The Inspector's Journal Forums
Username:
Password:
Save Password


Join TIJ Forums
Lost Password?
Subscribe to TIJ's Newsletter

All Forums > Technical Forums > Structural Forum >

Wrong size garage lintel

Previous Topic: Lateral Support at TJI Support Walls - Topic - Next Topic: Deck Ledger Board Fasteners New TopicReply to TopicShare Topic
Posted By
 1  2 - Next 
View Profile
Spring Hill (Nashville area), Tennessee
Posts: 3597
Joined: Nov, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
Thread Start First Page
[#1] Posted: 03/27/2008 - 9:52:07 PM
Reply with Quote
I have never seen an undersized lintel above a garage opening. This had to be ignored by who knows how many folks working on the house and city inspectors on this $1M new home.

The lintel was short on both side by several inches. A crack went from one side to the other and followed the arch in the brick. If you stood off to the side you could already see it sagging.


Right side.
Image Insert:

100.8 KB

Left side.
Image Insert:

139.47 KB

View of garage.
Image Insert:

123.64 KB

Scott Patterson
http://www.traceinspections.com

"Minds are like parachutes they only function when open"
View Profile
Columbus, Mississippi
Posts: 3169
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#2] Posted: 03/27/2008 - 10:09:48 PM
Reply with Quote
I don't know Scott.....it looks more like 3" at one end and 1" at the other. I wouldn't rush to blame the lintel for the cracks or the sag. If it's properly bolted to a sufficiently large beam, I can't see the shortfalls being the issue. That dumbass arch slicing through the brick veneer, isolating one section from the rest, is a far more likely cause of trouble in my book. Half the time when I see some style element forming a long, continuous line through the brickwork, it's trouble one way or another.

Dig the phony side hinges on the overhead door. Yuck!

Brian G.
Style Over Substance, Yet Again

www.accuspecllc.com
View Profile
Rochester, New York
Posts: 4298
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#3] Posted: 03/28/2008 - 03:32:54 AM
Reply with Quote
Quote: That dumbass arch slicing through the brick veneer, isolating one section from the rest, is a far more likely cause of trouble in my book.


If that lintel is sagging that "dumbass arch" is gonna blow out the end wall.

Chad Fabry
StructureSmart Home Inspection Rochester, NY
www.structuresmart.com
View Profile
Chicago, IL
Posts: 10215
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#4] Posted: 03/28/2008 - 05:37:30 AM
Reply with Quote
Guess......

It's a simple angle bolted to an LVL, supporting the dumbass arch.

Understanding of simple masonry concepts, like lintels bearing on supporting walls, seems to have evaporated.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Kurt in Chicago

"If I smell it, it goes in the report".............Phillip Smith...2012


View Profile
Buffalo, NY
Posts: 1078
Joined: Nov, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#5] Posted: 03/28/2008 - 05:53:29 AM
Reply with Quote
I suspect Kurt's guess is correct. If the dumbass arch is sinking, then there would be compression where the cracks are, and there would be cracks at the sides of the opening giving way to the horizontal thrust of the arch.
Gary Randolph
Buffalo, NY
View Profile
Quinlan, TX
Posts: 56
Joined: Feb, 2007
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#6] Posted: 03/28/2008 - 05:55:54 AM
Reply with Quote
Quote: Originally posted by Brian G

Dig the phony side hinges on the overhead door. Yuck!

They could have at least painted a black line or something down between the handles to give an appearance of two doors.

Mike M

View Profile
Spring Hill (Nashville area), Tennessee
Posts: 3597
Joined: Nov, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#7] Posted: 03/28/2008 - 06:21:01 AM
Reply with Quote
I did not give much thought to the arch other than it is really ugly. The more I think about it and look at a couple more pictures, I bet that that arch is really a major part of the problem as well as the undersized lintel.

One more crack picture:

Image Insert:

144.6 KB

Scott Patterson
http://www.traceinspections.com

"Minds are like parachutes they only function when open"
View Profile
Columbus, Mississippi
Posts: 3169
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#8] Posted: 03/28/2008 - 08:33:12 AM
Reply with Quote
No question, the lintel should have been extended out to reach the solid support of the rest of the veneer, I'm just not sure it's the primary problem. How many times have you seen the top of the garage door opening sagging in the center regardless of the exterior cladding? It's not unusual around here. I think they tend to undersize the beam to start with. Throw a 2nd-rate lintel installation and a dumbass arch on top of that....

I wonder how many brick ties they used behind the dumbass arch and the isolated section below it.

