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  • FIRST POST
    • saraann21
    • By saraann21 13th Mar 17, 8:45 PM
    • 243Posts
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    saraann21
    rusty lintel
    • #1
    • 13th Mar 17, 8:45 PM
    rusty lintel 13th Mar 17 at 8:45 PM
    hi,am thinking of opening up a fireplace in my kitchen(house around 100yrs old).chimmneys have been removed,this will just be decorative but the metal lintel is rusted and im scared it will split and the wall will come down.the opening has been filled with bricks.there is no outside chimmney breast,the outside wall is flat.will it be ok with a rusted lintel or should i leave it?thanks for any help
Page 1
    • George Michael
    • By George Michael 13th Mar 17, 9:57 PM
    • 2,715 Posts
    • 3,639 Thanks
    George Michael
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 17, 9:57 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 17, 9:57 PM
    Without knowing the extent of the rust, all anyone can do is to guess.
    It might only be surface rust in which case it will probably be fine or it might well be totally corroded and replacement needed.
    You really need to get it inspected by a structural engineer or someone else suitably qualified.
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 13th Mar 17, 11:48 PM
    • 1,049 Posts
    • 1,553 Thanks
    FreeBear
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 17, 11:48 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 17, 11:48 PM
    If it is just a strip of iron roughly 2" wide by about 3/8" thick, it isn't a lintel. If it is a more substantial I beam, then it depends on the extent of the rust.

    A little bit of surface rust is nothing to worry about. But if it is real heavy rust, the beam will expand and force the bricks out of place - In the case of a small strip, it can be safely cut out as it is there to support brickwork between the throat & the brick arch (the latter being structural). If it is a large beam with heavy rust, then get a structural engineer in.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
    • saraann21
    • By saraann21 14th Mar 17, 7:33 AM
    • 243 Posts
    • 611 Thanks
    saraann21
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:33 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:33 AM
    its approx 58 inch long and 3/4 inch think.not sure how far back it goes so dont know width.there is no brick arch that i can see,just stone and brick above it.is it safe to open below it?how would i work out extent of rust?would scrubbing it with wire wool or similar show the extent?thanks for your help
    • JP08
    • By JP08 14th Mar 17, 9:00 AM
    • 778 Posts
    • 837 Thanks
    JP08
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:00 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:00 AM
    Heavy rust flakes off. Anything else is just surface.

    Bear in mind that rust takes up about twice the volume of the metal it came from. So with your lintel / beam / thingy of iron the rust would have to be half an inch deep of flaky crud to have lost only 1/3 of the beam depth. You'd have seen bits falling on the floor or it would be very evident in situ.

    I'm betting that a scrub with a wire brush or a scrape with the end of a screwdriver will reveal lovely firm metal.
    • saraann21
    • By saraann21 14th Mar 17, 9:14 AM
    • 243 Posts
    • 611 Thanks
    saraann21
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:14 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:14 AM
    Heavy rust flakes off. Anything else is just surface.

    Bear in mind that rust takes up about twice the volume of the metal it came from. So with your lintel / beam / thingy of iron the rust would have to be half an inch deep of flaky crud to have lost only 1/3 of the beam depth. You'd have seen bits falling on the floor or it would be very evident in situ.

    I'm betting that a scrub with a wire brush or a scrape with the end of a screwdriver will reveal lovely firm metal.
    Originally posted by JP08
    thanks will try this first
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 14th Mar 17, 12:28 PM
    • 1,049 Posts
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    FreeBear
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 17, 12:28 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 17, 12:28 PM
    Heavy rust flakes off. Anything else is just surface.
    Originally posted by JP08
    In extreme cases, the iron will exfoliate and you can push a screwdriver through the layers. This is an example of a wall tie that has corroded
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
    • saraann21
    • By saraann21 14th Mar 17, 2:48 PM
    • 243 Posts
    • 611 Thanks
    saraann21
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:48 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:48 PM
    well ive scraped a little with a screw driver and poked it and it feels solid.would post a pic but how do i do that from photos on my ipad?thanks
    • Johnhowell
    • By Johnhowell 14th Mar 17, 8:54 PM
    • 592 Posts
    • 260 Thanks
    Johnhowell
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:54 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:54 PM
    Remove all loose rust with wire brush/wire wool and apply Jenolite as instructions, then paint with metal paint.
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