Weep Holes

Aren’t weep holes supposed to be in the bottom course of bricks?


Yes,they are.
I also recommend pest screens.

They should be just above the foundation with some exposed moisture barrier.

Do not see many with key slots now in days where the simply leave out the mortar , but that part is fine.

Yes, they should.

No, not actually… depending on the type of foundation and floor height they can be several feet above grade… I have seen them correctly installed as high 4 feet or more.

Rule of thumb is that they are just at the foundation sill plate.

Hope this helps.


Never heard that one .
Do you have any documentation to back that up?

There is a cavity of one inch behind that brick siding and if up higher than the foundation (weeps) the water would build up and cause issues.

Many years ago about 1970 they used hemp instead of weep holes , Of course hemp is hard to see and it looks like the Brickie did a poor job .

Bob, you did not carefully read my answer or you don’t understand the concept of a pier and curtain foundation which we have all over the place here in the south… if you still disagree please explain for the crowd why a GC would put weep holes below the sill plate on a pier & curtain foundation. The flashing turn down at the sill plate which is often 24 inches to 48 inches above grade depending on the slope of the lot… I will be glad to send you pictures if need for clarification and even blue prints… I have built hundreds of homes from Ohio, Va, Ind., Ky and NC…the location of weep holes in virtually every application is near the foundation sill plate (regardless if its a slab, crawl, or basement) as well as above windows and doors of a brick veneer.



Jeff is right Bob, that is very common in some geographic areas like here.
It allows steps in the exposed foundations the minimize the concrete exposure and some of the bricks below the weep holes will be slushed in with type S mortar. Flashings are usually right below the sill plates, normally one brick high.
Similar to this detail here.
This detail shows the flashing at sill height which is not a good idea, because there is always the possibility of wicking and voids underneath the flashing that would allow leakage at the box sill level.
The standard here is one course of brick lower to prevent that.


Hope this helps. :slight_smile:

Marcel, the only correction that I see needs to be done to the picture is that the flashing should be BEHIND the felt or approved wrap…not infront.


Good graphic Marcel. That explains it.

I would like a diagram.

Oh there it is.
Thanks Marcel, I will check it out and see what I missed here.

It’s a good graphic but it’s my understanding that most bricks don’t do well below grade.

We must have an epidemic here then cause I have never looked at a house built without the brick being below grade.

Not necessarily…if you manage the moisture you will be fine…however most builders (good builders) will seal it and if necessary do a french drain.
I always seal the foundation from the footer up to grade.

The diagram is good however it is important that the moisture barrier OVERLAPS the flashing where it turns over onto the brick. Some builders will tape the joints however that is not proper.



John - this is from 2006 OBC Extension above Ground Level
**(1) **Exterior *foundation *walls shall extend not less than 150 mm above finished ground level. Reduction in Thickness
**(1) **Where the top of a *foundation *wall is reduced in thickness to permit the installation of floor joists, the reduced section shall be not more than 350 mm high and not less than 90 mm thick.
**(2) **Where the top of a *foundation *wall is reduced in thickness to permit the installation of a masonry exterior facing, the reduced section shall be,
(a) not less than 90 mm thick, and
(b) tied to the facing material with metal ties conforming to Sentence
spaced not more than,
(i) 200 mm o.c. vertically, and
ii) 900 mm o.c. horizontally.
**(3) **The space between wall and facing described in Sentence (2) shall be filled with mortar.
Comment: where there is a reduction of foundation wall thickness to accomodate brick -
If you fill the space between with mortar, the next best logical placement for the weephole location is immediately above the area of foundation wall reduction. Hence it is very common to see weepholes above the first course of brick (close to the floor system).

Code here mandates brick must be 6" above grade, as Claude said above.

I agree Jeff, but that was the only thing I could find to get the point across in short notice. :slight_smile:

A better detail is shown on the very first page of this link here:

Also this;

Too Close to Grade

Wall cladding materials should be six to eight inches above grade to protect the cladding system and the structure from water damage.
This means that we can see some of the foundations above grade and below the siding.
Foundations are designed to withstand the moisture in the soil. People may not like the appearance of exposed foundations, but from a functional standpoint, we want to see them.

**Masonry. **

Masonry should usually be at least six inches above grade. There are exceptions because some bricks, for example, are designed for use at and below grade. You’ll be able to tell on older buildings whether the brick was designed for use below grade, by looking for damage. On new homes, it’s hard to know. You should describe any new brick within six inches of grade as suspect, but allow for the possibility that it’s going to be all right.

This would be the exception;
There are two types of brick, Common Brick and Face Brick:

Common Brick- there are 3 grades of common brick:

  • SW- Severe Weathering- can withstand high moisture, and is commonly located below grade

  • MW- Moderate Weathering- can be exposed to the elements, and commonly appears in exterior above grade conditions

  • NW- Non Weathering Brick- commonly used in interior applications, or as a backup for a veneer
    Face Brick- there are 2 grades of face brick:

  • SW- Severe Weathering- can withstand high moisture, and can extend in a veneer wall below grade

  • MW- Moderate Weathering- can be exposed to the elements
    Hope this helps. :slight_smile:

That’s a good pic Marcel… unfortunately there is no uniformity between states and even counties in regards to how to properly flash exterior veneers.

When I started building homes here in NC (about 20 years ago) very few building inspection departments required weep holes and flashing above windows and doors…you were lucky if they checked the foundation…it was that way with many items… today it has gotten better but there are still counties I build in that look for the most rudimentary items and then move on to the next jobsite.

If a builder or even HI’s are not savy to how something is suppose to be done, it is often overlooked to the detriment of the current owners who by then will try to hang whoever looked at it last, which is often the HI.

Most of the time I see that they have been covered up with mulch and pine needles.