Corrosion of steel lintels

Steel lintels

The lintels above the openings (doors and windows) are not fixed against the structure, they rest freely on the masonry wall on either side. These steel lintels support the masonry above the openings. However, structural steel angles are metallic elements fixed against the concrete slabs of each storey to support the masonry in buildings that are over 11 m in height (buildings three storeys and above).

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Masonry flashing

At the base of the exterior facing, at the junction between the bricks and the foundation walls, there is a waterproofing system made up of a basic masonry flashing, an air barrier membrane (or paper coating) and chantepleures. This system must be installed so as to prevent water infiltration into the interior of the building.

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Metal fasteners for brick wall

Metal ties

It should be noted that masonry fasteners transfer lateral load from the wall to the building structure, and then prevent lateral wall movement to the outside. This can cause the brick wall to collapse.
The installation of metal fasteners is essential for the lateral stability of brick walls. It is essential that the installation respects the rules of the art and the Building Code in force. Thus, the fasteners must absolutely withstand lateral forces and corrosion.
In the old buildings, at the beginning of the construction of the brick walls, they were fastened against the wooden planks with the help of nails which corroded, with time, and were detached from the structure of the wooden planks . This caused bulges in the brick wall [colloquially known as beef belly].

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Counter brick wall

Facade inspection

The old construction method with solid brick load-bearing walls has been replaced, over time, by a system consisting of a supporting structure of wood (or concrete) and a masonry counter-wall, usually of brick.
In this article, the engineer deals with deficiencies or deteriorations that affect the facades composed of a structural support system and non-load bearing brick walls (modern buildings). These include, but are not limited to, plugging, blooming on bricks, cracked or missing sealing joints, corrosion on lintels and steel angles, shearing and cracks in joints. bricks, cracked vertical mortar joints and hollowed mortar joints.

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Attic condensations

Condensation problem

As the Association of Builders of Quebec (ACQ) reminds us, almost all of the condensation found in roof construction voids (attic spaces and voids) comes from the water vapor that flows through the roof. ceiling and spreads through air leaks.

It is during the winter period that we see the greatest heat loss from the ceiling of the upper floor of a building. This promotes the formation of moisture and condensation in the attic.

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The chantepleures in the brick wall


By ignorance and believing to do well, some owners decide to caulk the chantepleures practiced in the masonry walls. They do not know that the chantepleure is a hollow masonry joint (drain hole) that does not contain mortar, in order to encourage the flow of water that seeps behind the masonry.

In order to understand the role of chantepleures in a hollow wall, one must know the components of this wall. Thus, the latter is composed of a masonry cladding and a wooden structure. This wall has two membranes to protect against the penetration of rain, an external and internal protection.

Exterior protection includes masonry assembly (bricks or stones and mortar joints, flashing and grouting joints), while interior protection is provided by the liner membrane.

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