Sagging Garage Lintel

The problem indicated in the “before” photo is that the lintel, (metal support that sits above the garage door but below the bricks), was undersized to support the weight of the bricks, and was not bolted into the lumber header behind the bricks. As well, the bricks were not properly secured to the stud wall via adequate brick ties (wall ties).The result over time was that the lintel had sagged from the weight of the masonry siding. Cracks had occurred and therefore the brick wall above the garage door was in danger of collapse. The original lintel was 1/4” thickness. The bottom leg was 4”and the vertical leg was also 4”. The appropriately sized new lintel is 3/8” thickness. The bottom leg is 4” and the vertical leg is 6”. Most of the lintel’s strength comes from the vertical leg. For this reason it’s almost always required to be larger.   While these numbers may not sound very different, when you look at the two lintels side by side, the visual difference is enormous. And the structural integrity is in multiples. It’s very important that the lintel be adequately sized to carry the load. However, it’s commonly undersized and the home will deflect as a result. Bolting the lintel into the wood framework of the home insures that the lintel won’t be able to move out of its original position as the steel it’s made from expands and contracts due to hot and cold temperature variations throughout the year. The brick ties are metal tabs that are nailed into the vertical 2×4 studs of your home and then laced into the horizontal “bed joints” of mortar between courses of brick. They work in conjunction with the lintel to both support the brick as well as connect it to the home.   Lastly you may notice in the “in process” photo that we have installed a  Tyvek moisture barrier behind the bricks. This insures that humidity cannot permeate the brick wall and damage the wood behind the bricks. When all of these processes are completed properly the brick will be securely fastened, properly supported, and the wall will be waterproof. The last photo shows the final result. We have matched the sand texture and the mortar color. Therefore, it’s virtually impossible to detect the repairs.  

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