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Thread: weep holes

  1. #1
    Rebecca Anderson's Avatar
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    Default weep holes

    Last edited by Rebecca Anderson; 01-14-2010 at 05:35 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: weep holes

    In my opinion, simply drilling holes will not make the installation right and is likely to do more harm than good.
    Weep holes should be installed at the time of construction with proper flashing installed at the same time. Drilling now will make a pretty hole that looks like a weep hole but is likely to penetrate the flashing. Weep holes could be installed but it is more than just drilling a few holes in the mortar or brick.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  3. #3
    Rebecca Anderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Thanks for your input, Jim. I would appreciate any other opinions or information also. I think we are going to try to dispute this. If we had moisture problems, we would just do it, but we have had less moisture in this house than any house we have lived in with a basement. Could you possibly elaborate on what harm it (drilling holes) might potentially cause? Thanks so much. Rebecca


  4. #4
    Rick Hurst's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    The person you should be upset with is your "home builder" and not the home inspector.

    Weeps holes or openings should have been placed in the masonry walls at the time of the original construction.

    Attempting to drill out a hole now in the wall is a waste of time. Drilling out a 3/8" or 1/2" hole in the mortar joints is not going to be adequately sized. The back side of the brick veneer probably is obstructed with mortar and a weep home is not going to be of any purpose at this stage.

    rick


  5. #5
    Rick Hurst's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Below is a link on the subject which if you scan down you'll see explanation of weep holes.

    Technical Note 21


  6. #6
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca Anderson View Post
    If we had moisture problems, we would just do it, but we have had less moisture in this house than any house we have lived in with a basement.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


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    Default Re: weep holes

    I agree that it's not worth doing anything about now. It would be interesting to know exactly what the home inspector said word for word.

    Here is a link to another file that has good graphics showing best practice of brick veneer installation.

    http://home.comcast.net/~marylandhom...rickVeneer.pdf


  8. #8
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    I agree that it's not worth doing anything about now. It would be interesting to know exactly what the home inspector said word for word.

    Here is a link to another file that has good graphics showing best practice of brick veneer installation.

    http://home.comcast.net/~marylandhom...rickVeneer.pdf
    Great link John, thanks for posting it.


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    Default Re: weep holes

    I agree that it might cause more harm than good.

    The main problems with adding them are:
    1. It will not work.
    2. You can and most likely damage the moisture barrier.
    3. 99% chance there is no through the wall flashing.

    The kicker is that you are dealing with a Relo company. They are very unlikely to bend their rules. Your company has more power than you do when it comes to dealing with the Relo folks.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  10. #10
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    In my opinion, simply drilling holes will not make the installation right and is likely to do more harm than good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    The person you should be upset with is your "home builder" and not the home inspector.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I agree that it might cause more harm than good.

    The main problems with adding them are:
    1. It will not work.
    2. You can and most likely damage the moisture barrier.
    3. 99% chance there is no through the wall flashing.

    Drilling holes into the brick trying to make weep holes 'after-the-fact' will likely lead to very bad outcomes for that brick veneer wall.

    Scott provided the reasons NOT to drill weep holes into a finished wall.

    Now, that does not mean there is not a fix, there is ... if ... IF ... if proper through wall flashings were installed, and IF the mortar was not allowed to pile up in the bottom, and IF the mortar was properly cut off inside the veneer air space as the brick veneer was laid up ... all of which is unlikely, but ...

    *IF* that stuff is all correct, then, yes, a brick can be removed, the mortar removed, the brick laid back in on the proper through the wall flashing with the head joints left open for weep holes. Any other way than that and more damage will likely be caused than will be helped.

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

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    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    Great link John, thanks for posting it.
    You're welcome Chris. I tried to upload it as an attachment but the file was too big. The link is posted at my site and hosted on my server. I intend to leave it up forever. Use it in reports if you feel the need.


  12. #12
    Rebecca Anderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Thanks so much for all of the feedback! I know it was the builders issue. Unfortunately it was in the 70's and I really don't have the slightest idea who built it. I am just glad we don't have moisture problems.

