Hole In Wall Weep Holes
In such cases the weeps consist of small-diameter plastic, clay or metal pipes extending through the wall to a layer of porous backfill. Weep holes are also placed above windows to prevent dry rot of a wooden window frame. The other end of the rope is extended up into the cavity wall. The process of evaporation is slower than with weep holes. They are for brick veneer homes because they ventilate the narrow cavity between the brick and the interior wall. Now the buyers want to have weep holes installed at our cost. Building practice is based on building codes. These tunnels rapidly conduct the water out of the wall through multiple weep hole openings, thereby protecting the building envelope from moisture damage.
When exposed to high winds, there is a considerable positive pressure on the outside of the masonry wall, and only atmospheric pressure on the interior of the wall.
In modern brick veneer and cavity wall construction, there is an air space (perhaps one inch) between the masonry and the backup material. Once decay of the cotton fiber begins, the weep literally turns to a black mush, preventing any possible opportunity for drainage. I filled them with silicone to keep out water and termites. Inspector says he sees it on the overwhelming majority of brick homes these days but that they really need to be there.
My concern would be rot of underlying framing. Unless flashing was properly installed behind the brick, any added weep holes after the fact are nothing more than window dressing. It may seem like a piece of shoddy bricklaying because the gaps are so close to the ground. Their main purpose is to create a way for moisture to drain out and air to enter so what when the wall has to dry out, it does so.
Weep holes were considered the best way to get rid of this water and moisture. In an ideal situation, weep holes will work as they should, taking water out of the house and letting it dry up quickly. Many homes also get through basement waterproofing done, making the weep hole really unnecessary. But masons still add them, as a precaution. In old houses, moisture used to be able to easily move through a wall. They may also include a drip at the front lip to aid drainage. This process is slower than with ordinary weep holes. The height of the placement of holes plays an important role. Australia it is not unusual to see water flowing from the weep holes on the prevailing side of well constructed houses after a ‘gully raker’ or monsoonal storm.
Some of these news reports “mould in wall cavities is caused by insulation” describe a real problem but do not necessarily offer a correct explanation of the cause of the mould contamination.
Can’t mice and insects enter thru these openings?
It provides an opening to allow water to drain out through the bottom of the wall. Weep holes do have some serious drawbacks though.
What are weep holes and why do you need them? We explain that for you here including how to keep pests out and why blocking …
HOME MAINTENANCE – Weep Hole In Masonry Wall
Even if you tried to fill the air gap intentionally with mortar, how would you know or check if the space is 100% full without voids?
There will always be partially filled air gaps. It does not matter if the air space is partially or solid filled. Weep holes are to be present at the base of the exterior brick walls top and bottom of all openings of a masonry covered house.
Flashing is required at the top (heads) and bottom (sills) of all exterior openings and at the base of all walls. Flashing is defined as a thin impervious sheet of material placed in such a manner to prevent water penetration or direct water flow. Two (2) weep holes are to be installed in each sill. If sill is over 48 inches wide, then add one weep at the approximate center of the sill. The primary function of a weep hole is to allow water to exit the masonry wall cavity. This cannot be determined without destructive investigation of the brickwork. First the weep hole can not function without proper flashings. When the hole is drilled, the bit would most likely ruin any flashing that may be present. Some argue that by drilling holes you allow the wall to breathe, therefor allowing any moisture in the air gap to evaporate.
Then of course you have those who believe that the weep holes equalize the air pressure differential on the two sides of the brick.
This is a violation of the license law. There also was a star-studded roster of expert witnesses on both sides. Can somebody please answer all the inquiries about plugging up weep holes. How could any thing that happens with the tiny bit of moisture that may or may not drain out of weep holes, be worse that the flooding?!!!
Can weep holes be installed higher up on brick, and then plug the lower openings? Raised the window and there were thousands of ants. Noticed they are crawling in the weep hole outside and notice a yellow jacket going into the hole also. Not sure if the screen or scouring pad will keep ants out as they can crawl in little places. Is there anything that is easily inserted and removed on the market. Of course, just like every time before, water came in where the weep holes are located. What about sealant and filling in those weep holes? When it rains really hard that the drainage can not keep up with the rain, the water seeps in thru the weep wholes and floods the bedroom.
If your sheathing is gypsum-based, it can dissolve when wet. Some forms of insulation will support mold growth if wet. Bottom line: proper flashing and adequate weeps/vents are necessary in a masonry veneer wall. Placing mesh in the voids is a good idea, and there are a variety of products on the market for that purpose. I gather there is no way to know if you have a problem until it shows itself and it could be very expensive to resolve.
I also gather the only real way to do it right is remove the lower brick courses, install the flashing and the holes. The high wind pressure created by the blower forces the water repellent deep into the brick wall to help create a strong barrier against water infiltration.
