A lintel is a horizontal architectural member or steel beam support placed over a wall opening to carry the weight of the masonry placed over it. In most situations the lintel above your windows and doors will be steel angle iron or an I beam. Steel lintels are a prevailing architectural feature in masonry buildings in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
The most common reason for lintel deterioration due to rusting is age. However, improper installation may cause Lintels to rust and decline considerably fast, even on newer buildings and recently installed lintels. Rusting lintels tend to expand vertically and horizontally destabilizing the structure of the wall.
Main symptoms of rusting lintels is a crack in the masonry originating from top corner of the window and running sometimes several feet, usually diagonally across the wall. Severe lintel rusting may cause serious structural damages and may lead to dangerous conditions.
In the majority of situations rusting lintels must be replaced. Best Brickmasters can provide you with detailed estimates on the cost of lintel replacement. Best Brickmasters is in close contact with multiple structural engineers and can provide recommendations if you do in fact require structural plans.