Brian G.
McScrewed Up

www.accuspecllc.com
View Profile
Quinlan, TX
Posts: 56
Joined: Feb, 2007
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#9] Posted: 03/28/2008 - 09:15:11 AM
Reply with Quote
I also notice that the garage door trimmers are not sealed (caulked) at the brick. Is it common in your area not to do so? I always write up trimmers and window frames not sealed at the brick to prevent water from entering.

Mike M

View Profile
Buffalo, NY
Posts: 1078
Joined: Nov, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#10] Posted: 03/28/2008 - 09:23:52 AM
Reply with Quote
The cracking all around the arch makes me think it may be the case that it is being pushed out (or not as anchored as the rest) of the wall.



Only the shadow knows for sure...

Gary Randolph
Buffalo, NY
View Profile
Staten Island, New York
Posts: 1039
Joined: Mar, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#11] Posted: 03/28/2008 - 12:38:06 PM
Reply with Quote
For that span and that amount of weight being carried, I would imagine that the steel angle that we can see would simply be functiong as a brick shelf, and part of a larger, stronger and... longer beam. If that was the case, it really wouldn't matter if the ends were a bit short.

If the proper beam is in there and all were seeing is a crack, and the rest of the structure is sound, my first thought is that the crack in the morter is due to other factors.

I would consider the shape of the arch and the way it expands and contracts as compared to the surrounding area, weight, gravity, and shrinkage.

You will get cracks at dissimilar materials or changes in direction.

The shape of the arch is relieving some of the pressure in the middle of the span, that's good as long as it's secured laterally.

Steven Turetsky, UID#16000002314
Comprehensive Home & Building Inspections
www.eifsinspectionsnewyork.com
www.homeinspectionsnewyork.com

Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Long Island, Westchester, & Rockland Counties

"The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action".
Herbert Spencer 1830-1903
Louisville, kentucky
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec, 2009
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#12] Posted: 12/31/2009 - 09:26:39 AM
Reply with Quote
What size Lintel should this have been to support another story on it?
View Profile
Ashland, VA
Posts: 2938
Joined: Jan, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#13] Posted: 12/31/2009 - 09:56:53 AM
Reply with Quote
Having installed a lot of commercial masonry and detailed light commercial and ornamental steel for years, I can pretty much assure you this is not a lintel. Lintels typically have a rounded top edge. Notice the squareness of the edge of the steel. I am reasonably sure that what you are actually seeing is what is called a "hung plate" that supports the masonry. The plate is suspended, by a series of vertical steel plates spaced to accommodate masonry units, from the bottom flange of a properly engineered narrow flanged I-Beam. The hung-plate is purposely held back to accommodate the bearing ends of the beam, although it, if properly designed, will typically snugs up to the masonry jamb. The plate is usually a course or two below the bottom flange of the beam to permit masonry units to pass under the beam..

This span in the picture is too long for even a 3.5 x 6 steel lintel, which at least used to be, the largest steel angle (lintel) made. After that the next step up would be a steel channel, which don't work well with masonry installations. The tell tale sign of an undersized steel lintel in a masonry application is a bulging of the masonry because in order for the angle to sag it MUST twist due to the back leg. This typically occurs while the work is green, because during installation, 100% of the masonry over the angle is live load, but once it sets only a small portion of the masonry overhead actually relies upon the steel for support and it becomes merely a cosmetic defect. I suspect some readers have seen this bulge in the masonry over garage door openings before and wondered how it occurred without any significant cracking. You can't miss it once you know what to look for

In the case of the subject picture, I highly doubt that the masonry arch is actually "working". It is merely a cosmetic feature.

You will almost always see some cracking when masonry bears on steel over a large span because masonry is far less flexible than steel, which can be pretty springy. That is why in commercial buildings, there would be expansion joints with filled with mastic that continue up from the opening jambs.


"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare
View Profile
Spring Hill (Nashville area), Tennessee
Posts: 3597
Joined: Nov, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#14] Posted: 12/31/2009 - 12:24:54 PM
Reply with Quote
I had a chance to get back by this house a few weeks after the first inspection. The builder ended up removing the brick above the garage. What was found was the brick shelf was attached with lag bolts to a wooden header that was made from a TJI! The lag bolts were pulling out of the TJI and the span was starting to sag. The only steel is what we are seeing, it did not have a steel I-beam that the shelf was attached to.

The repair was to construct an new header our of an exterior rated glulam beam and then a new brick shelf was attached to the header with threaded bolts and steel plates. I was told it cost right at $18,000 to correct it.

