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Dropped bricks above window



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 16th 10, 03:01 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 22
Default Dropped bricks above window

Hello,

Continuing my inspection of the brickwork I have noticed that the bricks
above the kitchen window have dropped slightly and there are zig-zag
cracks in the mortar going up and in from the corners.

The lintel above the window is a row of bricks placed on end
(verticalically),

It is these vertical bricks that have dropped causing the brickwork
above to drop.

9 years ago we had all the windows replaced with uPVC frames. This may
be the cause as uPVC frames aren't structual. But this would mean the
old wooden frames were taking some of the weight. Could this be right?
Would it have been designed this way?

So how do I fix it and also could someone explain how bricks placed on
end work as a lintel? I don't really see it myself.

Thanks,

Graham
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  #2  
Old July 16th 10, 03:45 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 22
Default Dropped bricks above window

On 16/07/2010 15:01, Graham Jones wrote:
Hello,

Continuing my inspection of the brickwork I have noticed that the bricks
above the kitchen window have dropped slightly and there are zig-zag
cracks in the mortar going up and in from the corners.

The lintel above the window is a row of bricks placed on end
(verticalically),

It is these vertical bricks that have dropped causing the brickwork
above to drop.

9 years ago we had all the windows replaced with uPVC frames. This may
be the cause as uPVC frames aren't structual. But this would mean the
old wooden frames were taking some of the weight. Could this be right?
Would it have been designed this way?

So how do I fix it and also could someone explain how bricks placed on
end work as a lintel? I don't really see it myself.

Thanks,

Graham


Some further info. The uPVC window hasn't bowed in any way. Also the
house is a cavity wall construction. All the windows in the house have
solider bricks (I've just found out there are called this!) in the
external walls above them as lintels.

But what about the internal walls, would these too have soldier bricks
or would these have proper lintels. There are no internal signs of
problems above the kitchen window.

Thanks,

Graham


  #3  
Old July 16th 10, 04:21 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 3,574
Default Dropped bricks above window

On Jul 16, 3:01*pm, Graham Jones wrote:
Hello,

Continuing my inspection of the brickwork I have noticed that the bricks
above the kitchen window have dropped slightly and there are zig-zag
cracks in the mortar going up and in from the corners.

The lintel above the window is a row of bricks placed on end
(verticalically),

It is these vertical bricks that have dropped causing the brickwork
above to drop.

9 years ago we had all the windows replaced with uPVC frames. This may
be the cause as uPVC frames aren't structual. But this would mean the
old wooden frames were taking some of the weight. Could this be right?
Would it have been designed this way?

So how do I fix it and also could someone explain how bricks placed on
end work as a lintel? I don't really see it myself.

Thanks,

Graham


piccy best so we see the extent of the issue


NT
  #4  
Old July 16th 10, 04:29 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,989
Default Dropped bricks above window

Graham Jones wrote:
On 16/07/2010 15:01, Graham Jones wrote:
Hello,

Continuing my inspection of the brickwork I have noticed that the
bricks above the kitchen window have dropped slightly and there are
zig-zag cracks in the mortar going up and in from the corners.

The lintel above the window is a row of bricks placed on end
(verticalically),

It is these vertical bricks that have dropped causing the brickwork
above to drop.

9 years ago we had all the windows replaced with uPVC frames. This
may be the cause as uPVC frames aren't structual. But this would
mean the old wooden frames were taking some of the weight. Could
this be right? Would it have been designed this way?

So how do I fix it and also could someone explain how bricks placed
on end work as a lintel? I don't really see it myself.

Thanks,

Graham


Some further info. The uPVC window hasn't bowed in any way. Also the
house is a cavity wall construction. All the windows in the house have
solider bricks (I've just found out there are called this!) in the
external walls above them as lintels.


The soldiers aren't acting as lintels, they are stood upright on a lintel,
you just can't see it.


But what about the internal walls, would these too have soldier bricks
or would these have proper lintels. There are no internal signs of
problems above the kitchen window.


The internal walls, depending on the age, could be timber, concrete or metal
lintels, probably metal as it sounds like the exterior ones are on metal.


This said, it was shoddy practice for a short while in the 60's to just
build the external soldiers direclty on top of the frame, there was a
housebuilder called calderbank & fairhurst who built several estates like
this, needless to say they went out of buisness.


To check if there is a lintel, get a screwdriver and poke it between frame
and brickwork and see what's there, my guess is metal.


--
Phil L
RSRL Tipster Of The Year 2008


  #5  
Old July 16th 10, 04:55 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,989
Default Dropped bricks above window

Phil L wrote:


This said, it was shoddy practice for a short while in the 60's to
just build the external soldiers direclty on top of the frame, there
was a housebuilder called calderbank & fairhurst who built several
estates like this, needless to say they went out of buisness.


just read your other post about cracks etc and noticed that the house is 45
years old? not a good sign considering it was mid 60's that these cowboys
were operating...start ****ting bricks if any of the roads on your estate
contain the words 'calder', 'fair', 'hurst' or 'bank', they usually named
the roads after themselves or at least parts of their names were often used.


