So you have noticed these little tiny holes between the bricks of your home. You often wonder what they are and should you cover them. Good question.....
Since the 1960's the majority of brick homes have been built with brick veneer rather that the traditional double walled brick construction. Thus, a new term and building technique was born - welcome to the world of weep holes. That was then. And today, they are essential.
These weep holes are absolutely necessary in a brick veneer home. Moisture is present in the cavity area between the brick veneer and the sheathing/framing and this moisture must be provided with an exit and the weep holes do just that. Most of the moisture is condensed water vapor, but it's also possible to introduce water via improperly flashed doors and windows. If the moisture is not adequately contained, it may cause a variety of problems such as: encouraging wood-destroying insects, mold, wood rot, damaged sheathing and poor insulation. The most likely visual indication of a problem will be water stains, damp areas or rot at the foundation plate and or floor band and stains or damp areas at the top of the foundation wall. You may also notice leaks and stains around windows and doors, at roof to wall transitions or chimneys.
Below is a picture of a home after a rain. See the dark spots in the brick....this home has no weep holes thus allowing water to collect behind the brick).
Mainly weep holes are found above the garage door and on the front side of the home above the door. Some homes have them around the entire foundation (check building code for what is required in your city).
Are you looking around your home and do not see any weep holes? If so, they were left out of your home during construction. No weep holes is a good indication the builder overlooked them. They may have a great reputation as a builder but many times homes are built by the subcontracts and various other crews. The builder may not always be there to supervise construction. If your home is under constriction, check for these holes. If you have bought a pre-existing home, a home inspector will note the lack of weep holes. You will want to ask the seller to have them professionally installed or you will have to do that after you take possession.
In the short term, you may not notice any visible defects associated with the lack of weep holes but over time, you may start to see more issues arise. Going too long without weep holes can produce significant damage to your home. Bottom line: proper flashing and adequate weeps/vents are necessary in a masonry veneer wall. Make sure you are not left weeping over no weep holes!
Lexington KY is always #1 in my book! Whether you want to buy a downtown condo, a custom walkout ranch on a golf course, or a horse farm in the country, I can help find the perfect home for you – as well as help you sell your home. In addition to Lexington Real Estate, I specialize in the nearby towns of Paris, Midway, Georgetown, and Versailles.