A Time to Weep: What You Need to Know about Weep Holes

wall_decoration_and_insulation_with_masonry_veneerFrom time to time, the Omega Masonry field reps are asked about weep holes – their purpose, why they are placed in specific location on the wall, are they truly necessary and a variety of other questions about these architectural elements in masonry.  So, today we will focus on some of the more commonly asked questions regarding masonry weep holes.

To begin with, the weep hole is a small opening in the brick or stone mortar joint that is made in order to allow water to “weep” from behind the wall’s finish (aka, veneer). It was more commonly a part of older homes and was  typically installed above the flashings a framed home.  It would be attached to the home’s wall, and then folded at an angle to cover a row of bricks, to prevent water from entering the wooden elements of the home.

Keep in mind that brick is in no way 100% waterproof as it is made from a porous material, so consequently can behave like a sponge when it rains. This water is retained by the brick; however, when there are weep holes, it provides a place for the water to drain out and allows air to enter from behind the structure and dry out the wall.

Unfortunately, the weep hole can also make a home more vulnerable to mice, and other pest as it gives them an entry point. If your home has weep holes around the base of its perimeter and you want to make your home less inviting, then fiberglass screens can be purchased and cut to fit the space. This will keep unwanted guests out, but allow the moisture to escape.weep_holes_with_plastic_grid_inserts

However, in modern masonry builds it should be noted that homes are built better and tighter than ever before. While a couple of decades ago homes were designed where moisture could move freely from the interior to the exterior, modern homes do not “breathe” which means that at times the moisture can become trapped and thus result in mold, spalling, and deterioration. To combat this problem talk to us about brick venting or through using weep inserts which allow moisture escape, thus making the interior of the wall dryer and minimizing risk of damage.

Keep in mind as well that if your Mckinney, TX home is not experiencing high levels of moisture at the outside walls, and there is no sign of water entry on any area near the weep holes, then there is nothing to be concerned about – unless it is to simply place in a guard. Otherwise, you can rest assured that the mason knew their job well and built your home accordingly.

Weep holes may seem like tiny, insignificant holes in strategic locations along your Mckinney home, but they serve a purpose. If you have questions about your home’s masonry design or weep holes, give the Omega Masonry team a call today. We will be glad to schedule a visit to determine if you need to be concerned.