Rusting Lintels


Old 11-02-15, 07:42 AM
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Rusting Lintels

Hi all - looking for advice regarding rusting lintels. In 2000 we replaced the original steel case windows in our 1935 brick house in Denver. Last year we had a large remodel (pop top and expansion) and moved several windows to new parts of the house and installed completely new windows/french doors. The lintels on all the windows that were NOT altered in any way are fine but ALL the lintels above the new or reused windows and french doors have a serious amount of rust. I've looked at the forums regarding rust and it seems this is not a huge concern and can be remedied but the fact that this work was only done less than a year ago and has this much rust kind of freaks me out a bit. I am concerned that the contractor used inferior steel lintels on top of neglecting to seal them. Should I be concerned about this?
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Old 11-02-15, 07:47 AM
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Probably not a concern although we can't see what you see -
Unpainted steel will rust. I doubt the steel used was inferior although how long the steel sat in the weather or the conditions it's subjected to can make one rust more than another. I'd sand or wire brush them, prime and paint.
Old 11-02-15, 08:47 AM
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Pictures would help a lot but how are you seeing the rust? Is it leaving streaks and stains on the brick and windows or do you just see a strip of rust when you look at the end of the lintel?
Old 11-02-15, 02:59 PM
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Sometimes well meaning people will caulk the top edges of the lintel, where it meets the stone/brick. That leads o water being trapped on top of the line which can rust it out quickly. I'd check that first.
Old 11-03-15, 06:07 PM
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It might be a long-shot, but there's a chance that the OP's lintels are composed of weathering steel. Which is designed to initially corrode on the surface, but then corrode no more, making painting unnecessary and saving money. I've seen more and more steel suppliers furnishing weathering steel (ASTM A-588 or USS's Corten) in all shapes, including angles, to fill a growing demand from public utilities.
Old 11-04-15, 02:45 AM
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I agree with Bridge. When Atlanta built the Omni to house the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, the building as well as the people bridge were of steel, and rusted. Then the rust stopped and it had a fine patina look for years. I just thought it odd they would let it rust.

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