Even saying that, there were other housebuilders around at the time who
flung up these monstrosities, have a look around at neighbouring houses,
have they had brickwork replaced above the downstairs front window? -
usually in a triangle shape.


--
Phil L
RSRL Tipster Of The Year 2008


  #6  
Old July 16th 10, 05:34 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 22
Default Dropped bricks above window

On 16/07/2010 16:55, Phil L wrote:
Phil L wrote:


This said, it was shoddy practice for a short while in the 60's to
just build the external soldiers direclty on top of the frame, there
was a housebuilder called calderbank& fairhurst who built several
estates like this, needless to say they went out of buisness.


just read your other post about cracks etc and noticed that the house is 45
years old? not a good sign considering it was mid 60's that these cowboys
were operating...start ****ting bricks if any of the roads on your estate
contain the words 'calder', 'fair', 'hurst' or 'bank', they usually named
the roads after themselves or at least parts of their names were often used.


Even saying that, there were other housebuilders around at the time who
flung up these monstrosities, have a look around at neighbouring houses,
have they had brickwork replaced above the downstairs front window? -
usually in a triangle shape.



Yes it was built mid 60's, I think it was a Wimpey house. There was only
one place I could fit a screwdriver between frame and brick, all 6" of
the blade disappeared. I am pretty sure the bricks are right on the
frame as levering the screwdriver up and down moves the bricks and
causes the frame to creak.

have a look around at neighbouring houses, have they had brickwork

replaced above
the downstairs front window?


This is interesting as nearly all similar houses on the estate have had
some pointing in a triangular shape above the downstairs front window.
In fact it was mentioned in the surveyors report when we bought the
house. This seems OK though as it has not changed in the 10 years we
have been here.

Now the bricks have only moved dropped by at most 3mm, so this is either
after 45 years or after 9 years of the window replaced. So I am guessing
it is not a huge problem.

But the bricks are unsupported, so what are my options?


Thanks,

Graham
  #7  
Old July 16th 10, 06:43 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,989
Default Dropped bricks above window

Graham Jones wrote:
On 16/07/2010 16:55, Phil L wrote:
Phil L wrote:


This said, it was shoddy practice for a short while in the 60's to
just build the external soldiers direclty on top of the frame, there
was a housebuilder called calderbank& fairhurst who built several
estates like this, needless to say they went out of buisness.


just read your other post about cracks etc and noticed that the
house is 45 years old? not a good sign considering it was mid 60's
that these cowboys were operating...start ****ting bricks if any of
the roads on your estate contain the words 'calder', 'fair', 'hurst'
or 'bank', they usually named the roads after themselves or at least
parts of their names were often used. Even saying that, there were other
housebuilders around at the time
who flung up these monstrosities, have a look around at neighbouring
houses, have they had brickwork replaced above the downstairs front
window? - usually in a triangle shape.



Yes it was built mid 60's, I think it was a Wimpey house. There was
only one place I could fit a screwdriver between frame and brick, all
6" of the blade disappeared. I am pretty sure the bricks are right on
the frame as levering the screwdriver up and down moves the bricks and
causes the frame to creak.

have a look around at neighbouring houses, have they had brickwork
replaced above the downstairs front window?


This is interesting as nearly all similar houses on the estate have
had some pointing in a triangular shape above the downstairs front
window. In fact it was mentioned in the surveyors report when we
bought the house. This seems OK though as it has not changed in the
10 years we have been here.

Now the bricks have only moved dropped by at most 3mm, so this is
either after 45 years or after 9 years of the window replaced. So I
am guessing it is not a huge problem.

But the bricks are unsupported, so what are my options?


You don't really have any! - there are no lintels in your house, you've just
verified this by mentioning the neighbour's triangular pointing etc.
If the windows are only 9 years old and they are adequateoly holding
everything up, then just leave it as it is, other than that it means
removing each window frame, at least all the downstairs ones, installing
lintels and then putting the frames back in, if they fit.

The bricks are supported, they're supported by the frame, and the frames
will contain metal, I wouldn't ponder too long on this otherwise you may
require another mortgage


--
Phil L
RSRL Tipster Of The Year 2008


  #8  
Old July 16th 10, 07:05 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,574
Default Dropped bricks above window

On Jul 16, 6:43*pm, "Phil L" wrote:
Graham Jones wrote:
On 16/07/2010 16:55, Phil L wrote:
Phil L wrote:


This said, it was shoddy practice for a short while in the 60's to
just build the external soldiers direclty on top of the frame, there
was a housebuilder called calderbank& *fairhurst who built several
estates like this, needless to say they went out of buisness.


just read your other post about cracks etc and noticed that the
house is 45 years old? not a good sign considering it was mid 60's
that these cowboys were operating...start ****ting bricks if any of
the roads on your estate contain the words 'calder', 'fair', 'hurst'
or 'bank', they usually named the roads after themselves or at least
parts of their names were often used. Even saying that, there were other
housebuilders around at the time
who flung up these monstrosities, have a look around at neighbouring
houses, have they had brickwork replaced above the downstairs front
window? - usually in a triangle shape.