They also did away with the decorative arch look...

Scott Patterson
http://www.traceinspections.com

"Minds are like parachutes they only function when open"
View Profile
Ashland, VA
Posts: 2938
Joined: Jan, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#15] Posted: 12/31/2009 - 12:42:32 PM
Reply with Quote
Thanks for the update. What a wierd installation. Neve seen such a configuration.
"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare
Petawawa, Ontario
Posts: 203
Joined: Nov, 2009
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#16] Posted: 12/31/2009 - 1:42:10 PM
Reply with Quote
mgbinspect
could you elaborate in the quote below. 'It MUST twist'

Happy New Year

Go Canadian Junior Hockey Go

thanx

Quote: Originally posted by mgbinspect

. The tell tale sign of an undersized steel lintel in a masonry application is a bulging of the masonry because in order for the angle to sag it MUST twist due to the back leg.

View Profile
Victoria, British Columbia
Posts: 2941
Joined: Nov, 2009
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#17] Posted: 01/03/2010 - 2:40:55 PM
Reply with Quote
Quote: Originally posted by Scottpat

The lag bolts were pulling out of the TJI and the span was starting to sag. The only steel is what we are seeing, it did not have a steel I-beam that the shelf was attached to.
Sounds like you made the right call there, Scott. That mess could only get worse.
Quote: Originally posted by Scottpat
They also did away with the decorative arch look...
Now you're confusing me, don't you mean the dumbass arch?

www.allsafehome.ca
View Profile
Ashland, VA
Posts: 2938
Joined: Jan, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#18] Posted: 01/03/2010 - 3:27:10 PM
Reply with Quote
Mongo,

The back leg of a steel angle or lintel is the strength of the angle. The flat supporting leg of the lintel offers resistance against expansion or stretching) and WILL bend pretty easily were it not for the opposite leg. Under load, the back side of the angle cannot bend - the top portion of it is experiencing compression and the lower portion is experiencing tension. If more weight or force is applied than it can resist, it can only fail in two ways: 1. Tear apart, which is unlikely with steel. 2. Rotate and fold, which is typically what happens. That way the length of the steel remains pretty constant.

If steel is going to fail in a masonry application it will be during installation, when ALL of the masonry is green and its full weight is a live load on the bearing surface of the steel. Once the masonry sets, the greater portion of it becomes self-supporting, due to the half bond pattern. When steel fails during installation, it rotates or twists and the green masonry bulges outward as the front edge of the flat supporting leg of the angle rotates downward in the center of the span. I've astually seen the steel fail so badly that it dumped tons of masonry onto our scaffold.

This is why you don't see angles used except over small openings or as shelf-angles bolted to concrete floor slabs in highi-rise buildings where they are merely a supporting shelf and the concrete is the real strength.

Large openings are almost always spanned by channels with a support plate welded to it (rare) of an I-Beam with a hung-plate welded to it.

"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare
Petawawa, Ontario
Posts: 203
Joined: Nov, 2009
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#19] Posted: 01/03/2010 - 3:39:44 PM
Reply with Quote
mgbinspect,

thanx man, I am guessing the angle iron thickness to be about 3/8? or a 1/4 to allow for mortor.

View Profile
Ashland, VA
Posts: 2938
Joined: Jan, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#20] Posted: 01/03/2010 - 4:43:08 PM
Reply with Quote
You are correct, 1/4" for small openings and 3/8" maximum thickness with a 6" tall back leg as largest angle typically used in masonry.
"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare
Newport News, VA
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun, 2010
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#21] Posted: 06/07/2010 - 07:06:21 AM
Reply with Quote
We see problems like this often - it comes from poor training of masons. Too many masons are self-taught, having been shown how to do running bond only. So we routinely have construction here that has no flashing, no weeps, and no chance of not being taken right back off the building.
The masons should have known that they needed to install a lintel to convey the load to the masonry at either side, regarless of the silly mock arch detail. You want to bear masonry to masonry and wood to wood on a veneer building like this one. However, it does require that the masons know how to size and install the lintel - which many do not. Or the designer need to size it and show the proper detail.
Although you do see masonry being carrier on steel lintels to the wood structure - this is usually where there is an offset between the first and second floor exterior walls with the second floor sitting farther inwards. That is still a bad detail but with a control joint where the wood-borne masonry meets the masonry-borne masonry, it can work. But no one should be trying to hang part of the masonry on wood when there is servicable masonry adjacent to the opening. The lintel should have extended 6-8" on the brick at either side, depending on the height of the veneer above.
Properly installed and tied to the wood behind, I do not see a problem with the faux arch except that it is a bit heinous from an appearance perspective.
The most likely cause of this problem would have been the arch and lintel being designed for an 8-foot opening and then the masons arriving to find a change to a 9' opening had been made - still, they should not have tried to use the lintel in the truck, someone should have gone back to get the proper piece to use and cut a new arch template.
Wood construction has post construction shrinkage and masony does not have almost any. Even had the wood header been properly sized and connected to bear the masonry, cracks would have resulted. The bulge and roll were due to the improper connection between the lintel and the header allowing the lintel to roll outwards. The sagging due to the header not being originally designed to hold the masonry at all, as it would not have been expected to in this layout. The header was not the original problem - the lintel was.

