the building. These voids also allow the masonry to move, which can cause cracks to appear in the masonry above. If left unchecked, this movement can eventually lead to the collapse of the masonry.
Why Choose The Yorkshire Lime Company for Lintel Installations?
With our lintel installation service, we can install lintels made from wood, natural stone, steel or brickwork that will support the weight of your structure while complementing its appearance. Our lintel repair service can help to prolong the life of your building. We can also provide written consultations and advice on Heritage and listed buildings alongside our comprehensive professional services.
Some of the main reasons why we believe that you should choose us for lintel installation in Yorkshire are;
- We offer a range of professional masonry services.
- We have years of experience in the Heritage industry
- We are well-known across Yorkshire
- We are passionate about what we do
- Competitively priced with other masons across the UK
The above points are just a few of the main reasons we believe you should choose us for any building restoration services in Yorkshire. For more information about us or any of our traditional building services, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Contact The Yorkshire Lime Company for Lintel Installations in Yorkshire
As any professional builder knows, the materials you choose for your construction project are essential. Not only do they need to be fit for purpose and meet building regulations, but they also need to be compatible with the existing fabric of the building. Finding suitable materials can be complex, and it is often best to seek professional advice. At The Yorkshire Lime Company Ltd, we have many years of experience in masonry repairs and alterations. We can provide a full masonry assessment, specifying your project’s correct mortar and pointing techniques. We are steel lintel installation and stone lintel repair specialists with an intimate knowledge of historic buildings and their environments. So if you are unsure about the materials you need for your construction project, contact us today. We will be happy to advise you.
How do you repair lintels?
If your existing steel lintel has started to rust, it should be replaced with a pre-stressed stainless steel lintel. This should be done by a competent builder. If you live in a traditionally built home, the new stainless steel lintel must be installed using lime mortar. Using lime mortar prevents moisture from building up inside the brickwork, which causes dampness to appear inside the home. If making repairs to a stone lintel, you can use surface repair mortars to reform an arris or hide erosion. If the stone lintel has failed, it can be replaced using lime mortar.
As any builder knows, cracks in masonry can quickly lead to structural problems. One way to prevent further damage is to undertake a process known as crack stitching. This involves installing stainless steel helical bars into the masonry joints, using anchor resin or grout. However, it is important to note that the anchor resin and grouts used are incompatible with porous masonry. As a result, any repairs on this type of material should only be seen as a temporary fix.
How do you know if you need a lintel installed?
If you are considering replacing your old windows with new PVC windows, it is more than likely that you will also need a lintel installed. This should be done before the new windows are measured in case the brickwork needs to be altered. Quite often, the brickwork in traditional homes was laid across the timber windows, which meant that it did not matter if the brickwork above the window did not line up with the mortar joints. When installing a new lintel, it must sit across the brickwork above the window to support the weight above. This means alterations to the brickwork may be necessary. However, with proper planning and execution, installing a lintel should not be a difficult task. As always, if you have any doubts or concerns, it is best to consult with a professional before undertaking any work on your home.
Do you need a structural report to install a lintel?
Whether or not you need a structural report for your building project depends on the scope of the work. You do not need a structural report if you simply install a lintel above an existing opening. However, you should notify building control of the work so that they can inspect it and ensure that it meets the code. If you are creating a new opening or altering a structural wall, you will need a structural report to obtain the correct specifications for the new RSJ. And if you own a listed building, you must apply for a listed building consent before carrying out any repair work that could alter the structure’s historic fabric. Following these guidelines ensures that your building project is carried out properly and up to code.
Is a cracked lintel serious?
A cracked lintel can be severe if left to expand. Diagnosing the cause of the cracking should be the first step; this is done to prevent the same problem from reoccurring. Modern mortars and masonry paints trap moisture in porous materials and cause them to erode. This trapped moisture also causes thermal expansion leading to cracks forming within stone lintels. If the damage hasn’t fractured the lintel, it can be repaired with a surface mortar. Any non-porous materials should be removed from around it and replaced with a lime-based product. Concrete lintels crack because, over time, the steel inside them expands in damp conditions causing the concrete to fracture. Concrete lintels are best suited for internal use in modern homes.
How do you repair cracks in masonry?
When cracks begin to form in masonry, it can be a sign that the structure is failing and in need of support. One method of providing this support is known as crack stitching. This involves installing stainless steel helical bars into the cracks, using anchor resin or grout. However, it should be noted that these materials are not compatible with porous masonry. As such, any repairs undertaken with this method should only be seen as a temporary fix. If the structural integrity of the masonry is in doubt, it is best to consult with a professional before undertaking any repairs.
How do you repair brick arches and self-supporting masonry?
Brick arches and self-supporting masonry are two of the most common structural elements in buildings today. However, both can suffer from a common problem: erosion of the mortar between the bricks or stones. This erosion is often caused by moisture getting trapped behind cement pointing. As the mortar erodes, it causes the masonry to move and often locks itself back together. The masonry can be packed with slate and pointed with lime mortar to prevent further movement. This will stabilise the masonry and prevent it from moving any further. In some cases, the masonry above the affected area may need to be removed so that stainless steel wall ties can be installed to hold the walls together. However, before undertaking any repair work, it is essential to have a structural report done to ensure that the chosen repair method is appropriate for the job.