I have seen a few rusting lintels do damage to the surrounding brick. Today I did an inspection on a new construction. The lintels were in perfect shape but it’s only a matter of time before they look like the rusted ones that I have seen. Do you guys ever recommend painting, treating, or covering them from the elements?



I say something like this.

Recommendation: The steel lintels above window and door openings need to be primed, painted, and require periodic maintenance to help prevent corrosion.

Thanks man. I’ve never seen them new before so it was a bit different for me

They should be flashed to prevent Water Intrusion into the exterior brick.
This is brick veneer you are looking at and it should be in place.
Older buildings before the seventies did not have flashed lintels,

Thanks Bob. I know they should be flashed but that just protects the window. I was more interested in the bottom exposed parts of the lintel.

It stops water from being trapped and rusting the lintel which cause it to expand and crack the brick/mortar also.

Exactly, and from penetrating behind the veneer.

Yep,just had a Split block building yesterday with only the foundation flashed but the owner seemed to feel waterproofing took care of everything…yeah right.:roll:

look at they have the best product you can found on the market, a bit expensive but the best for durability :stuck_out_tongue:

Many here use vinyl covers for the lintels. I would say new construction, if they are not covered or bare then they should be painted.

Yes, painting or sealing of lintles is recommended.

Andrew Constantine
InspectPro Home Inspections
Rock Hill Home Inspector]( :roll:


After lintels are installed, it is all but impossible to paint them for protection, as parts of them are covered by flashing, brick and mortar.

The problem is that AH gen contractors are stupid and install the lintels as delivered. Misc. metals are always furnished as prime painted only. The primer will not last very long. The whole piece of iron needs to be fully coated to protect against corrosion and its deleterious effects.

The stupid gc’s do not coat the lintels to stand up to the environment. Eventually, the corrosion will cause the mortar to spall and things just keep going downhill, literally, from there.