Soldier course collapsing

Discussion in 'Building' started by gorsewood, 12 Oct 2020.

  1. gorsewood

    gorsewood

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    Hi all, some advice please?

    The soldier course above our living room (ground floor) window is collapsing downwards. You can see from the photos below that an approx. 10mm gap has formed between the soldier course and the course above it, which is exposing a DPC, and that there is a crack in the middle of the soldier course which is effectively splitting it into two sections. It's also now projecting outwards away from the building by approx. 10mm.

    Any thoughts on what's going on here? and how urgent is fixing this?

    I thought the soldier course sat on a lintel so was rock solid, so is this suggesting a problem with the lintel? The course above the soldier course looks fine.

    House is 1950's and shows no signs of subsidence.

    Just trying to understand this before engaging with trades.

    Thanks.

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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I guess you've had an old, substantial wooden window frame removed, and a weedy plastic one fitted, and the installers did not provide support to the brickwork above.

    This error is quite common.

    I doubt there is a lintel supporting the outer course of bricks, though the openining is quite wide so perhaps one is present that was formerly reliant on the original windowframe, and has now deflected under load.
     
    Last edited: 12 Oct 2020
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  4. CJRatch

    CJRatch

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    Fitters probably thought being under the eaves and not much weight above they'd get away with it.

    On a smaller opening they probably would have.

    Needs an single leaf lintel fitting and soldier course rebuilding.
     
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  5. gorsewood

    gorsewood

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    OK, thanks for the advice guys. (y)
     
  6. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I think that FENSA rules say they are supposed to add steel supports to hold up the bricks above, but I don't know.

    If the installers broke some kind of regulation they would be responsible.
     
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  7. gorsewood

    gorsewood

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    That's interesting. We learnt that the windows were installed by a friend of the previous owner, which is why we couldn't get hold of a FENSA certificate when we bought the place, so our solicitor recommended we took out some kind of indemnity or policy (can't remember exactly). I'll dig through the paperwork and see if we have some insurance cover I'm not yet aware of. Thanks.
     
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