Arch & Lintel Failure

What are the causes behind arch and lintel failure?

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Leading causes of arch and lintel failure

Arches and lintels above doors and windows fail for a number of reasons. To repair them properly, finding and eliminating the root cause of the failure is of tantamount importance. If you’re wondering why your arches and/or lintels have failed, read on for some of the top reasons.

Arch and Lintel Failure Cause No. 1: Subsidence

Subsidence is the top cause of arch and lintel failure. Subsidence causes the ground underneath your home to sink downwards or shift laterally. This places immense force on your home’s foundation.

The force travels throughout your home’s foundations up into your walls, ceiling and roof, causing unevenness and instability everywhere. When uneven forces find themselves around the arches and lintels above your windows and doors, they’re going to squeeze them inwards or pull away from them.

Arch and Lintel Failure Cause No. 2: Steel Corrosion

Steel arch bars or steel lintels corrode over lengthy periods of time due to exposure to moisture and salts. These arch bars and lintels are designed to divert heavy wall loads to the supports on either side of your windows and doors. However, when steel corrodes it expands, weakens and no longer diverts force properly down the sides of windows and doors. Downward pressure causes cracks to appear, bricks to slip and even fall down from above.

Arch and Lintel Failure Cause No. 3: Poor Workmanship

If an arch is poorly constructed or if a lintel is poorly installed, the pressure surrounding the arch or lintel is going to be uneven. Uneven loads will eventually cause them to break and fail.

Arch and Lintel Failure Cause No. 4: Mortar Corrosion

Over time, the mortar used to hold brick or stone together can fail due to natural elements such as time and weather. Lime mortar, which is used in a lot of older buildings, is particularly susceptible to corrosion.

When the mortar used to fasten the bricks in arches together becomes weak, the bricks become loose. When mortar surrounding a lintel fails, it’s usually an indicator the mortar around the window and doorway will fail too.

Need your failing arches and lintels fixed up?

Failing arches and lintels can be incredibly dangerous if left untreated. If you’re doubting any of your arches and lintels, we’d be happy to take a look. Our inspections are FREE of charge.

When you work with us, we promise

  • Free structural inspections
    We take a look at the cracks above your doors and windows at no charge.
  • Personal, friendly service
    We’ll treat your home as if it’s ours.
  • Simple, transparent quotes
    Our quotes come with easy to understand computer-generated drawings that detail our proposed solution.
  • Minimal disruptions to your life
    Fixing the cracks above doors and windows shouldn’t take more than a day.
  • Minimal disruptions to your home
    We never knock down or rebuild walls, windows or doors.
  • Affordable pricing
    Unlike many other building companies, we only typically charge between $4,000 to $8,000 to fix cracks above doors and windows. See our full list of prices.
  • Permanent fixes
    Cracks above your doors and windows stay fixed for good.
  • 10-year warranty
    In the rare case your cracks return, we’ll be back to fix them at no extra cost.

Book a FREE inspection of your cracked walls today!

Book a FREE inspection of your cracked walls today!

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