Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. #1
    Reggie Russell's Avatar
    Reggie Russell Guest

    Question Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Hey Guys,

    I attended my local ASHI chapter meeting last Sat. We had a guy from RamJack come talk to us about structural issues. It was all very good and informative, I just have one question about something he told us and would like a second opinion before I go writing this up every time I see it, which is a lot! This is in regard to Garage Door openings: He told us that there are no readily available steel angle sections (that a local builder can purchase from a steel fabricator) that can span 16 to 18 feet, support its own weight plus that of 2 to 3 feet of brick veneer, and not deflect, twist or bend excessively. Here is his exact statement from his website concerning this condition: "This is my personal observation (based on more than 13 years of residential inspection experience) and may not be an accurate or factual statement. Nevertheless, it is my opinion/contention that crack formations in brick veneer above/beside double-wide garage door openings (in the Huntsville-metropolitan area) are the rule rather than the exception".

    Alabama Residential Inspection Services, LLC

    If that is true, my question is, how would I know if it was bolted or secured to some type of back-up structural member that helps provide the added strength (rigidity) necessary to prevent excessive deflection/twisting, and therefore brick veneer cracking? If no cracking has occurred yet, what do I say, that a PE needs to further evaluate and determine if that has been done or not? I don't know of any HI in my area doing that, (doesn't mean there aren't, I just don't know of any) so some input from you guys would be appreciated! Thanks!

    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I wouldn't say a thing unless I could see an obvious defect.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    You can drive yourself (and your clients) nuts with all the "what-if" scenarios. Unless you see a performance problem I wouldn't mention it. Especially at the recommendation of one contractor.

    I'm particularly weary of these structural contractors that jack slabs and foundations (not sure if that's what the guy does but it sounds like it). I've seen/heard a lot of sketchy stuff over the years from these guys. Mainly, selling "fixes" for things that really aren't problems. Like installing a row of concrete pilings along a foundation that has a hairline vertical crack. These guys feed off the fear of uneducated homeowners.

    I've learned to pay a lot of attention and absorb as much as I can at an educational seminar but not let it change my life once I'm in the field.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Reggie Russell View Post
    Hey Guys,

    I attended my local ASHI chapter meeting last Sat. We had a guy from RamJack come talk to us about structural issues. It was all very good and informative, I just have one question about something he told us and would like a second opinion before I go writing this up every time I see it, which is a lot! This is in regard to Garage Door openings: He told us that there are no readily available steel angle sections (that a local builder can purchase from a steel fabricator) that can span 16 to 18 feet, support its own weight plus that of 2 to 3 feet of brick veneer, and not deflect, twist or bend excessively. Here is his exact statement from his website concerning this condition: "This is my personal observation (based on more than 13 years of residential inspection experience) and may not be an accurate or factual statement. Nevertheless, it is my opinion/contention that crack formations in brick veneer above/beside double-wide garage door openings (in the Huntsville-metropolitan area) are the rule rather than the exception".

    Alabama Residential Inspection Services, LLC

    If that is true, my question is, how would I know if it was bolted or secured to some type of back-up structural member that helps provide the added strength (rigidity) necessary to prevent excessive deflection/twisting, and therefore brick veneer cracking? If no cracking has occurred yet, what do I say, that a PE needs to further evaluate and determine if that has been done or not? I don't know of any HI in my area doing that, (doesn't mean there aren't, I just don't know of any) so some input from you guys would be appreciated! Thanks!
    Maybe I don't fully grasp your locals' construction methods but steel angle does not support the brick veneer along it's length around here so length of the angle has nothing to do with the equation. The steel brick angle is bolted to the header. Maybe you have problems with undersized headers or the brick shelf not being secured properly but steel angle is successfully used 90+% of the time in this area.

    All we can do is inspect what we can see so if there are visible defects, report it. If not, then move on.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    I'm wondering if the guy looks at the cracks that develop at the outside corners and thinks it's due to the lack of support, instead of from corroding lintels.


