The very simple answer is YES!
What are Lintels?
Lintels are the metal that spans across your door or window opening at the top of the opening. They are used to support the weight of brick. They are usually dipped galvanised pieces of flat or angled steel.
So what is the problem?
Unless the steel is protected it will rust. Surface rust to start with but, as it gets worst, and it will unless maintained, it will cause the steel to expand. Like a glass bottle full of water in the freezer the forces are substantial and eventually something has to give. Here lies the problem. The expanding steel will cause the brick and mortar around the lintel to crack. As the crack grows it can impact the structural integrity of the entire wall.
So What is the Solution?
Keep the maintenance up to the lintels. Make sure that they are regularly monitored and when required painted with the appropriate paints and rust inhibitors. Minimise rust!
Okay so you have not looked after the lintels and cracking on the adjacent wall has started to occur. The good news is badly rusted lintels can be replaced. It is a reasonably large job and will often require the removal of several bricks from around the lintel. It is important though to ensure you act before the cracking becomes structural and you use a professional trades person to undertake the work.
My Lintels have caused Really Bad Cracking!
So you really let them go and now you have a structural issue, which could be a danger to those in the property and might even impact you in trying to sell your property. The lintel can be replaced but will most likely cost you a lot of money. This is because things need to be rebuilt and fixed. Save yourself money and keep up with the maintenance.
Lintels are really important but small part of your home. Lintels need to be maintained. If you do not maintain the lintels, big problems can eventually creep up and cause more issues.
Schedule today a yearly maintenance inspection, which we recommend to help homeowners avoid costly repairs like this one.