Repairs to 1960s/70s Brick Lintels – Diagonal Cracks & Dropping Brickwork

This semi-detached home near Maidstone in Kent was built in the 1960s or 1970s. The property is a cavity wall construction with no visible external lintels above the doors or windows.

In common with many properties built in the 60s and 70s, it suffered from brickwork issues above the doors and windows. It showed signs of previous, unsuccessful attempts to repair the brickwork by traditional building methods. Structural repairs were required to avoid the failure of the lintels and the collapse of the unsupported brickwork above the lintels.

There are many housing estates across the South East, including many former council house estates, that are built in the same way. AWT has helped homeowners and housing associations find a cost-effective solution to brick-lintel defects.

Common symptoms of brick lintel issues include:

  • Gaps opening up in brickwork
  • Cracks in brickwork, especially diagonal, stepped cracks
  • Cracks in plaster around doors and windows
  • Sagging and dropping brickwork above doors or windows
  • Difficulty opening or closing doors and windows


60s 70s failing lintels - Failing 1960s/70s Brick Lintels

The Structural Problem

The AWT survey found dropping and cracking to the external brickwork that forms the supporting lintel above the window openings and supported brickwork above, which if not treated would result in their failure.

As can be seen in the photos below, previous attempts had been made to repair the cracks. Traditional building methods had only provided a temporary, cosmetic repair. Cracks could be clearly seen running through the areas that had been repointed.

Inside the property, cracks had opened up in the plaster around the windows.

The brick lintels had been deteriorating over a long period. The failure of the existing window and door lintels was causing the brickwork above the lintels to drop and crack due to a lack of support.

As well as causing cracks and gaps in the brickwork, the pressure of the unsupported masonry will warp doors and windows making them difficult to open and close. Without appropriate structural repairs, the outer skin of the brickwork would collapse.

The Structural Solution

The remedial works were designed to restore the masonry to the correct alignment and add tensile strength by installing state-of-the-art fixings within the brickwork. The formation of continuous beams within the existing masonry redistributes the upper-storey loads and restrains diagonal cracking and bulging tendencies.

AWT’s specialist precision drilling equipment allowed the fixings to be installed from the exterior of the property with minimal disturbance to the residents.

AWT’s specialist structural repair techniques provided a long-term repair without visible fixings or rebuilding work.

  • Instal temporary supports to the underside of door & window openings
  • Removal of debris from brickwork cracks
  • Realign lintels using hydraulic equipment
  • Instal stainless steel corded joint reinforcement within the brickwork to form a load-bearing beam within the masonry
  • Instal helical stainless steel pins to secure the brick lintels
  • Instal resin bond stainless steel ties forming truss ties
  • Reconnect masonry using grouted 8mm helical bar
  • Instal remedial wall ties to debonded cavity brickwork
  • Re-point disturbed areas of mortar with colour-matched mortar

Action Wall Ties are specialist structural repair contractors with the skills and experience required to repair properties of all ages.  AWT works on domestic and commercial projects for homeowners, housing associations, structural engineers, architects, project managers and local authorities.

AWT are available in Kent, London, Essex, Surrey and Sussex. To arrange a survey or to discuss project details, please use our contact form, email us or call us on 01227 721 255.

Call us if your building has any of these

Common Structural Defects, Issues or Problems

Our specialist structural repair contractors will be happy to help provide a comprehensive and permanent repair to your structural problems.

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