Construction is a tricky business that requires focus on lots of minute details to ensure safety standards, cost effectiveness and the aesthetic appeal of a building. Unfortunately, no matter how exceptionally your property was designed and constructed, there will be some point when you will find a crack here or there owing to various factors such as weather conditions or internal leakages etc. You might be able to postpone your home renovation for a few month to be able to dodge the costs and time required, however at some point you will have to invest a good amount of money, time and energy to repair your property. It is therefore always wise to keep tabs on minor repair needs and get them fixed timely in order to increase the life of the building.
One of the most common problem areas of any building is its lintels. Lintels are horizontal beams that are placed as a canopy over doors and windows. Lintels may get cracked due to various reasons such as aging, rusting and corrosion due to weather conditions, expansions due to heat, and problems in installation or choice of lintel materials. Whatever the reason is, the solution lies in lintel replacement. There are many different kinds of materials that are available for lintels. Each of those materials has their own pros and cons and it is important to choose the right kind of materials to ensure longer life and aesthetic balance of your property. Here are different kinds of lintels that you can choose from for your property.
- Timber Lintels
Timber lintels were fairly common in old constructions and have gradually been replaced by more contemporary alternatives. That said, they are still at times used in hilly terrains. While timber lintels are quite appealing aesthetically, they are not very budget friendly and have a short lifespan. Their conduction to fire makes them a safety hazard too. At times the wooden lintels are not strong enough to hold the entire load and require additional support. Under such circumstances they are sandwiched between steel plates in order to provide support.
- Stone Lintels
Stone lintels are one of the most widely used types of lintels because stones are readily available in many areas and they are a very cost-effective alternative with a lot of aesthetic appeal. On the downside, stone lintels have poor flexibility and therefore they are more prone to cracking especially if there are more vibratory loads.
3. Brick Lintels
Brick lintels are mainly used where there are very small openings. They are generally low to moderately priced with and give a good outlook to the building.
- Steel Lintels
Steel lintels are widely used and are ideal for structures with very heavy loads. They are not only easy on the pocket but they have a longer lifespan. Steel may be more prone to expansion, rusting and corrosion if there is a problem of heat and humidity in the area.
- Reinforced Cement Concrete Lintels
Reinforced Cement Concrete lintels are one of the best lintels in terms of flexibility to opening span, ease of use, longevity, strength, fire resistance, water resistance, durability and budget. This makes them one of the most widely used lintels. Reinforced Cement Concrete boot lintels are also commonly used over above cavity walls.