Need help on a loose lintel and plastering around window

26 Apr 2015
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United Kingdom
I am currently decorating our back bedroom and came to the wall with the window fitted. All the plaster around the window frame was very loose and also abit of mould on the top left corner. So after a quick google i decided to remove the lot and do a proper job rather than having to redo it a few months later.

So here is how it stands now:

This was the corner that had some mould:

Should this hole just be filled with some cement?

This lintel across the top is abit loose, infact i'm sure if i tryed i could probably pull it out(not going to). Just wondering what is the best way to secure it again? Should i pack it out with something or fill gaps with cement? Screws etc..?

A few more pics:

Not sure why theres a gap there?

Allot of pics i know but trying to give as much info as possible.

Any help would be great :)
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Above the lintel is the wall plate for the roof. the joists sit on it. The lintel is there to take the weight of the roof, the wall plate is just for simplicity of construction. It would seem that your wall plate is acting as the lintel, because the original lintel was badly installed, hence its looseness and the various cracks. I would rake out the loose mortar and make good with a sharp sand/cement mortar, packed in as tightly as possible.
Ok yeah that makes sense. So it needs to be taking the weight off the top piece of wood.

What if i scrape the old mortar out and fill it all with new mortar then before it sets hard pack the lintel from the bottom which will squash the mortar tight against the top piece?
Or will filling it with mortar do the same job without haveing to pack it?
Since the lintel is so loose and the wallplate is presently doing all the work, I would remove the lintel and clean out all the old mortar before replacing the lintel directly beneath the wallplate without any mortar between them." pack up" the lintel from the bottom using old slates if possible and make good with mortar. Even if you decide not to remove the lintel and just re mortar, always pack upwards from the bottom ie the supporting bricks should always take the weight of everything above them. This is quite an easy job and nothing to be afraid of if the lintel is so loose already.
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Ok i will give this ago and let you know how i go.

I think haveing the lintel at the bottom is better as it gives the plasterboard something to screw to then.
Leave the timber in. Its just shrunk and got loos as these do.

Fill the gaps with expanding foam, that will stop the movement, then fit 9mm plasterboard across the beams and bearing and skim it, or fit mesh and bond and skim - the mesh should cross the joint onto the brickwork 100mm or so.
Bit of an update on this. Today i scraped out all the old mortar from above the lintel. Then mixed up some new mortar and squashed it all back in as best i could and whilst it was still wet i packed up the lintel with slate which then squashed in the mortar abit more so its all nice and tight now.

Also filled all around the window frame with expanding foam and then trimmed it all down.

Now just need to clean up the edges and get the plasterboard on. what i wanted to ask was at the top of the window the lintel has now been packed up abit so if i were to screw the plasterboard straight to it then its going to sit above the edge of the window frame. So just wanted to check that putting another strip of wood under the plasterboard first to bring it down abit would be ok? Or even 2 wooden batons screwed up there to bring it down.

You can kind of see here that it sits higher now:
That should do it, but in future when packing lintel type gaps use only the smallest amount of water in the mix so you have almost sandcastle consistency. Your wet mortar will shrink and leave a small gap, but nothing to worry about. An almost dry mix can be packed into gaps using a scrap of wood (that can slide into the gap), with the mix offered up on an upside down trowel acting as a hawk. Also sands other than bricklaying sand are better as bricklaying sand usually has clay in it which also tends to create shrinkage. I prefer sharp sand for such packing if the gap is wide enough.

As Woody said the old timber has simply shrunk a little since originally installed and obviously is not a problem.
Thank i will remember that. I do need to learn more about all the differant ways you can mix with sand and cement.

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