  6. #6
    brian hattan's Avatar
    brian hattan Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Hey guys, long time lurker, first post.

    I am an SE in Illinois and I would agree with the posted statement. I do not use unbraced angles for anything greater than 6'-8' for a lintel (and at that point it would be a double angle). If there is an LVL header or something else, then I would ahve no problem bolting the angle to the LVL for an 18' span.

    An easy way to try and determine if the brick shelf angle is bolted to the header would be to be look at the relative deflection of the two elements. If the angle is bolted to the header they should both deflect equally and the trim along the top of the door frame should look good. If the angle is not attached then it will deflect/move far more than the header (unless the header is also under sized, but that is a whole different issue) and you should be able to see the trim popping or something.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    I'm wondering if the guy looks at the cracks that develop at the outside corners and thinks it's due to the lack of support, instead of from corroding lintels.
    I have seen plenty of cracks at the corners over the years and no rust/corrosion on the lintel. It has been my experience that most of the cracks at the garage corners is related to the header construction and how the brick shelf is attached or supported.

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

  8. #8
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    How often do you see them flashed correctly? In my area, I would estimate on about 15% of my inspections. Painted? Hardly ever. Usually just some crappy primer coat.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    High Point, NC
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    I've seen this problem quite a bit, even this week on a home less than 10 years old. This garage has a arched opening and I could see no steel support under the veneer, although the metal cladding must be wrapped around something, huh?
    This home was inspected in March this year.
    I always write it up with a recommendation to consult a professional engineer to determine if the supporting angle shelf is sufficient in size or installation for the load above it.

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images

  10. #10
    Reggie Russell's Avatar
    Reggie Russell Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    Scott, I inspected a home today that was 7 years old, had a 20 foot wide garage door and about 6 to 8 feet of brick veneer above it. I did not notice any cracks at the corners. Would you say anything about it or not?

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images

  11. #11
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Reggie Russell View Post
    Here is his exact statement from his website concerning this condition: "This is my personal observation (based on more than 13 years of residential inspection experience) and may not be an accurate or factual statement. Nevertheless, it is my opinion/contention that crack formations in brick veneer above/beside double-wide garage door openings (in the Huntsville-metropolitan area) are the rule rather than the exception".
    I inspected a home today that was 7 years old, had a 20 foot wide garage door and about 6 to 8 feet of brick veneer above it. I did not notice any cracks at the corners. Would you say anything about it or not?
    Reggie, I am not a home inspector so I am not qualified to say one way or the other, but from the outside looking in I would think there would be a lot of liability if you wrote something up that you could not see based on someones opinion that states "may not be an accurate or factual statement".


  12. #12
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Tom, the pictures you provided seem to show a poor install of the decorative keystone.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    High Point, NC
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    I agree that it is decorative and not really serving as a keystone.
    What observations would you like to add?


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Reggie Russell View Post
    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    Scott, I inspected a home today that was 7 years old, had a 20 foot wide garage door and about 6 to 8 feet of brick veneer above it. I did not notice any cracks at the corners. Would you say anything about it or not?
    Hi Reggie,

    Well at 7 years if it has not cracked, it will most likely not crack unless something happens to cause it. Many times the cracks we see are associated with compaction settlement of the home and the wood in the home drying out. Cracks like this will happen the first couple years of a homes life.

    If I did not see anything to throw a red flag up I would not say a thing about it. As for the "Keystone", it is what it is and they are fairly common. Most likely it is only about 4" in thickness and is decorative.

    As for it being installed wrong? How in the heck can you tell that from a photo that it taken from an angle 30 or so feet away! Comments about this would never make my report based on the photo.

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

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Reggie Russell View Post
    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    Scott, I inspected a home today that was 7 years old, had a 20 foot wide garage door and about 6 to 8 feet of brick veneer above it. I did not notice any cracks at the corners. Would you say anything about it or not?
    That is obviously some of that new miracle steel or it is supported by being bolted to the header as it should be.
    Don't over think this stuff guys. If you see a problem, report it. If you don't, move on.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  16. #16
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post

    As for it being installed wrong? How in the heck can you tell that from a photo that it taken from an angle 30 or so feet away! Comments about this would never make my report based on the photo.