Yes it was built mid 60's, I think it was a Wimpey house. There was
only one place I could fit a screwdriver between frame and brick, all
6" of the blade disappeared. I am pretty sure the bricks are right on
the frame as levering the screwdriver up and down moves the bricks and
causes the frame to creak.


have a look around at neighbouring houses, have they had brickwork
replaced above the downstairs front window?


This is interesting as nearly all similar houses on the estate have
had some pointing in a triangular shape above the downstairs front
window. In fact it was mentioned in the surveyors report when we
bought the house. This seems OK though as it has not changed in the
10 years we have been here.


Now the bricks have only moved dropped by at most 3mm, so this is
either after 45 years or after 9 years of the window replaced. So I
am guessing it is not a huge problem.


But the bricks are unsupported, so what are my options?


You don't really have any! - there are no lintels in your house, you've just
verified this by mentioning the neighbour's triangular pointing etc.
If the windows are only 9 years old and they are adequateoly holding
everything up, then just leave it as it is, other than that it means
removing each window frame, at least all the downstairs ones, installing
lintels and then putting the frames back in, if they fit.

The bricks are supported, they're supported by the frame, and the frames
will contain metal, I wouldn't ponder too *long on this otherwise you may
require another mortgage



Not at all. Such minor structural issues arent hard to fix. However it
sounds like it probably just warrants patching up for now, and leave
it. It then might or might not need a more thorough repair in another
20 years.

Place timber support under the dropped brickwork, rake out the cracked
joints and remortar them. Don't rake out lots at once as you don't
want to destabilise it all, rake & remortar it part by part.

A permanent fix would require a support fitting under the dropped
brickwork, either a lintel or a sufficiently strong window frame to
support it.

With no picture though theres always the possibility of this being
off, as I was remined on the last thread


NT
  #9  
Old July 16th 10, 07:13 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,989
Default Dropped bricks above window

NT wrote:


Not at all. Such minor structural issues arent hard to fix. However it
sounds like it probably just warrants patching up for now, and leave
it. It then might or might not need a more thorough repair in another
20 years.

Place timber support under the dropped brickwork, rake out the cracked
joints and remortar them. Don't rake out lots at once as you don't
want to destabilise it all, rake & remortar it part by part.


The problem with this theory is that when cracks have appeared (as in this
case) and the bricks have already dropped a few mm (as in this case) when
the frame is removed, the brickwork above falls down


A permanent fix would require a support fitting under the dropped
brickwork, either a lintel or a sufficiently strong window frame to
support it.


A lintel is required, and it's probably safe to say that there are none in
the house at all, so really, they could al do with being installed, this
requires cutting out brickwork to the sides of the openings, thus making the
patch of dropped brickwork even bigger

With no picture though theres always the possibility of this being
off, as I was remined on the last thread


Nah, he's got no lintels, his house is a lintel-free zone, he owns as many
lintels as my dog, IE none :-p

--
Phil L
RSRL Tipster Of The Year 2008


  #10  
Old July 16th 10, 07:21 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,216
Default Dropped bricks above window

On 16 July, 15:01, Graham Jones wrote:
Hello,

Continuing my inspection of the brickwork I have noticed that the bricks
above the kitchen window have dropped slightly and there are zig-zag
cracks in the mortar going up and in from the corners.

The lintel above the window is a row of bricks placed on end
(verticalically),

It is these vertical bricks that have dropped causing the brickwork
above to drop.

9 years ago we had all the windows replaced with uPVC frames. This may
be the cause as uPVC frames aren't structual. But this would mean the
old wooden frames were taking some of the weight. Could this be right?
Would it have been designed this way?

So how do I fix it and also could someone explain how bricks placed on
end work as a lintel? I don't really see it myself.

Thanks,

Graham


You don't say how wide the window s which has a bearing on the
subject. Also how close the window is to the corner of the house. The
wider the adjacent pillar, the better chance yo have of getting away
with it. PVC windows are not gong to hold anything up. If the glass
cracks or they become hard to open is the time to worry. Just
pointing up is a bodge which you might get away with but most likely
not. If new cracks appear after repointing, brickwork will have to be
removed and a steel lintel installed. this will also affect the
interior wall (any cracks there BTW?) and decorations.
 




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