Another brick veneer question

New to the inspection industry but I’ve just completed the Exterior course.

I know this topic has been discussed in the forum before, I just wanted to get some clarification or confirmation on what I’m seeing here. So the brick veneer goes below grade but it’s also unique that it has a header course across the cmu foundation as seen on the interior picture. The front wall of the house has brick veneer above the foundation as well. There are no weep holes visible anywhere, nor are there flashings under the window sills.

So here’s my questions. Most of the houses in this neighborhood have this same type of veneer and I assume the same issues. They are all 70s-mid 80s construction. Were the rules regarding weep holes and flashings just not in effect at that time? And what would be the best way to call this out? I’m thinking, “ Through wall flashings were not installed beneath window sills, nor were weep holes found at base of brick veneer. These are important to allow moisture that may penetrate the veneer to escape and not cause damage to the wall structure. Recommend consultation with a qualified masonry contractor for correction.”

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So in this case, you know the home does not have weep holes. Do you see problems as a result? This is an older home, you must take that into consideration.

Weep holes can be rare, and are not always required on residential.
Observation. Poor clearance.

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Judging by the picture it looks like it is brick and block construction. Typically at that time no weep holes or flashing was not required. You may find every 4 to 6 courses of brick a header course as you described that is tied with the blocks. That will verify block and brick construction. Recommend clearing the soil away from the brick.

Most all answers can be found here at the Brick Industry Association . Very good site and one you should become familiar with.

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In 14+ years of inspecting I can count on one hand (more like two fingers) the # of times I’ve seen weep holes/flashing for residential construction.


If the brick is part of a cavity wall type construction, it usually does not include weep holes. If it is a veneer the lack of weep holes and flashing is very concerning.

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Clear it away down to what? On these older homes you need two things, positive slope away from the home and to ensure the soil is not near the wood sill plate. Even in new construction, the brick can be in the soil as long as the soil is below 3 things; flashing, weep holes and sill plate.


Same with me, Josh

I think it really depends on the when the home was built. The earliest requirement for weep holes I can find is IRC 2000. Who knows what local or states were doing before that?

Furthermore, retro fitting old homes to add weep holes will likely do nothing because the old flashing is either not there or not designed to channel water to the weep.

I can offer this advice to inspectors who are inspecting an old home with no weeps. If visible, inspect the perimeter of the floor structure along the top of the foundation wall (which we do anyway). I have yet to find a problem due to lack of weep holes. I do find problems under fenestration on a regular basis, especially doors as well as problems if the sill plate is below grade.

Here is the code from IRC 2000

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Seen weep holes on past and current construction. Depends on the architecture.

Unfortunately, there used to be a lot of rules being broken when building houses. In addition, many standards were not adopted, which made construction easier and cheaper.

These are the old standards. Now the standards have improved a little bit and there are more requirements for new buildings in terms of quality of construction.

Of course there are more requirements, I agree. But, is there a new requirement for brick veneer not to be in contact with soil? Provided the criteria I mentioned above are met. Please share because I may need to be updated.