Raleigh - Cary Home Reviews & Market News!: Does Brick Really Need To Weep?

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Does Brick Really Need To Weep?

Ever wonder why there seems to be holes in a brick home or why the morter or cement is missing?

This is an excellent blog about Weep Hole for Brick Homes by Jay from Northern VA.  In North Carolina, we sell a lot of brick homes.  Many folks don't know what a weep hole is which is why I'm sharing this blog.  Jay has included some wonderful illustrations explaining the construction of a brick home and the purpose of a weep hole.  As Jay says, don't fill in those weep holes!

In the olden days the brick siding you saw on houses was structural.  There were two layers of brick, into what was tied structural members.  The brick was structural, the wood was interior. 

Currently the brick siding you see is a facade, sometimes called a "veneer," and the wood interior is the structural part of the house.

Various construction materials combine to create this newer method, but essentially the brick is set off of the wood interior and exterior sheathing, which is all protected by some form of vapor retardation.

The brick is virtually strapped to the house.

As such, moisture develops between the brick and sheathing.  It needs somewhere to go. 

Weep holes are an important part of the construction method to allow air in and moisture out.  An excess of moisture in there can lead to its migration into the interior and when that happens the ultimate result can be molds.

 

This is one form of weep hole.  A section of mortar between the bricks has been intentionally left out.  Other weep holes can include a multiplicity of simple holes, or wicks, plastic inserts, and so on.

Either way, when you look at a brick-sided house, weep holes are an important thing to look for.

Often I don't see them!

Why?  Because they have been diligently eliminated by a home owner who does not understand why that silly brick layer left holes all over his house!  By golly, he wanted to fix that "oversight..." and got right on it!

Homeowner "fixes" I have seen include caulking, mortar, rags, spray polyfoam (which is ALWAYS very attractive) and wax!

The "fixes" look something like this!

This particular house was built in 1972, just after the "new" brick facade siding came into vogue.  As such it had weep holes all around.

And these weep holes were filled all around by some house-savvy homeowner!  This guy chose mortar.

Some of it was cracking and loose so I could tell it had been there a while.

Don't do this!

Everything wants to breath, and eliminate moisture, even the walls of your house!

My recommendation:  When you approach a brick-veneered house, have a look around for weep holes.  The house will be happy you did.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia

www.jaymarinspect.com

Raleigh Cary Apex Realtor Carla Freund Realty

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Comment balloon 4 commentsCarla Freund • November 17 2010 07:51AM

Comments

Good Morning Carla, excellent post, thank you for putting it back up!

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA (Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA) over 7 years ago

Dan - Thank you.  I like to re-post the blogs I think might benefit my clients or other Realtors.

Posted by Carla Freund, Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489 (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi Carla -- When we built a new home back in the 1990s, I was wondering what those holes were and the builder gave me a good overview -- so I appreciated those little openings.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) over 7 years ago

Chris, Thanks for the comment.  I recently sold a home without weep holes. Fortunately my inspector noticed them and we were able to get a brick mason to fix the problem.  No damage was done.

Posted by Carla Freund, Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489 (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) over 7 years ago

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