    What the inspector said in the report was:

    Prob: Brick Veneer on all sides. Missing weep holes in the brick veneer siding. Weep holes are required in the first course of masonary above the foundation wall/slab, above windows, and above doors.

    Solu: Properly install flashing and weep holes in the first course of masonary above the foundation wall/ slab, above windows and above dooors. Contact a qualified contractor for repair costs.


  13. #13
    Rick Hurst's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca Anderson View Post
    Thanks so much for all of the feedback! I know it was the builders issue. Unfortunately it was in the 70's and I really don't have the slightest idea who built it. I am just glad we don't have moisture problems.

    What the inspector said in the report was:

    Prob: Brick Veneer on all sides. Missing weep holes in the brick veneer siding. Weep holes are required in the first course of masonary above the foundation wall/slab, above windows, and above doors.

    Solu: Properly install flashing and weep holes in the first course of masonary above the foundation wall/ slab, above windows and above dooors. Contact a qualified contractor for repair costs.
    I noticed you keep mentioning the fact you don't have moisture problems "now" or haven't had them in the past.

    Does not matter. Moisture may be an issue in the future and that would warrant as to why the weep holes should be present.

    You may be surprised if someone took a moisture meter to those walls.

    As far as the inspectors comments, I don't see anything not stated in a professional matter. I commend him on his inspection.

    rick


  14. #14
    Rebecca Anderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    the inspector did not say anything in a nonprofessional way in his report that I noted. He also did not note any moisture problems.

    Another inspectors opinion about what to do about missing weep holes:

    Weeping Over Weep Holes

    also an article in the the paper by another inspector

    Inspector's report on weep holes has seller in a quandary» Evansville Courier & Press

    I guess it just depends on the inspector.


  15. #15
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Weep holes and flashing material are required above and below all windows and above all doors with lintel-supported brick veneer. International Residential Code sections R703.7.5 and R703.7.6 and TRCC performance standard 304.15(g) require this detail not only on the first course of masonry above finish grade, but also at the tops and bottoms of windows and doors and above knee wall flashings where the brick is supported by a roof structure.

    Weep Holes and a Clear Air Space
    Wind striking a masonry wall causes a positive pressure on the wetted brick surface. If one can equalize the pressure on either side of the masonry veneer, the force is substantially reduced, hence there is a reduction in the amount of water entering into the wall system.

    This “pressure equalization” is accomplished by using a combination of weep holes and having a clear air space directly behind the brick. This cavity needs to act as a chamber; therefore it must incorporate some form of air barrier and also be compartmentalized to obtain optimum pressure equalization. The air barrier can range from simply being the interior backup wall surface (though this can still be quite air permeable) to something achieving better performance using independent membranes adhered to the backup wall.

    The air space must be unobstructed. Effort must be made to keep the space clear of mortar when the brick is being laid. A mortar-filled space allows direct routes for water to enter into the backup wall and into the interior of the building, as well as impeding water flow out of the weep holes.

    The weep holes also provide a means of drainage for any water that does get past the brick veneer. These are located at the veneer supports, such as at shelf angles or at foundation walls.

    From the International Residential Code:
    R703.7.5 Flashing. Flashing shall be located beneath the first
    course of masonry above finished ground level above the foundation wall or slab and at other points of support, including structural floors, shelf angles and lintels when masonry veneers are designed in accordance with §RR703.7. See §RR703.8 for additional requirements.
    R703.7.6 Weepholes. 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 (4.8 mm) in diameter. Weepholes shall be located immediately above the flashing.

    From the Brick Industries of America Technical Notes 7A:
    Weepholes
    In order to properly drain any water collected on the flashing, weepholes must be provided immediately above the flashing at all flashing locations. The practice of specifying the installation of weepholes one or more courses of brick above the flashing can cause a backup of water and is not recommended. In general, weepholes should be at least 1/4 in. (6 mm) in diameter, and should be spaced no further apart than 24 in. (600 mm) o.c. horizontally. In other cases, such as where a wick material is used in the weephole, the spacing should be reduced to 16 in. (400 mm) maximum.

