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Thread: Weep holes

  1. #1
    Tony G's Avatar
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    Default Weep holes

    what is exactly the building code in brick? when did the law go in effect and what about existing homes before new code?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony G View Post
    what about existing homes before new code?
    There was no code so masons did what they wanted.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  3. #3
    Tony G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    Yea i kinda figured they did what they wanted, so existing homes were grandfathered in. So when was code signed in?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    If you really want to get an accurate answer on this you'd have to go back to the AHJ and ask what regulations were suppose to be followed when the home was built.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    holes.....maximum 33 inch spacing.....was 40 inches until about the late 1980's if I recall. Check IRC book.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    is there any recomendation of what type contractor would do this work on an existing home and estimate cost? We are talking about just drilling holes, correct?


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    Default Re: Weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony G View Post
    is there any recomendation of what type contractor would do this work on an existing home and estimate cost? We are talking about just drilling holes, correct?

    NO, absolutely not. Are you and inspector or home owner?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: Weep holes

    What kind of contractor? How about a plumber - they seem to know a lot about altering non-plumbing components and systems.

    Seriously - if it's an older home and no problems are suspected then just leave it be. Don't even raise the issue with the client.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    Drilling into wall....not recommmended.....a wall presents opportunities to accidentially drill into plumbing and wiring...especially plumbing. Not recommended.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...-20english.pdf

    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...weepholes.html

    Take a look at this thread on the subject and the BIA (Brick Institute of America) standards that Barry had posted. Much more to the subject than just drilling some holes. Improper weep holes are worse than no weep holes and to drill holes in a wall that was not built correctly is exactly the wrong thing to do and will likely do more harm than good.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony G View Post
    is there any recomendation of what type contractor would do this work on an existing home
    A masonry contractor, preferably one who specializes in brickwork.

    and estimate cost?
    Start off thinking "EXPENSIVE" and be ready to go up from there.

    We are talking about just drilling holes, correct?
    As the others have said: ABSOLUTELY NOT!

    That would be the WORST THING you could do, that would be even worse than ignoring the problem (because drilling holes will make it worse than it is, while ignoring the problem will just leave it as it is - which could be getting worse by itself or you may luck out and it not be getting worse by itself, either way, though, drilling holes is the worst thing you can do).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    looks like you guys are very knowledgable on this subject, thats Awesome!
    So i'm a homeowner that purchased 4 yrs ago and had a very thorough inspection at the time. Now getting to sell due to a relocation and had an inspection done with a note of defect relating to "no weep holes". So here's the thing, as I look at my brick mortar there are several holes and im assuming they are weep holes but were filled in probably from prior owner with cement or some type of mortar, maybe they didnt know? Most holes are 4 layers up from the ground but no flashing is seen. Could there have been another way these were installed?? And then the big question, do I dare drill into these to appease a relocation company?? You guys are the experts on this, whats your take?

    thanks


  13. #13
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony G View Post
    And then the big question, do I dare drill into these to appease a relocation company??
    In my area repairs must be done by a licensed contractor. If your reasoning for wanting to do the repairs yourself is to save some money, it wouldn't be worth the liability risk. Also look at it from the other side, if you were buying the house would you want repairs made by a licensed contractor or the homeowner who is leaving?

    Is your house slab on grade or crawl space?


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony G View Post
    So here's the thing, as I look at my brick mortar there are several holes and im assuming they are weep holes but were filled in probably from prior owner with cement or some type of mortar, maybe they didnt know?
    I've seen that done, even recommended by supposedly knowledgeable 'professionals' in other trades (typically this is done by pest control people thinking that filling the weep holes will stop bugs from entering).

    Most holes are 4 layers up from the ground but no flashing is seen.

    The flashing is "required" to extend to the outside face of the brick ... however it seldom is extended that far out, usually it is stopped about 1/3 or 1/2 way back into the brick 'so it does not show'.

    Here are about the only two things I can think of which may allow you, or anyone, to find out if there is a flashing there and if those patched holes were indeed weep holes:
    1) Using a chisel - NO drilling - A SMALL chisel, gently chip the mortar out of a bed joint, starting below a head joint and going to both sides. Starting at the head joint gives you some vertical height to work with in trying to chip back part way. Hopefully ... hopefully ... you will find the edge of a flashing there, which means (at a minimum) that there is a flashing there, but which also means (at best) that it was not installed properly and the flashing behind the brick may not have been installed properly either, but at least 'there is a flashing there'.
    2) If you find a flashing, then move to a patched hole and gently chip out where the patched hole is. If it actually was a weep hole which was patched, you should be able to see the cold joint lines between the weep hole mortar and the patching mortar placed in the weep hole later (probably years later). If the weep hole was patched, it is likely the patching mortar is not full depth of the weep hole and you will break through the patching mortar and find a weep hole back there.

    Okay, what do you do if you find what appears to be a weep hole behind a patched hole? Try the same to a second, then a third, patched hole. If they all show a hidden weep hole behind the patching mortar, that is probably what happened.

    What now? Either repeat for all the weep holes, or, if the patching mortar turns out to be quite thin, you may find that you can simply use a small star chisel (star chisels are really called star drills, but I did not want to use the term 'drill' and have it mistaken for a "drill", using a star drill is simply where you hit the star drill with a hammer, rotate the star drill an 1/8 of a turn, hit it again, rotate an 1/8 of turn, hit it again, and keep repeating that until you are as deep as you need to go - that pulverizes the mortar with each hammer hit and the rotation chisels the mortar out in a hole instead of a the cross shape of the star drill) and break the patching mortar out. You should be so lucky to find that, and if you do, call me and give me 6 numbers between 1 and 52 and I will play the lottery and probably win. Using a star drill is tedious and time consuming, but it does not cause the damage of a "drill" as you make so little progress with each strike of the hammer that you can actually see and watch what is happening and stop before serious damage is done.

    If you do not find 2) above and what follows it ... you are more than likely SOL.

    Heck, you may even want to try 2) before you try 1) if you feel lucky as if those were weep holes then you should see the flashing (if done anywhere near right, which we know it was not).

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 07-03-2010 at 07:37 PM.
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  15. #15
    Tony G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weep holes

    House is on a slab grade. Maybe they were filled or recommended to be filled by a pest control expert.


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