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Why you should paint the lintels of your building

We all heard about the buildings that collapsed in the different neighbourhoods of Montreal. But why exactly do walls (brick walls and others) collapse? What can we do to prevent them from collapsing? Here is what I know.

 

Why does a wall collapse?

It is a weakness in the structure of a building’s envelope that causes a wall to collapse. But in order to avoid the building’s collapsing, we have to know what made the structure weak in the first place. Aside from earthquakes which can’t be stopped, weaknesses in a wall can be caused by different factors: water infiltration, rusty lintels, corrosion, etc.

How to prevent the weakness of the structure?

To prevent your walls from becoming too weak to support the weight of the envelope, you must perform an adequate maintenance of the exterior walls, starting with an annual inspection. Walk around your building and look closely for any sign of deterioration: a crooked window, swelling, small holes, cracks, and such. Don’t forget the check the lintels to see if they are in good condition. Or even better: ask an expert to check them for you!

What are lintels?

Lintels are small pieces of the exterior envelope located on the top of each opening: door, window, bay-window. Despite their small size, lintels are indeed essential for the structure. If you see your lintels show signs of deterioration or rust, call right away for a professional painter who specializes in lintel painting and other exterior painting tasks.

How to do the maintenance of my lintels?

You must paint the lintels of your building and perform a complete anticorrosion treatment. Such treatment includes stripping, scraping, and sanding, applying a rust converter and rustproof paint and will last for about 10 years.

When is the best time to paint lintels?

In Montreal, or in cities which have a similar climate, the best time to paint lintels is during fall, especially during the months of September and October, before frost time. It’s often during winter that collapses happen: water will infiltrate the wall and freeze, which will cause part of the siding to break out. If the lintels are too weak, the wall will collapse under its own weight.

You are looking for an exterior painter who is specialized in lintel painting? Contact us now!

 

Dave Beaupre

Master painter