Question about weep holes.

----- Original Message -----
From: Henry Garbade
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 7:24 AM
Subject: Weep Holes

I’m looking for a good resource explaining the necessity of “weep holes” (drain holes) in brick or block construction. When are they required, spacing, etc.

Charter Home Inspections

Nick, I recommend that you refer to the book Architectural Standards and the BIA (Brick Insdustry Association)

Weep holes are typicall only installed in veneers and the spacing is typicall every third brick.

I don’t recall installing them in any other application except possibly a solid masonry cavity wall, but even then, I don’t think so.

Michael Bryan
Journeyman mason

Have them check out this website:

Moved to:

Start Here;

**Weep Holes, Air Circulation and Water **Repellency

**In a brick veneer installation, the very first course of bricks is laid upon the portion of the foundation or “beam” that is referred to as the “brick shelf” or “brick ledge.” When inspecting a brick veneer home you will notice that this first course contains gaps every several bricks where the vertical mortar joint has been omitted. These gaps or omissions are called “weep holes.” **
Weep holes allow the space between the brick and frame walls to breathe. The holes also (ostensibly at least) allow any water that accumulates behind the bricks to escape. I’ll tell you right now, though, if there is water accumulating behind your bricks, you’re in trouble. Something is wrong.
Here is the usual problem with weep holes. Are you ready? They are almost always clogged with mortar which is dropped by the bricklayers as the wall is laid up. Let’s look a little closer at how a brick veneer wall is arranged.

**Now let us not forget why it is not just an opening in the brick. **

Hope this helps.

Marcel :slight_smile: :smiley:

I print out this document and inset into my report on the issue of missing weeps.

2006 IRC R703.7.6 “Weepholes shall be provided in the outside wythe of masonry walls at a maximum spacing of 33 inches (838 mm) on center. Weepholes shall not be less than 3/16 inch (5 mm) in diameter. Weepholes shall be located immediately above the flashing.”

How would you call “no weep holes” in a 30-35 year old brick veneer wall that has shown no problems?

A weepless brick. So you don’t need a hole I guess. :smiley:

Marcel :slight_smile: :wink:


I say the below in the report body of an older home. In a newer home, I use similar but stronger language and put it in the Summary.

“No weep holes were provided in the masonry veneer siding, which may have been an acceptable building technique at the time the house was built. Today’s standards for new construction require weep holes (not less than 3/16” in diameter) every 33 inches. Flashing is required to direct water toward the weep holes. However, installation of weep holes after construction may cause more damage than benefit (if the flashing is not present it may be inconsequential and if the flashing is present, it may be damaged by drilling into the mortar). You may want to consult with a licensed and competent masonry contractor about this issue, its potential consequences, and the options (if any) for correction. However, we observed no damage to the structure during the inspection."

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