Whether you are building a new property or reconstructing an existing one, deciding on what type of lintel to use will always be a tough call. With too many things to consider such as wall construction, lintel length, the load that needs support, ratio of the cavity walls, and even load tables interpretation—there is certainly no easy way to secure an instant choice. Although you might probably have a construction manager, it still pays to be part of the decision when it comes to the safety of your property.
In a nutshell, lintels are the horizontal support used to strengthen an opening such as doors, windows, and even fireplace. A lintel could be made of timber, stone, concrete, or steel and while most of the time, the material is widely-used for load support, a lot of people have also become attracted to its aesthetic appeal.
Source : keystonelintels.com
People who are in the construction industry especially those who are in the business of installing structural building products would probably know the advantages of steel lintels over other types lintels. But if you are on the other side of the group which majority of us belongs to, you might also not be aware of lintels, its types, and their differences. So here’s a short run through of the most common types of lintels to give you a quick picture of which is which and perhaps help you make that conscious decision when the time comes.
Wood is known to be the oldest, weakest, and most expensive type of lintel. If not properly maintained, a wooden lintel can decay before you even know it. Due to its vulnerability, mild steel plates are sometimes placed on the top and the bottom areas to make it strong enough to carry the load. These days however, wood lintels are not as popular as in the old days, with the availability or more effective alternatives.
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Stone on the other hand, is a type of lintel but is just too heavy to make it an ideal choice. In addition to that, other construction materials used to employ stone lintels are also difficult to find and must be employed with its natural layering. In the end, the tensile of stone lintels are just not strong enough to make it the best choice for construction.
Meanwhile, concrete lintels are made of cement and has two types: 1) plain concrete lintels which is commonly manufactured in factories and best suits small spans and 2) reinforced concrete lintels which basically concrete lintels that employs a reinforcement to address the common problem of concrete which is low tensile strength.
Source : westweld.com.au
Finally, there is steel lintel. Made from rolled steel joists, steel lintels are widely used for construction with extremely large openings and where the loads are exceedingly heavy. Over the years, the steel lintel has become a popular choice in building construction for its advantages.
Here are a few things that can make steel lintel installation the priority choice for your next construction.
- Steel lintels has the most ideal load bearing capacity. If you think about it, metal are by nature robust. So when compared with other types of material, steel lintel no doubt is able to support heavy loads that buildings require and has a proven-track of tensile strength.
- Steel lintels are easier to transport. Aside from the fact that other types of lintels are made out of heavy materials, they also need a number of alterations or reinforcements which make them impracticable to transport in a construction site. This makes it convenient for your construction team and more efficient for you without the worries of incurring additional costs and unnecessary work.
- Steel lintels are weather-resistant. When properly treated, steel lintels can resist not only rust but at the same time warping and corrosion. This provides the assurance that you wouldn’t have to worry about changing your lintels in just a few years because it will surely stand the test of time.
Source : powerssteel.com
Indeed, there are a lot of things to consider during a construction. While applicability may vary from case to case, safety as top priority surely cuts across construction principles and lintels is vital in ensuring the overall safety of any building. Thus, there should be no compromise when choosing the type that has proven durability and performance. So make sure that before you make the call, do your due diligence.