    Now, as to the resident gurus suggesting that the addition of weep holes "will not work", or "will likely lead to bad outcomes", this is blather. While it may be true that the windows were not properly flashed when originally installed, and you cannot ascertain this without the removal of the brick veneer, these are also issues that need to be addressed. The addition of weep holes provides one with the perfect opportunity to repair even more of the "builder's" faux pas.

    Inspectors should not put themselves in the position of being apologists for the builders, sellers or purchasers of properties. Objective reporting of construction defects is the job at hand. How (or even if) those defects are corrected is not our concern. We did not provide you with the incorrect installation; we are merely the messengers describing it.

    Last edited by A.D. Miller; 01-12-2010 at 08:02 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca Anderson View Post
    the inspector did not say anything in a nonprofessional way in his report that I noted. He also did not note any moisture problems.

    Another inspectors opinion about what to do about missing weep holes:

    Weeping Over Weep Holes

    also an article in the the paper by another inspector

    Inspector's report on weep holes has seller in a quandary» Evansville Courier & Press

    I guess it just depends on the inspector.
    Rebecca is not dishing the home inspector, she is just expressing her problem with the relocation company. As she has found, we all have differing opines. I tend to be on the more logical side of the line verses the black and white book side. Nobody is going to add weeps the proper way on a 1970's home if their absence has not caused any problems!

    On a pre-existing home, it is almost unrealistic to add weep holes if you are not seeing or experiencing any problems associated with their absence. When I lived in MS, it was very, very common to find homes without weeps and I seldom if ever found any associated damage from their absence. Yes, according to the building codes they are suppose to be in place on a masonry wall.

    If it was me and I knew that I was moving and the relo company would end up with the home, I would give a great deal of consideration to drilling the holes just to appease them. It will be their baby once you sign the papers and you did as the relo company instructed.

    Regardless of the outcome I wish you good luck..

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 01-12-2010 at 08:02 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  17. #17
    Lawrence Transue's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote:

    "Does any one know what the code would have read back then? We live in Scott County, KY."

    Rebecca,

    I doubt anyone has this info. Applying the 2009 IRC to this home is ridiculous. There are probably 1000s of changes to the "Code" since then.

    I agree with Scott, Ask them what they want you to do & get it done.

    Getting a qualified, licensed, post construction, weep-hole installer may be difficult.


  18. #18
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    It should be a fairly straightforward task to contact the Scott County, KY building inspection department in Georgetown and ask what the model code was in 1976.

    It will be just as easy to contact the Brick Industry Association and ascertain what the industry standard for weep holes was in 1976.

    If you are merely concerned with how long their installation has been a common practice look to the man who coined the term:
    Leonard Woolley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    He found them in Ziggurats dated as far back as the 21st Century B.C.


  19. #19
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Furthermore, if you are REALLY interested:

    1976 Uniform Building Code (Download)


  20. #20
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    And, if you are not willing to spend the money for your own copy, most larger libraries have copies of legacy model building codes for your free perusal in their reference sections.


  21. #21
    James Kiser's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    I live in Kentucky and most homes I've seen built 15 years ago and more do not have weep holes in brick veneer. just was not a practice back then


  22. #22
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by James Kiser View Post
    I live in Kentucky and most homes I've seen built 15 years ago and more do not have weep holes in brick veneer. just was not a practice back then
    JK: Perhaps what you meant to say is that builders were (and perhaps still are) engaged in a illegal practice.


  23. #23
    James Kiser's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    PARTIAL SUMMARY OF BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS
    VIOLATION OF 1995 CABO One Two Family Dwelling CODE
    PROPER FLASHING, VENEER TIES, AND WEEP HOLES MUST BE PROVIDED TO
    MEET
    THE 1995 CABO RESIDENTIAL CODE FOR ONE AN]) TWOFAMILY
    DWELLINGS.
    VIOLATION OF BUILDING CODE SECTION 703.7.2.2

    Apparently Kentucky goes by 1995 CABO . I don't know about illegal or not it just was not practiced in Kentucky, including my home



  24. #24
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by James Kiser View Post
    PARTIAL SUMMARY OF BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS
    VIOLATION OF 1995 CABO One Two Family Dwelling CODE
    PROPER FLASHING, VENEER TIES, AND WEEP HOLES MUST BE PROVIDED TO
    MEET THE 1995 CABO RESIDENTIAL CODE FOR ONE AN]) TWOFAMILY
    DWELLINGS.
    VIOLATION OF BUILDING CODE SECTION 703.7.2.2

    Apparently Kentucky goes by 1995 CABO . I don't know about illegal or not it just was not practiced in Kentucky, including my home
    JK: Nope, Kentucky Building Code is essentiall the 2006 IBC with a mountain twist.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Was it standard practice in most of the country to provide an air space back in the 70's?

