Is this crack in lintel likely to suggest bigger issues?

10 Feb 2014
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United Kingdom

We've been looking at moving house and due to budget, we've been mostly looking at houses that need a bit of updating. One of the houses we really like has a long, horizontal crack in the lintel above the downstairs living room window. It looks like the stone that's cracked might just be a decorative front but hard for us non experts to tell. I have attached a photo of the lintel (crack1).

We couldn't see anything that looks massively sinister inside the house, the windows all opened smoothly without issue (although some did seem a bit stiff to close again, but not sure if that's just because the house has been empty for a while as the previous elderley owner has not been living there for some time now).

The house itself was built around 1999 and is not in an estate that is known for subsidence and we cannot see any other exterior cracks in either brickwork or mortar. The houses around it all look spotless, but have obviously been better looked after!

We did notice that a couple of the the upstairs windows to the left of the house, rather than above the cracked lintel do have some cracks opening up around the edges where they seem to be coming away from the wall (have added photos, windowcrack1, windowcrack2, windowcrack3). Is this likely to be anything to do with the crack in the lintel or just due to lack of maintenance, or another potential worrying sign of more being wrong?

We will of course be getting a survey etc done if we did decide to go ahead, but wondered if any experienced folk might have some thoughts and advice based on the photos shared?!

Thank you in advance for any advice!


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looks to have been rendered over. The steelwork inside the lintel has expanded and blown the concrete. Probably due to water getting in through the poorly fitted window above.
The lintel will need replacing.
It looks like a decorative cast stone window head - I think you can see the bottom of a steel lintel below it above the window?
It looks like a decorative cast stone window head - I think you can see the bottom of a steel lintel below it above the window?
yeah . couldn’t decide if I was seeing steel or concrete. Not the best picture.
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