Flashings must be installed under all window and door sills. Masons often install brick on edge in these locations and the mortar joints point to the sky. There are products and methods to ensure this doesn’t happen, but many bricklayers and builders don’t use the products and problems happen as the house is subjected to pounding rain.
Do not permit mortar to drop or accumulate into cavity air space or to plug weep/cavity vents. Form weep holes by leaving head joint free and clean of mortar, and raking out bed joint at weep hole. The back-panels of such systems are usually thin and flexible. Analytical models for veneer wall systems are being developed based on these experiments to further study the vulnerability of this type of construction. The impact on thermal conductance is much less. Field drying studies showed that the sample tested is well ventilated. In cool and cold weather the wall dried more slowly and much less moisture moved inward. It was concluded that cladding ventilation acts to increase the effective vapour permeance of cladding and to reduce solar driven inward vapour drives.
The difference observed was concluded to be due to the higher vapour permeance of the spun bonded polyolefin and may not hold for wall assemblies with lower permeance sheathings (e.
Where do the brick wall weep holes go?
No visible penetration of water into the upstairs bedroom where the window is located. I do not know if the blocks top row filled with mortar. The space between the sheathing and veneer appears to be in code. The builder had left adequate weep holes above the structural flashing. The builder states that the holes will weep under the flashing and the water will drain out over the roof. I suspect either the window is leaking into the wall space down and into the top row of blocks since the first run of veneer is not thick enough to cover the open block holes.
Reading you waring about ensuring the vapor barrier directs water to the bottom row of weeping holes may be suspect as well. Use a light and mirror to inspect the cavity side of the drywall. Keep in mind that the cost difference between cutting away the bottom three feet of a wall drywall and the bottom four feet is about zero since the new drywall will be purchased in four foot widths.
I would not leave such openings plugged as trapping water in the wall – as some water may seep in through other voids in the veneer – invites rot, insect damage, and mold growth.
I would go to the most-suspect area of an interior wall and there cut a 2″ x 4″ inspection opening above the floor trim to inspect the wall cavity for water entry, mold, damage.
I can see above the wall sill plate. I read online that i did the wrong thing because the weepholes actually prevent mold by airing the house. There is no meaningful air circulation through weep hole systems. I have been working on these problems since around 2010. After the rain stops and the water level outside recedes, the water drains from the room in the same direction from where it came.
If drywall is wet or even if it’s not, if there is water inside a wall cavity that sends moisture higher in the wall cavity to where drywall is located, you can expect problematic mold growth to show up.
You can explore the suspect area for visible mold by making a test cut into the most-suspect location. Question: ok to cover up weep openings ? An unknown is the number and spacing of ties to the wall structure. Try working on just one segment at a time and perhaps leave more bricks loose but in place, removing the temporary support ones just briefly during repair and re- flashing.
For a retaining wall (as opposed to a brick veneer or structural brick wall) it’s also most likely fine to try jamming a rod back into the soil behind the wall, through the weep opening.
I had the windows caulked and as an add on the contractor, as a favor, added metal wrap to the lentil and caulked around that too.
I suspect the flashing must have been run out through the lentil and that wrap and caulk job are the reason it’s worse. I take the wrap off of the lentils?
Keep in mind that even if the flashing is properly installed, if a lot of water is leaking into the wall from higher-up, the water might be running down the wall sheathing and behind the flashing and out from underneath it.
I am converting my front porch into a room. He wants to keep the wall, and built over it. The contractors says its not necessary. In any event the intent of drain or weep openings is to allow rain or other water penetration to exit the structure. More important is proper flashing at the wall base to be sure that water is directed out to the weep openings. However if you detect a clogged weep opening before the mortar is hard-set you might be able to just clear the existing opening or cut it bigger and insert one of the retrofit weep opening products in this article.
What do you think about using some of the other weep opening products shown in the article above. The brick frame house has no weep holes, and the problem is only on the west side along about a 15 feet section, all above grade.
The right epair is to stop the source of water entry and to determine if structural repairs are needed. I would look at some of the brick veneer drain retrofit products we describe in this article. Question: why need flashing as well as brick wall weep or drain openings? I am not understanding the logic: do they both perform the same function?
The weep holes are the water exit; the flashing is the water director. Question: ok to omit masonry wall drainage openings in short sections? Is it needed to install a weep hole in the brick in this short length. Obviously we don’ t need continuous weep openings at the bottom of a masonry wall, the openings are spaced at intervals. Having a weep hole in even that short wall section would reduce the chances of water accumulation therein and thus related building damage. You can make a further risk or needs assessment if you can inspect the building interior walls below the section you are talking about – e.g.
When you update me on what happened we can discuss weep openings. Inner half of brick bed on outer wall is inter-wall-sand with exterior half of bed being mortar. Should weep holes be provided every certain number of courses to expedite drainage?
Does anyone have any advice of how to add some sort of drainage to my wall to get water away from the house?
I don’t usually see weep openings right below a window – as that’s not a place where water should be getting behind the brick anyway.
One wonders if the builder knew that the windows have some other leak problem and that she was fantisizing that the weep holes would solve the problem.
Wickersheimer specializes in structural failure investigation and repair for wood and masonry construction. Topics covered in this release include: evaluation of masonry walls; detection of spalling from rebar failure; inspection of air conditioning systems; grounds and landscaping; electric systems and panel; plumbing supply and distribution; plumbing fixtures; electric furnaces; appliances; evaluation of electric water heaters; and safety techniques.
Visit www.brickvent.net for a possible solution. They assist in the draining of moisture from the exterior wall. You might start by filling in the weep holes on a temporary basis to see if in fact the water is entering through them.
What is the moisture problem that you seem to be having? Whoever placed it there in the first place, were they in the right and who decides where weep holes should be? If so, yes, you can fill in the weep hole that is draining on to your driveway. You will need to drill another weep hole as close to the original since such a great amount of water is draining out. In my county the are placed every 32″ along the bottom of the brickwork and the initial placement is up to the installing mason.
There seem to be smaller ones along my dividing wall but water does not flow out from these. By filling this problem and drilling another as close to existing one will not stop the flow of water going into my drive. Do not fill it in until you consult with someone you trust in the building industry. The bricklayer is not putting mortar behind the brick but on top of it. I thought they were supposed to be at the bottom of the brick. Is this something new or did my builder do something wrong? A builder friend says it looks like someone tried to build a modern wall using old-school techniques. Lately there has been some evidence that the brick/cinderblock exterior wall has pulled away from the house about 1/2″ (noticeable in a gap between window frames and drywall – too big to be shrinkage).
Could this cause gallons of water to be washed in to a room? I had a problem with bees getting into the wall through a 2×3″ opening in the brick, and wanted to seal the opening w/o affecting ventilation, and w/o trapping the bees inside, so this seemed like the perfect solution.
The inspector said we need to remove the dirt otherwise when it’s raining water will go into the wall from weep holes. I am not sure if water already went into the wall and mold grew inside the wall already. But it would not hurt a thing to have a mold test done for your assurance.
How to change the weep hole in your brick wall
So inside the bricks, some concrete blocks are put on the ground and then on top of them are the wood. I won’t have mold test any more because this will break the wall and the seller won’t like it. I am a certified waterproofer, but have not worked with basement homes!
Problem is it will cover the weep holes on a wall that is about eight feet and another which is about five feet.
My though was to build a frame about two inches away from the weep holes so there is still ventilation. Is my resolution adequate or do you have another thought? Keep in mind that the purpose of the weep holes is to provide drainage as well. Is there a reason why the mason cannot keep the weep holes and extend them into the stone veneer? I caulked the cedar trim board there but to no avail. If that is the case, installing vents at the bottom of the wall might counteract the phenomenon. I start looking for new houses?
My biggest concern is mold/rot on the veneer and of course, water intrusion. The one without weepholes has no problem with insects. I am going to fill in the weep holes as it was a stupid idea from the beginning. The wall has no dirt on either side. But, they should go all the way through the wall if they are going to drain water efficiently. The damaged brick is on the inside of the veranda. He said the weep holes were covered by the unilock. The brick appears to have been originally red and covered to give it a different look. I have green and black stuff on the mortar of the bricks outside across from basement door all the time. Will this be sufficient for draining any water and also acting as a vent? Actually they are a detriment because they allow water to enter behind the veneer wall, act as a revolving door for bugs and spiders; and allow air to infiltrate around the structure.
In our area, the masonry sits on a footing that is below final grade. On the house side of the veneer wall is a 12 to 18 inch high concrete slab. When the veneer is installed, the final grade is backfilled about 4″ deep up against the outside of the veneer wall, so if you install the weep holes where the code dictates, the weep holes would be covered by soil.
So what local inspectors require in our area is to raise the weep holes above the backfilled grade, causing a dam between the house side of the veneer wall and the slab.
Water can’t get out; it can only get in. Furthermore, a good many building codes are based on theory, not empirical evidence. Anyhow, where we are, water is not getting behind the veneer wall in any quantity to cause damage. I would be surprised if it gets behind the veneer, at all. Strip footings do not need weep holes due to flashing at vent level. You also mentioned you can drill higher weep holes as long as they are below any underlying wood structure like floors. I plan on removing the cement and putting inserts in all of them. Could these be where water could be entering? We have a covered patio where the builder has weep holes immediately above my windows. Shouldn’t these weep holes be at the bottom of the windows instead of the top?
Positioning Installation Of Weep Holes