Rusted Lintels


Is lintel maintenance important? I am not talking about the edible legume. I am referring to a horizontal support typically found over fireplaces, doors, windows, or portals. Lintels can be made of various materials but often are made of steel. A lintel is designed to span (divert) the load to walls on each side of an opening as there is weight above a window or door.

Lintels are a structural component. Unless the steel is protected, it will rust. As the rust becomes worse, it will cause the steel to expand, which can cause the mortar and brick to crack. Indeed,  this can become a big and expensive issue to repair. I see rusted lintels all the time, and often in my reports I’ll  say something to this effect: “Window and door lintels need paint to prevent corrosion. Rusted lintels can cause long range issues related to structural support. Inspector recommends a licensed painter clean the lintels (removing any rust) and paint with high grade metal paint…”

Lintels, though a small part of the home, are important and they need to be monitored and maintained.


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