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Weep Holes : Everything You Need To Know


What are weep holes?

A weep brick also referred to as a weep hole, is a small opening that lets water drain from a building. The weeps are positioned on the object's bottom to allow drainage; these holes must be sufficiently large to withstand surface pressure. In order to lower the hydrostatic load on the wall and prevent moisture damage from freeze/thaw cycles, weeps may also be required for retaining walls in order to allow water to escape from the retained soil.

When this occurs, the weep is typically made of thin-walled rubber, clay, or metal pipes that extend through the wall and into a bed of porous backfill. For water that has seeped into an assembly from below the surface, weeps are frequently set up automatically.

It will be constructed with metal windows and glazed curtain walls to prevent interstate condensation. Earth-retaining structures like retaining walls, underpasses, wing walls, and other below-ground drainage systems have weep holes.

Now that you know what weep holes are, let's dig deeper and understand them in detail.




Functioning of weep holes


There is no chance for water to build up behind a wall if a structure is built close to the water table. Weep holes are therefore not necessary. However, weep holes are required when the structure is located below the water table, there is no water plastering, and the additional water pressure acts on the structure that is greater than the saturated pressure or the earth pressure.


1. Case 1 : No weep holes are necessary because the water table is below the structure

Since the structure is below the water table, only earth pressure is taken into account when designing it.

2. Case 2 : The structure's water table is above It, but there are no weep holes provided.

When water and soil are combined, the saturated pressure, or earth pressure, is converted to submerged weight, which is less than saturated pressure but more than saturated pressure. Soil pressure and water pressure must be taken into consideration when designing this type of structure.

3. Case 3 : Weep holes are provided, and the water table is above the structure

Despite the structure having weep holes, the water table may be above it. Weep holes are used in the figure to relieve the pressure caused by the water, which is eliminated by the holes. A significant factor is the placement of the holes' height. The more the weep hole rises, the more pressure the water puts on the building.


Where are weep holes located ?

Weep holes are usually located at the base of brick exterior walls. They appear to be vertical gaps in the mortar joints between the bricks. Water may seep through the surface and enter the wall's interior because brick masonry is porous. Gravity draws water to the bottom of the wall, just above the foundation, where weep holes allow it to escape. They are located above all windows, doors, and other openings.

Weep holes are also located on window tracks. Depending on the window's age and model, the appearance can vary, but they are typically rectangular black flaps with a horizontal sliver of light shining through the middle. These flaps only allow water to flow out in one direction. They stop water from collecting on the sill and rot from occurring (sort of acting as a waterproofing material).


Types of weep holes


1. Open Head Joint Weep Holes

Weep holes are made by scraping the mortar from the vertical brick joint. The open-hand joints are performed at precise intervals of 21 inches, and these walls are the same height as the typical joint spacing.

The most well-liked and trustworthy method for draining the cavity of water is this one. To accomplish this, a weathered plastic structure is used; drip is applied to the front lip to facilitate drainage. This prevents rain and penetration into the pores.


This strategy's drawback is that it results in large gaps that might not be aesthetically pleasing due to the open head joints. Weep gaps can be filled with metal and plastic grids to hide holes.

2. Cotton Rope Wicking Weep Holes

Cotton wicks can be used to create weeps. A rope up to 12 inches (30 cm) long is mounted in the joints. The other end of the rope is inserted into the stone's crevice.

Cotton rope can wick a small amount of moisture from the outside to the inside of the wall, trapping it inside the wall and wicking it to the outside. In comparison to weep holes, the evaporation rate is slower. The cotton might also catch fire.

3. Tubes Weep Holes

Tubes weep holes are created using tubes made of hollow plastic or metal. They are roughly sixteen inches apart. To allow water to exit, these tubes are positioned at a slight angle. Make sure the angle is not excessively steep or flat.

4. Corrugated Channels

Corrugated plastic is used to make weep channels or tunnels, which form the bottom side of the mortar bed joint, in a more recent weep technology. Through a number of weep hole openings, these tunnels swiftly conduct water out of the wall, ensuring that it exits at the wall's lowest point. Rope weeps are more noticeable, but corrugated plastic weeps blend into the mortar and are less noticeable.



1. Are weep holes required in basements ?


You should have weep holes in your waterproofing system if your foundation is made of concrete masonry units, also known as CMU blocks, cinder blocks, or concrete blocks. As a result of all this pressure, your foundation may eventually become damaged by water seeping into your basement.


2. Can weep holes be covered ?


Do not, under any circumstances, cover those weep holes. They play a crucial role in the drainage system that prevents water from accumulating behind the brick. This water will seriously rot any untreated lumber it comes in contact with, grow mould, and eventually cause structural issues with your house.


3. What is the purpose of weep holes ?


Weep holes are "openings placed in mortar joints of facing materials at the level of flashing, to permit the escape of moisture, or openings in retaining walls to permit water to escape," according to the Masonry Design Manual.

You can now choose the right kind of weep hole for your building and ensure that it always stays strong and durable.

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