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Home InspectionWater Intrusion

What Is A Weep Hole And Why Is It Important?

By February 19, 2020March 15th, 20216 Comments
weep hole in window track

Weep holes are critical to prevent water intrusion in your home. You can see weep holes used in many areas like on bricks and on windows. So what exactly is a weep hole?

A weep hole is a passage for water to escape a building envelope.

Weep holes serve an important purpose of a home; they allow the home to “breathe” as some say. Since there are many chances for water to enter the home, weep holes allow for water exit.

How Weep Holes Function On Brick Siding

This is a weep hole located at the bottom of a brick exterior wall. In this case, if any water were to get behind the brick through tiny cracks in the mortar the water can exit as it falls to the bottom.

It is important not to seal these holes. If sealed, water may be forced into the home rather than outward. Also, these holes should be clear. As a homeowner, you should make sure vegetation is not in the way of these holes.

vegetation blocking a weep hole

Here is a perfect example of vegetation blocking weep holes on brick siding.

If the holes are blocked, how can you expect the water to exit and not enter your home?

How Weep Holes Work On Windows

weep hole in window track

Pictured above, is an up close picture of a weep hole from the view of inside the window track. You can notice a black rectangle with a tiny crack of daylight coming through in the middle. The black rectangle is actually a flap that allows water to exit, but not enter! This is the weep hole on a window at work!

Keep in mind, there are different models of windows that use different weep hole methods rather than the above picture. Older model windows may not have weep holes at all while some other windows may just have an opening or slot to allow water to run out.

It is important these weep holes stay clear of debris, caulk, and paint. Many painters tend to caulk and paint over these weep holes on the exterior of the home due to their lack of understanding.

Final Thoughts

Weep holes allow water to escape from the building envelope if it were to ever enter your home. Ensuring you have weep holes and they are clear of debris will ensure safe drainage of water.

Learn more about weep holes.

If you are looking for other ways to prevent water intrusion read: How to Prevent Water Intrusion & Leaks.

Have a question? Comment below.

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