    Had the inspector said that weep holes were missing and someone just needed to drill, I would question what was written on the report. Since he actually wrote that flashing and weep holes were missing, there is probably an air space.


  26. #26
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    Was it standard practice in most of the country to provide an air space back in the 70's?

    Had the inspector said that weep holes were missing and someone just needed to drill, I would question what was written on the report. Since he actually wrote that flashing and weep holes were missing, there is probably an air space.
    BW: Air space has been standard for brick veneer in Texas since I was born. But then, I was not born in Kentucky . . .


  27. #27
    Rebecca Anderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Thank you, Scott. I am not trying to be disrespectful of the the Home Inspector in any way. He has a job to do.

    We did call the Scott County building inspector. They do not have access to any codes from that far back. We also spoke to a builder here in town who has been working in this area since the 70's. He seemed to think also that it could potentially cause more harm than good. He is coming over to look tomorrow.

    We may have them drilled to satisfy the relo company, but not until we are sure we are moving. We love the Bluegrass and may decide to stay and retire here. We don't want to damage our home.


  28. #28
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca Anderson View Post
    We may have them drilled to satisfy the relo company, but not until we are sure we are moving. We love the Bluegrass and may decide to stay and retire here. We don't want to damage our home.

    Rebecca,

    I recommend NOT DRILLING THE WEEP HOLES to satisfy anyone. If there is a cost for having the weep holes corrected (i.e., in their term "drilled"), then give them that cost.

    There is no way I would want to have to explain to a judge later that, yes, I knew that drilling the weep holes after the fact was wrong, but, I did it anyway because the relocation company said to do it. In the meantime, the new owner is suing YOU because YOU had the weep holes drilled and that lead to water intrusion and water damage.

    Give the relo company money and let them undertake it themselves, you do not want your name involved in that problem.

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

  29. #29
    Rebecca Anderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Thanks so much for that bit of advice. That is absolutely true and I wouldn't have thought of it from that standpoint.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: weep holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence Transue View Post
    Quote:

    "Does any one know what the code would have read back then? We live in Scott County, KY."

    Rebecca,

    I doubt anyone has this info. Applying the 2009 IRC to this home is ridiculous. There are probably 1000s of changes to the "Code" since then.

    I agree with Scott, Ask them what they want you to do & get it done.

    Getting a qualified, licensed, post construction, weep-hole installer may be difficult.
    Actually no, you are incorrect on several points.
    The Brick manufactures have for many, many years stated weep holes should be installed in veneer; codes always refer back to manufactures instructions, so the weep holes were required.

    If you ask me (I'm the relo company) what to do, I would say do it right; remove sections (roughly 3 feet) of the brick, install the flashing properly, install the weep holes as you re-install the brick. Wait several day, then do the next 3 feet (get the idea). It's going to be pretty expensive and time consuming; remember, over lintels, under windows, bottom of wall...

    And don't forget to leave the flashing edge exposed so the building & home inspector can verify it's there!

    I'm with Jerry; give them a REASONABLE credit.

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  31. #31
    ken mcneill's Avatar
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    Default Re: weep holes

    I have a question on weep holes in the outer brick walls of a building in Texas. Can someone provide the reference for the requirements in Texas for minimum height above grade should the weep holes be on outer brick wall. Why I am asking is we just had built a new education building and the weep holes on the front side are at or below the soil/grade. The issue will be drainage, air circulation and water coming into the weep holes. I pointed this out, however it doesn't look like anything is being done to correct. I need the requirements before we accept the building from the contractor.


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