    The third pic is a close up and shows the crack starting at the base and contiuing up to a hole for a light fixture.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bell View Post
    The third pic is a close up and shows the crack starting at the base and contiuing up to a hole for a light fixture.
    Wrong door, David, the door that the quote referred to does not have a light.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  18. #18
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Its obvious the builder used that new material - unobtanium - for the install. The keystone is a joke and not a true keystone for sure.


  19. #19
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors




  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bell View Post
    Yep, there is a light but that is not the door that was being talked about in Scott's response to Reggie. See Reggie's picture of the door that Scott was talking about being 30' away and Reggie saying something about no cracks. Post #41

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  21. #21
    Reggie Russell's Avatar
    Reggie Russell Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Thanks for the reply, Scott. But I was not expecting you to be able to tell anything being wrong with that door from the photo. That door does not need an up close and personal shot because there was nothing wrong with it to display, other than it was 20 feet wide with more than 3 feet of brick veneer above it, which was the intent of the far away shot, to show exactly that. If there were cracks above the door, I would of course provide a more apt picture in my report. You answered my question, which was simply, would you make a note about the possibility of cracks developing over time with this Garage door. Thanks for answering that for me!

    Thanks to everybody for the replies, very informative as always!


  22. #22
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    I believe Scott was addressing Reggie and Tom in the same post.

    At this point, this thread reminds me of.......

    YouTube - Who's On First?




  23. #23
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    I was addressing Tom and his pictures in the post about the decorative keystone and said so at the beginning of that post.


  24. #24
    Robert M. England's Avatar
    Robert M. England Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    I would go with how it's bearing the weight. Excessive movement or cracking in a house 15 years or newer and I might order further evaluation by an engineer. An older house and no indications of recent damage and I would be more likely to mention it but would not typically say repairs are structurally necessary unless sagging and/or brick damage/cracking was truly excessive. Watch for those keystones displacing/loosening/ as keystones falling out is fairly common with excessive brick/mortar damage due to movement whether it's foundational or just a sagging header. I've always viewed Buck Durham as old school BTW. I usually use Bill Payne over here in metro Huntsville.


  25. #25
    Michael Hayden's Avatar
    Michael Hayden Guest

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    I live in Gary, Indiana, in a 60+ year old raised ranch brick house. Our double wide garage is directly beneath our living room, and the lintel has rusted severely on one side, resulting in a gap of over an inch between the lintel and bottom layer of bricks. It's an 18' lintel, and I-beam with a flat bar welded to bottom. I could use some input in how to go about getting this fixed. Should I call an engineer, a masonry contractor, or what? I'm quite concerned, as it seems to be getting worse, and I don't want to lose my front wall. Help!


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    High Point, NC
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Metal Lintel Above Garage Doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hayden View Post
    I live in Gary, Indiana, in a 60+ year old raised ranch brick house. Our double wide garage is directly beneath our living room, and the lintel has rusted severely on one side, resulting in a gap of over an inch between the lintel and bottom layer of bricks. It's an 18' lintel, and I-beam with a flat bar welded to bottom. I could use some input in how to go about getting this fixed. Should I call an engineer, a masonry contractor, or what? I'm quite concerned, as it seems to be getting worse, and I don't want to lose my front wall. Help!
    I know it's been over a month since you posted this question but I've just noticed it.
    Based on your description of the visible conditions I would certainly consult a professional engineer about any vertical movement in the veneer wall or cracks/gaps visible due to corrosion of the steel. Corrosion can displace the entire veneer wall above the lintel and, if left alone, cause damage that may require a rebuild of the veneer wall over time. I encountered a 4 ft. high brick veneer wall toppling over due to corrosion above a lintel many years ago. That was a learning experience for me.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •