What You Need to Know About Weep Holes
If your home has exterior brick, whether brick veneer, brick chimney, or another brick structure, you may have heard the words: weep holes.
But, no matter what brick you have on, in, or around your home, you still may be a bit fuzzy on what exactly a weep hole is, and why it’s important.
First, let’s define what a weep hole is. A weep hole, or weep opening, as they are sometimes called, is a gap or cavity between some of the bricks in your brick veneer, foundation, wall, or other structure.
Also consider to know when should I be worried about cracked bricks?
Usually, these gaps are found near the bottom of your house’s brick wall or veneer siding. Often, homeowners find them frustrating, thinking that whoever laid the brick missed a spot when they were filling the brick pattern with mortar.
But, never fear! These holes are supposed to be there and actually provide an essential service that keeps your brick structure or foundation safe and functioning properly!
What Are Weep Holes?
The best way to describe weep holes is as the gaps that are left between some bricks in external masonry walls. Essentially, these holes are important because of these two purposes:
- Ventilation of the internal wall cavity – Without proper ventilation, mildew, dry rot and damp will reduce the life of the internal wall studs and other building materials within the cavity.
- Drainage – Weep holes allow the water that enters the bricks to escape somewhere and act as a filter that prevents leaks or excess amounts of water from forming.
Are Weep Holes Good – Or Bad?
Weep holes wouldn’t be an interesting topic if they are not subject to problems, too. Aside from their functionality, they can also lead to problems if they are left unprotected.
One of the main issues with weep holes is the ease of access that they provide to rodents and insects. From swarming bees to European wasps, snakes, cockroaches and even field mice, they can be the perfect ‘doors’ for rodents looking for warmth.
So, the best way to prevent this from happening is to block the weepholes with a special material. The material you will use generally depends on the rodents and insects in your area – but in general includes blocking the weep holes with silicone sealants, rolled-up paper, plastic, scourer pads or steel wool. However, the best case scenario is to use a filtration system that allows air to come inside (and water to flow outside) the weep hole.
Another common problem is bushfires. Basically, weep holes allow sparks to enter the wall and roof cavity, igniting the house ‘from the inside’. Therefore, bushfires are a big problem and something you should prevent by hiring a pro.
How do weep holes work?
A weep hole is an intentional gap between some of the bricks along the bottom of your brick wall or veneer. These holes are created specifically to prevent something that’s a concern for all brick structures: too much moisture retention.
As a naturally-porous building material brick tends to soak up water when it rains or is sprinkled on. Instead of sliding off, water lands on the brick and seeps into the very surface of the material. This means that, when it pours, your brick structure or veneer is most likely wet through. Brick naturally dries up with enough cool air and sunshine.
However, when tightly packed into a wall, siding, or other construction, brick loses much of its ability to naturally air dry.
That’s where weep holes come in!
Weep holes are little spaces that allow the water the bricks have soaked up during a rainy day to naturally release from the brick and trickle out of the structure.
However, weep holes can cause some problems of their own.
Modern homes are built with more insulation in mind than old fashioned homes tended to be. That means, if you have a newer home, your brick may not have been packed lose enough to allow proper moisture drying. Even if you have a few weep holes in your home’s brick foundation, it may not be enough ventilation to prevent molding and other issues that come from having continuously wet bricks.
To prevent this issue, we may recommend installing additional weep holes. Sometimes extra ventilation is all you need to solve that problem!
However, weep holes can let more than just water out. Sometimes, a larger weep hole can let small pests in!
To prevent insects and other pests from entering your home through the brick weep holes, we can install brick vents or other weep hole inserts which can cover the holes so that nothing can pass through except water.
For more information on weep holes and the importance please read this great article here
With brick, each situation tends to be unique, which is why we always want to provide a free consultation and quote before we start a project.
Hiring A Weep Hole Professional In Texas (And The Possible Solutions)
There are three things one can do to take control of their house’s holes.
The first thing is installing weep inserts into the existing weep holes. The second thing is to install special ventilation systems that prevent rodents and other creatures from getting inside your bricks. The last is to explore the possibilities of installing ventilation before building a new home.
In all of these cases, you need the help of a professional. If you want to learn more, contact us today and see how we can help with your specific weep hole issues.
Check out our article to further know about brick restoration.
Here at Alexander and Xavier Masonry, we’re expert brick masons. Our experienced team can help answer any bricklaying, brick repair, and brick maintenance questions you may have. Feel free to contact us with your questions or to schedule a free consultation! Just use our contact page !
We look forward to talking with you!