Missing lintel between conservatory on brick exterior

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Hi,

The house I moved into a couple of years ago had a conservatory already built going into the lounge. A house survey during purchase said this was built around 1995, with the house dating in the 70's.

The conservatory had a thin flimsy (definitely not an external grade) door going into it on one side, with a uPVC window on the other side, with a brick wall (along with two radiators - one on each side) under it. As this was an internal door, I took out the door and window, removed the radiators and took down the wall. The entire span is just under 3m wide.

On the internal (breezeblocks) there is a huge concrete lintel (I assume supporting all the load on the floor above.)

The conservatory has some form of built-in aluminium guttering going around the edge where it joins the brick side of the house, however there is no obvious lintel supporting the bricks above it - around 10 courses above this is an upstairs window and then the roof. There's a gap between the brick and lintel of around 10mm (the rest of the cavity is around 2"). Looking up this gap, there is a widely spaced wire mesh - reminding me of chicken wire - and a damp course a few courses up. I assumed there must have been some form of lintel to support these bricks but from what I can tell there isn't any. I took a long sharp object and pushed it through the damp-course layer expecting to hit something metal but it just kept going.

Around 5 courses up from the top of the conservatory is one long line of different mortar, looking as though someone removed it and repointed it, but drilling this in various places just went right through again revealing no metal at all.

When the window was removed, there was a slight gap at the top, packed with plastic shims, so I assume there was no load at all on this (not that the PVC window would take load.)

As none of the bricks have fallen down whilst I took the window out, I assume there might be something structurally in place holding things up but I'm not too sure.

From this point on, I think I've got two options:
- Put a 8mm thick mild steel angle iron all the way across the brick, and 6"+ into the mortar at each end
- Put a 127x76x13mm mild steel I-beam (RSJ) all the way across, fitting the span, and held up at each end by something like 6x2" wood tightly fitting and screwed into the bricks on the way down

I'm not too sure if either of these solutions will be sufficient however, and not too sure if there are any other ways of working out if the wall is properly supported or not so I would appreciate any advice anyone can give.

Cheers
 
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Back in the 70's I worked on quite a few sites where a 6inch wide concrete lintel was placed on the inside wall, and the brickwork sat on the timber frame with 3 courses of brickwork having Brick Tor expanding metal in the bed joints ( if the brickies could be bothered). There was a piece of 18inch DPC used as a tray over the the lintel and under the bricks on top of the frame. That sounds like what you have got.
If you are worried an angle iron will do.
 
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That does sound exactly like the construction that I've got here. Do you think that the use of that mesh (even though it looks as though it's only on one course of bricks) will be enough to keep it all supported, or should I go down the RSJ + wooden reinforcement to ensure it doesn't move?
 
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Agree with Stu, bang in an angle iron.

Provided the masonry is 'self arching' then the only likely downward thrust will be from a diminishing triangle of bricks spanning 3m and lessening as you course up.....

....unless the brickies have straight nicked a few course that is! :p
 
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Cheers for the replies here. Just to confirm, do you mean that 'straight nicked' mean the where the bricks aren't overlapped as in normal walls around the opening? If so then it's all definitely built correctly and all bricks do overlap where they should.

I'm thinking of just using the angle iron however fitting it 6" into the mortar at either side would be an issue, so the solution would be to use the steel the same width as the opening and support it at either end on the 6x2" wooden struts vertically, fastened into the wall. Would this be a good enough installation method bearing in mind that it most likely wouldn't ever take a significant load?
 
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