Cracked sidewall in lintel

Today I did an inspection on a home under construction where the walls, framing and roof were complete. It is CBS with preformed lintels. The 10’ lintel at the rear patio area has a crack at the point of bearing on the exterior wall where visible. The adjacent cell is grouted and reinforced with rebar.

I can’t provide a photo right now but will be recommending a further evaluation by the enginnneer of record. I just would like to know what if any standards apply to damages to preformed concrete structural support members. Manufacturer was Castcrete.

My opinion is that they should be installed only if no damage has occurred. Photo tommorrow.

Here is a photo. What do you think?

That looks totally shot.
How would they even make a correct repair?

There is a lot of reinforcement running through this spot, I am pretty sure this is a U type lintel with reinforcement bars and grout poured inside and the intersection at the wall is reinforced and the cmu cell is grouted. I know this is an engineers call but I sure didn’t like it. They took a hell of a chance placing the grout that it didn’t break off and fall to the ground. Like I said I referred it back to the enginneer to write a letter stating his opinion regarding this condition. I don’t know if the municipal Code guys missed it. It may already have been addressed but ussually they put paint on the wall and they didn’t here.

It certainly needs the red paint…that is going to be one hell of a job replacing it…!

I figure at some point I will get a copy of the letter being requested from the engineer of record on this project. I can hardly wait.

After my client gets it I am going to have him contact code enforcement to find out what they have to say. My viewpoint is moot. I took one look at it and told the client I didn’t like it and what I would write in the report. The ball is now in his court. And hell yeah replacing it would cost thousands.

Unless the house is falling down I’m not referring cracks to engineers any longer lol.

On a new construction you better. New construction for an inspector has more liability than a home older than 10 years old because the house has not been tested over time yet. It is common to see whole corners 4’ X 4’ drop of foundations in my area within a 1-3 years of construction. I am very glad they never dropped off any houses I inspected.

Brian, was that a lintel block or a lintel pre-cast beam?
I don’t see a joint indicating it is a lintle block or a bondbeam block. :slight_smile:

New construction phase inspections are an entirely different animal. In essence the inspector is conducting an inspection to ensure the construction meets applicable codes. In this case the broken lintel fails to meet the code for minimum bearing. also the mortar joint exceeds industry standards for width. I can’t find a single reference anywhere for acceptable damage to the lintel, I don’t think there are any.

Marcel, it is a precast U type designed to be reinforced with rebar and grout fill. There is another course of block on top of it grouted with tie downs for the truss system.

I wasn’t aware they made a u-shaped pre-cast beam. Usually it is a solid 8"x8" concrete precast reinforced with 4-#4 bars or bigger.

In residential, they usually use a bond beam block for openings and a bondbeam block at the top of the wall for truss ties if necessary.

Bond beam blocks are concrete masonry units that are similar to standard CMUs, except that the webs are cut to remove the upper portion. In many cases, the block units are provided with knock out sections that are removed when the units are used in the bond beam.

The notch in the top of the webs creates a space into which the horizontal reinforcing is placed in a reinforced masonry wall. The vertical reinforcing extends through the cells in the bond beam unit. A wire mesh or fabric is placed in the bed joint just below the bond beam unit at any of the cells that do not contain vertical reinforcing as the walls are erected. This mesh prevents the grout from flowing down the vertical cell space so the horizontal bond beam can be filled without filling all the vertical cells.
Some bondbeams have a solid bottom.

Lintel or channel blocks are U-shaped concrete masonry units used above openings to create lintels. Since lintel block units are solid along the bottom, the underside can be exposed at openings. However, because of this feature, these block units do not allow vertical reinforcement to extend through them.

Therefore, lintel blocks would typically not be used in wall systems that have a combination of vertical and horizontal reinforcement. If lintel blocks are used to create bond beams in walls with vertical reinforcing, a portion of the bottom of the units would need to be removed in order to extend the vertical reinforcing through.

That is why I thought it was precast Concrete.

I also wondered why it was notched at the bearing seat and filled with mortar, which throws all logic aside. :slight_smile:

Marcel, do a google or Yahoo search on CASTCRETE (that’s this manufacturer). We use this stuff all the time down here I bet nobody does in Maine.


No B.S. just a simple and effective answer.

“We build to what we don’t get caught at”

Intersting product Brian, and no we don’t have those available here, but considering all the masonry buildings down your way, it makes sense for maintaining production at the site.
All it is, is a continous bond beam, basically.
I can see now that the notch on the ends allow the vertical rebar at the jambs to carry on through, so going back to the picture, it looks like just the shell is broke.
That should not affect the structural capacity of the unit, just looks like hell.

Thanks for the info, that was good. :slight_smile:

I think you are right about the stregnth of the assembly given the grout and reinforcing at this point however, I ain’t signing off on it. That’s the enginneers job. Like I said before I can’t find any info about what is acceptable in terms of damage to the unit. There is supposed to be a minimum bearing of the unit which isn’t there given the crack. I think they really took a chance pouring the grout that the whole thing didn’t come down.

I told the client that they probably wouldn’t replace it but that he needs to save the letter from the engineer of record for the builder. Just in case.

I would not sign off too, but you might find, that they require the piece of the broken shell be removed, verify that the reinforcement and grout is there and repaired accordingly. No need to take the whole thing down, but that will be the engineer’s call for a proper remedial repair. :slight_smile:

Simple solution. There should be a building permit. To get a building permit, requires usually four sets of “stamped” drawings by architect or engineer submitted to the local code enforcement official. There should be a detail of this structural beam. The code inspector can only refer back to the architect or engineer. Code Inspector is not an architect or engineer. As an inspector we see and observe. This observed crack, falls to the architect or engineer for acceptance or rejection.

Exactly, see 1st post.

Hey Brian,
No offense. I did read the 1st post and that is why I was commenting. You stated “My opinion”----. Opinions do not matter. Home Inspectors. We report the facts and defer for further evaluation. SOP’s. Again, no offense.
Take care.