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Old 10-08-2010, 09:23 PM   #1
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Think I found a drip cap over my front door.


Hey guys, I need you again.

I was removing silicone caulk from all around my front door trim outside so I could paint it. When I got to the very top I found something. Either a very small drip pan or a really sturdy piece of caulk or filler. What ever it is, the caulk above it and below it came off, but this piece won't.

I don't want to mess up the door's header because it is built into the house (1920 or earlier brick row home). How can I make sure what this is without ruing it? How can I tell if I have a drip cap? What is the smartest thing to do to protect the door now?

I didn't take pics today but these are pics before I peeled the caulk off.

http://picasaweb.google.com/11032697...26073/DripCap#
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:29 PM   #2
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i don't think ive ever seen a ''drip cap'' on a brick house before,it maybe some mortar that was packed around the trim for some reason
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:55 PM   #3
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Should I leave it alone? Do I need a drip cap or some kind of flashing to protect the wood?
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosemonster View Post
Should I leave it alone? Do I need a drip cap or some kind of flashing to protect the wood?
There is no drip cap. You don't need a drip cap. Keep the wood painted. If any of it is rotted, replace it.
Ron
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:36 AM   #5
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Sorry to rebutt Ron, but I always install a drip cap, brick or otherwise. It helps keep moisture off the top trim and from getting behind the tirim.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:04 AM   #6
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Thanks Ron


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
There is no drip cap. You don't need a drip cap. Keep the wood painted. If any of it is rotted, replace it.
Ron

Thanks Ron. You always help me. I'll just caulk it real good after painting.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:25 AM   #7
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Thanks Bill,

I thought all doors had them. I'm not sure what this thing is then. I'll get a pic before I start working on it today and post it later. Thanks again.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
Sorry to rebutt Ron, but I always install a drip cap, brick or otherwise. It helps keep moisture off the top trim and from getting behind the tirim.
Bill, if there was a lintel, I would cut a slot above it and slide one in. I can't see an unbastardized way in this case. Plus, the bricks are so far back and as the picture is a,"before" picture, I see no evidence of any water issue on the recessed wood.
I wonder what's holding up the brick?
Ron
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:52 PM   #9
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In modern construction there is supposed to be a flashing above the lintel (the metal support for the brick above a window or door) in both brick veneer and structural brick walls.



(It does not have to be copper, that's just the link I had handy).

What you are finding might be a flashing, or it might be the lintel, or both.

Sometimes, most frequently in older construction, the flashing was omitted even if drainage (for example, weep holes in the brick above the lintel) was provided.

Whether there is flashing present of not, if water cannot drain out of the wall above the lintel, (for example because someone caulked the opening between the the lintel and the brick above shut) water will back up in the wall above the lintel. Eventually the lintel rusts, sometimes to the point where starts to fail:



and must be replaced.

Here's a typical example at the window openings in a structural brick wall here in Chicago, the deteriorated lintel is the dark brown material to the right of the mason's hammer:



and here's what a typical lintel at this property looked like once removed from the wall:



as you can see, there was not much left of the lintels!

This was a pretty extreme example, more often the lintels are replaced before they reach this point - as lintels rust they can expand to 8-10 times their original thickness, exerting sufficient force to lift materials above them:



The most common result is "step cracking" horizontally or diagonally upwards from the corners of window openings:



Often, this is point at which lintels are replaced.

So ideally, the lintel will be protected from corrosion by a flashing arrangement similar to the diagram at the top of this post.
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Last edited by Michael Thomas; 10-10-2010 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:24 AM   #10
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Wow, thank you so much. This is really, really great information. You just positively explained why 2 of my windows are leaking.

In your pictures it looks like the lintel doesn't always show, so I guess there may be one over the door. What ever I uncovered wasn't the lintel, more like a metal covered in caulk. It's a small strip right up against the top bricks. No pics today, they came out really bad. There was a gap between what ever this is and the wood. I filled it in with an exterior filler. Hopefully I've made the right choice.

Thanks so much again.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:15 PM   #11
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Finally have the door done.


http://picasaweb.google.com/11032697...07115124294770
Just want to thank you guys for all for the help. The door is mostly done now. I messed it up a bit today trimming the bottom, so I'll need to repaint in it spring but it's leak free now. Thanks


Last edited by rosemonster; 11-23-2010 at 09:01 PM.
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