Brick wall effloresence

What would you say? Weep holes were present, but not above windows. 1st and 2nd photos are below a window.

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There is no cap on those ledges.
You might as well send out invitations for water to enter.

It is pouring right through that masonry.

Think of a parapet wall ,if they forgot the coping.

You do not even need to tell me there is no moisture barrier underneath it.(dumb)

I personally see brick sills installed like this one all the time without problems. However, I cannot tell from the photos whether the sill was properly slanted to shed water. If not, the water can run back toward the window and through the mortar along the window sill. Another possibility is soft brick that is more moisture permeable than surrounding brick.

The stairs look like water penetrating down through the brick. If water tends to pond on the brick and it is permeable enough, water will travel down through the brick. The efflorescence on the lower part of the brick appears to show that is what is going on.

The window sill water may indicate future moisture damage inside the wall if it doesn’t have a proper moisture barrier. The stairs might not present as much of a problem in your area. However, in this area, you could pretty much count on spalling where the water inside the brick freezes and pops the brick face off.

Matthew here is a primer for you.

Go here, and read a wealth of information by following the links on the left.

Passage I like…author unknown.

If your building does not have flashing to protect against water, or weep holes to let it escape, its susceptible to water damage and possibly mold.

Weep Holes in Brick Veneer

Q. Are weep holes in a typical wood-frame brick-veneer home required anywhere other than at the bottom? What about over and under windows? Also, is it required that a brick window sill be pitched? Are weep holes required in faux-stone installations?

A. JLC editor Don Jackson responds: Yes to all questions: It’s important to bring any water that might be running down the surface of the wood-framed wall back out on the surface of the brick anywhere it might enter the framing. The 2003 IRC requires minimum 3/16-inch-diameter weep holes every 33 inches, just above the flashing (R703.7.6). Flashing, in turn, is required under the first course of masonry at ground level, above windows and doors, below window sills, and at any lintels and shelf angles (R703.7.5, R703.8). Many of these details are included in Figure R703.7.

The Brick Industry Association (www. is an excellent source of information on proper brick-veneer construction; the drawing at right is based pri- marily on BIA recommendations, which frequently go beyond code minimums.

Oddly, the IRC doesn’t require building paper over the plywood or OSB sheathing as long as there’s a 1-inch air space. However, both the BIA and the APA recommend paper, and it shouldn’t be left out.

For more insight on weep holes in faux-stone veneers, see “Manufactured-Stone Nightmares” in this issue.