What To Do: Cracks Above Your Garage Door Due To Deteriorating Lintel
Noticing some cracks above your garage door? This could indicate a serious problem. Read this article now to see why it happens & what you can do about it.
Starting to notice cracks above garage doors on your home?
Maybe they started as hairline cracks in the mortar between the brick or stone around your garage door and now they’re starting to get more noticeable?
You might be surprised to learn that these types of cracks are actually a common problem.
The large garage door openings have to support a lot of weight, especially when you have a masonry exterior so it’s naturally an area that’s under a lot of stress.
But small cracks above garage doors shouldn’t be taken lightly.
They actually could be the first signs of a more serious problem which would eventually lead to a collapsed door opening!
So what causes these cracks in the brick and stone around your garage doors and what can be done to fix it?
What Causes Cracks Above Garage Doors? You need to know about lintel
When dealing with any kind of crack in brick, stone, or other masonry it’s important to identify the root cause of the problem.
Most of the time, cracks above garage doors are associated with something called a lintel.
What’s a lintel?
Basically a lintel is a beam that’s placed above door and window openings. They add structural support that spans the opening and helps transfer the load into the surrounding wall. Typically some kind of wood, metal, or concrete beam is used.
The lintels above garage doors are especially important because of the wide opening so usually, a prefabricated steel beam lintel is used since it’s stronger and can span a much longer area.
The lintel is installed in such a way that it’s hidden from view and doesn’t affect the aesthetic of the house as can be seen in the picture.
How to determine if the lintel is not properly set up
“This sagging brick around your garage door can usually be caught soon enough before a catastrophic failure.”
How do you know if your lintel is sagging? A must read information
Although it’s best to leave this diagnosis up to the professionals, there are some clues that can indicate you’ve got a lintel problem.
One clue is the location of the cracks.
If there are vertical or stepped cracks (similar to the illustration) in the bricks above the garage door or coming out from the upper corners of your garage door opening, then it’s a good chance you’ve got sagging bricks above the garage door. Find a brick construction expert for this matter.
So what can you do about this problem and how much will it cost?
What Can You Do to Fix Cracks Over Your Garage Door?
You might be tempted to try to fix this yourself by simply filling in the cracks with some mortar or putty.
This is a quick-fix solution that’ll fill the cracks for a time until you’re ready for a more permanent solution.
However, as the lintel sags more and more the cracks you filled will open up again and again. When this happens, you know that the masonry has shifted slightly.
It’s time for a more permanent solution and you need to call in the professionals.
Call a professional masonry company, like Alexander and Xavier Masonry, to come out and have a look.
They can assess the situation and help find the best solution for you and your house. This may involve a complete lintel replacement or just reinforcement of your current lintel.
Whatever the solution, it’s important not to let it go for too long.
If you start noticing cracks in the brick or stone above your garage door, it’s best not to wait and call for some professional help from a masonry service company. Expert masons can provide you quality repair solutions, including effective brick-matching techniques to bring back the original style.
Ready to fix your sagging lintel?
Want to know exactly how much it will cost? Give us a quick call now for a free consultation and estimate!