IG Lintels has teamed up with Roger Bisby from Skill Builder to bring you the top ten tips for installing a lintel. We explore the key issues to look out for when installing a lintel on your project and Roger shares his top tips to ensure a stress free installation and a high quality finish.
- Install with a 150mm minimum end bearing
Ensure the lintel is bed on a full bed of brick laying mortar with a bearing of at least 150mm on each end.
- Ensure the lintel is level along its length
It is important to ensure the lintel is completely level not only along the lintel but across the lintel as well.
- Raise inner and outer leaves simultaneously
When laying bricks, remember to bring both sides up simultaneously to avoid eccentric loads and rotation. The maximum you should build brings up on any side is 225mm before bringing the other skin up to meet it.
- Allow mortar to cure before applying floor or roof loads
Always allow the mortar to cure before applying any floor or roof loads. If you can’t wait that long then make sure you put temporary props under the lintel to support it while the curing is taking place.
- Use a DPC or cavity tray
It is important to use a DPC, membrane, or cavity tray when installing a lintel. Not only is it a NHBC requirement, it is also good practice as it can prevent problems in the future. Make sure there are weep holes to take the wash away and very importantly, turn the membrane or DPC up at the end so the water doesn’t run off the end of the lintel and down into the cavity as this can create damp patches in the future.
- Avoid shock loading or dragging
If you are placing floor loads like concrete beams on top of a lintel, it is important to apply these gently instead of dropping them down. Never shock load a lintel and also avoid dragging floor beams across the top of the lintel.
- Avoid point loads on flanges
Never place a point load on the flange of a lintel, always ensure there is a minimum of 150mm of masonry over the lintel to spread the load.
- Flanges must project beyond window or door frame
The external flange must project over and beyond any window or door frame. It’s a good idea to use a bit of flexible mastic to seal the joint to prevent any water tracking back in.
- Use soffit cladding on exposed lintel underside
When the underside of the lintel is exposed its appearance can be enhanced by the addition of a lintel soffit cladding. Find out more about our range of soffit cladding.
- Do not cut lintels to length or modify them
Always remember to never cut a lintel that is too long for your project without expert advice. Contact our experienced IG lintels engineers and check if what you are intending to do is safe and acceptable.