View Profile
Oswego, NY
Posts: 1926
Joined: May, 2008
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#22] Posted: 06/07/2010 - 12:02:19 PM
Reply with Quote
So.... what about this? 1988

I ran into this today. No problem with the door on the right. Yet.

Should this type of set up have welded 45s or at least, bolted diagonals on the corners?



Click to View

42.44 KB

Click to View

47.11 KB

Click to View

41.02 KB



I'm Gary Blum and I approve this message

www.gtbinspectionservices.com
View Profile
Collins, NY
Posts: 3392
Joined: Apr, 2008
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#23] Posted: 06/07/2010 - 1:07:06 PM
Reply with Quote
No lintels needed on the 45s, but they can't support lintels either. The steel needs to extend at least 4" beyond the outside edge of the vertical brickmold to have enough support to hold that veneer up. A 9' garage door needs a lintel very nearly 10' long.

That is a dumb detail made even dumber by trying to do it in brick.

Tom

Tom

http://clearcreekhomeinspection.com/

Life is tough enough as it is, it's tougher when you're stupid. Don't do stupid things.
Dr Joe Lstiburek
View Profile
Oswego, NY
Posts: 1926
Joined: May, 2008
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#24] Posted: 06/07/2010 - 6:51:45 PM
Reply with Quote
Quote: Originally posted by Tom Raymond

No lintels needed on the 45s, but they can't support lintels either. The steel needs to extend at least 4" beyond the outside edge of the vertical brickmold to have enough support to hold that veneer up. A 9' garage door needs a lintel very nearly 10' long.

That is a dumb detail made even dumber by trying to do it in brick.

Tom


Beauty being in the eye of the beholder. I think it looks fine. I'm sick of the way modern homes are built with no detail, plain Jane box BS.
The question is, what's the correct way to do this, with this detail?

I'm Gary Blum and I approve this message

www.gtbinspectionservices.com
View Profile
Chicago, IL
Posts: 10215
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#25] Posted: 06/07/2010 - 7:24:57 PM
Reply with Quote

A quick flip through AGS didn't show anything.

How about a welded angle for a brick ledger?

Personally, I think it's a good argument for not ever doing that detail. It's ugly and stupid.

It's a wood framing detail by someone that doesn't understand the difference between design and style. It's not a good idea to take a wood frame detail and transfer it to masonry.


Kurt in Chicago

"If I smell it, it goes in the report".............Phillip Smith...2012


View Profile
Collins, NY
Posts: 3392
Joined: Apr, 2008
Currently offline offline
  
Wrong size garage lintel
[#26] Posted: 06/08/2010 - 05:38:10 AM
Reply with Quote
If you want to pull that off in masonry it needs a proper arch and keystone, then you could skip the lintel. If you want to use steel, then it needs to bear on something other than those dorky rowlocks over the clipped corners.


Click to View

47.44 KB

This piece of scrap (arrow) is in the path of the steel, it simply can't extend beyond the rowlock. There would be less damage if they had simply set the brick on the brickmold.

Tom

Tom

http://clearcreekhomeinspection.com/

Life is tough enough as it is, it's tougher when you're stupid. Don't do stupid things.
Dr Joe Lstiburek
 
 1  2 - Next 
Previous Topic: Lateral Support at TJI Support Walls - Topic - Next Topic: Deck Ledger Board Fasteners New TopicReply to TopicShare Topic
Jump To:
The Inspector's Journal Forums © 2002-2013 all topics or replies that are posted on The Inspector's Journal
are copyrighted material of the original author that posted the topic or reply.
Go To Top Of Page 
 
Pick an RSS Feed

The views expressed on this website are the views of the authors and
do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the sponsors.
© 2002-2013 Copyright DevWave Software Inc.
Find a Home Inspector

Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000