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Phillip

Brick support above windows

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I know some type of arches do not need support by a steel lintel support

This week I have run into two homes that did not have visible support.

I believe there should be some there.

I would like to hear what the group has to say.

This is from an 30 year old house and all of the front window where the same.

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This is from a 5 year old house.

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They all look OK to me. The first two are laid up behind the frieze board, which means: 1. it's most likely veneer 2. there's no mor masonry or weight of any form over top of it. So, the brick arch merely support its own weight.

The bottom two are an awfully shallow are, but nonetheless they are arches, which appear to be performing - no visible cracks. There are about 75 bricks total over the arch at about 4 lbs each. So the arch is only carrying about 300 lbs total, which doesn't even take into account the interlocking pattern that tends to distribute the load.

I wouldn't loose any sleep over them - no symptoms, no problem.

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mgbinspect Posted - Jun 19 2011 : 05:43:55 AM

They all look OK to me. The first two are laid up behind the frieze board, which means: 1. it's most likely veneer 2. there's no mor masonry or weight of any form over top of it. So, the brick arch merely support its own weight.

The bottom two are an awfully shallow are, but nonetheless they are arches, which appear to be performing - no visible cracks. There are about 75 bricks total over the arch at about 4 lbs each. So the arch is only carrying about 300 lbs total, which doesn't even take into account the interlocking pattern that tends to distribute the load.

I wouldn't loose any sleep over them - no symptoms, no problem

...........nice analysis-easy to understand & makes sense.

Greg

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Michael,

If there was more weight there, how would they support an arch like that - custom-bent angle iron lintels? Is it possible that if formed angle-iron lintels would be the norm for windows with those kind of arches that said lintels could be actually be there and concealed by the brickmold?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Michael,

If there was more weight there, how would they support an arch like that - custom-bent angle iron lintels? Is it possible that if formed angle-iron lintels would be the norm for windows with those kind of arches that said lintels could be actually be there and concealed by the brickmold?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Honestly, Mike, while it is a shallow arch and probably experiences a bit more stress than the average arch; unless the sides spread (or the arch joints wash away) it CANNOT possibly fail.

Folks forget that an arch or lintel, in interlocking masonry works the hardest it ever will while the work is green - all dead load. Once it sets up, the arch or lintel is only supporting a little triangle of weight over the top of the opening. Above that triangle, all the masonry is completely supported by the inter-locking pattern, unless a vertical crack develops. That's why WWII photos of Europe show so much solid masonry still standing with ridiculous percentages of the masonry blown away. If the arches in Philips phot failed, only that little triangle of brick would fall out.

I have seen steel curved lintels for shallow or very large arches, but most arches really don't need the help. It's just insurance.

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It may just be my neck of the woods, but most of the arch windows I see have a steel lintel installed.

The 5 year old house had past repairs of the mortar joints and the house across the street with the same window had a lintel.

The 30 year old house the bricks above the arches did not have any cracks.

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I like the comment about WW2 photos.. I too have always looked at those photos to learn... England, Germany, Holland, France.. etc.. You can see sides of floor systems, arches hanging in there, skip sheathing for roofs.. great way to learn about unreinforced masonry..

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Michael,

If there was more weight there, how would they support an arch like that - custom-bent angle iron lintels? Is it possible that if formed angle-iron lintels would be the norm for windows with those kind of arches that said lintels could be actually be there and concealed by the brickmold?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

There'd be a flat lintel a course or two above the arch.

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