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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Charlotte NC
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    2,303

    Default Mortar gap at lintel

    Seven year old house with single row of soldier between windows. No cracks in the brick and no sign of rust stains. Is the gap due to thermal expansion, shrinkage, or poor tooling at build? Recommend sealing with silicone or re-pointing. If it is due to thermal expansion, will it crack the brick when the temperature cycles if re-pointed?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
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    2,303

    Default Re: Mortar gap at lintel

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Seven year old house with single row of soldier between windows. No cracks in the brick and no sign of rust stains. Is the gap due to thermal expansion, shrinkage, or poor tooling at build? Recommend sealing with silicone or re-pointing. If it is due to thermal expansion, will it crack the brick when the temperature cycles if re-pointed?
    (Forgot pic's)

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Mortar gap at lintel

    I don't see it as an issue. I would not recommend silicone to fill the gap, a similar mortar should be used if they don't like the gap and want to fill it. Silicone will lock tend to lock moisture in the area and could cause problems down the road.

    Most likely due to shrinkage and I also bet that the metal brick shelf/lintel had paint on it and this acted like a "bond breaker" and kept the mortar from adhering to it. So when everything dried and shrunk the mortar stuck to the brick and pulled away from the metal.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Mortar gap at lintel

    I think the brick below the upper window should have a sloped ledge on it.
    Could water be entering behind the brick of the upper window, causing the metal shelf to rust, lifting the brick?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Mortar gap at lintel

    I am with Rick. If you take a look at the bottom of the upper window there is a lot of discolouration, dark staining, that indicates to me that there is water coming down on that ledge possibly from a poor gutter or wind driven rain. Frost/thaw action.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,847

    Default Re: Mortar gap at lintel

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I think the brick below the upper window should have a sloped ledge on it.
    Could water be entering behind the brick of the upper window, causing the metal shelf to rust, lifting the brick?
    I don't think you would see the uniform separation like we see in the picture if this was happening. I would also expect to see the front edge rusting if this was the case.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    atlanta
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Mortar gap at lintel

    If the flashing above the windows and behind the bricks was installed correctly, it would extend out past the lintel, covering the entire metal lintel, thus preventing concrete to metal contact, lowering rust, and diverting any water penteration of the brick over the window out the weep holes, that are also required at the tops and bottoms of all windows.
    John Miller
    Atlanta, GA


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    atlanta
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Mortar gap at lintel

    Reinspecting the pictures, I cannot tell if the lintel acutally supported by bricks on either side of the window, of if the lintel just runs the width of the window, I also cannot see any weep holes in the pictures.
    John Miller
    Atlanta, GA


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