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    Brick Veneer Weep Hole Requirement

    Brick Veneer Weep Hole Requirement

    New postby pbennett1 on Tue May 12, 2009 7:34 pm

    Are weep holes over windows and doors, in brick veneer, always required?
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    Re: Brick Veneer Weep Hole Requirement

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Tue May 12, 2009 8:09 pm

    Hi PBennett,

    pbennett1 wrote:Are weep holes over windows and doors, in brick veneer, always required?


    Yes.

    Weep holes are always required wherever there is a through the wall flashing, and there is ... should be ... a through the wall flashing there and at the first course of all brick above those flashings.

    In the case where the brick sets on a brick ledge and there is no through the wall flashing (flashing not required there) the weep holes are still required.

    The weep holes are required as the brick and the mortar are know *not to* keep water out, water will, and does, go through the brick veneer. That water then runs down the back side of the brick (which is why it is critical to properly cut off the excess mortar when the brick is laid and remove it from the air space cavity) to the bottom of the brick veneer wall. With the brick on a brick ledge, the moisture goes down to the brick ledge and water drains out through the weep holes. With the brick on a through the wall flashing, the moisture goes down to the flashing the brick is setting on and drains out through the weep holes.

    From the 2006 IRC.(underlining is mine)
    - 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 (5 mm) in diameter. Weepholes shall be located immediately above the flashing.

    See attached drawings from the ICC 2006 IRC.
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    Re: Brick Veneer Weep Hole Requirement

    New postby pbennett1 on Tue May 12, 2009 8:47 pm

    Thanks Jerry for always detailed and thorough explanation.
    Peter
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    Re: Brick Veneer Weep Hole Requirement

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Tue May 12, 2009 9:05 pm

    Hi Jerry, oddly enough, it's been almost a year to the day since you provided the weep hole post information. I am at again.
    I inspected a home which has moisture entry at the garage and then whole house too.

    With brick veneer cladding, are weep holes required over the windows/doors that have an arched configuration vs lintels?

    Here's the more information about this situation:
    The house originally had a) weep holes at the foundation level, except for the garage wall; and b) no weep holes above or below any windows. After purchaser's inspector called out the weep holes missing from above and below windows, the builder drilled weep holes above and below windows and on the garage wall. After further discussion, the builder then plugged the weep holes above all windows.

    Please let me know what you think of the following:

    1) This is what the purchasers home inspector told the purchaser:

    Top of steel lintel windows:
    - Flashing is supposed to be there above the lintel. The bricks rest upon the flashing. There is no mortar between the lintel and the brick. In this type of window, the excess water trapped by the lintel will escape via the tiny air gap between the brick and steel lintel. So weep holes are not needed.
    - If weep holes are desired, then you want them right above the lintel

    Top of stone windows:
    - Stone arch goes all the way to the tyvek. Not as much water gets into the top of this type of arch. If there is water, the water will 1) get absorbed into the stone and evaporate off, or 2) drip off the tyvek or brick wall and go down to the bottom of the wall (the bottom of wall flashing and weep holes will then take care of the water).
    - So weep holes are not needed above stone windows.

    Bottom of steel lintel or stone windows:
    - There should be flashing and weep holes below all windows.

    2) the purchaser hired a mason to give me advice and this is what he said (purchaqsers questions are followed by his responses in bold (b):

    If there is no flashing above steel lintel windows, what will happen?
    He thinks it's OK. There is an air gap.

    If there is no flashing above stone windows, what will happen?
    99% of the time, never sees flashing here. Disagrees with inspector: Inspector says the stone goes all the way to the tyvek, mason says there’s still a tiny gap. Impression is that he thinks it’s OK.

    If there’s no flashing below a window, what will happen?
    He thinks it's OK.

    Do weep holes really work? (i.e. mortar crumbs)
    Weep holes don’t work. The recent products that block mortar crumbs will now make weep holes work.

    If the bottom of a window is just taped (no flashing), and then you add a weep hole, does it do anything (i.e. ventilation; tape acts like flashing to direct water to weep hole)?
    It's OK. It’s ventilation. Don’t plug them.

    Does a weep hole (if it's fake and has no flashing behind it) allow water to go in?
    No.
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    Last edited by pbennett1 on Fri May 14, 2010 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Reason: followup and new question
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    Re: Brick Veneer Weep Hole Requirement

    New postby pbennett1 on Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:22 pm

    Got another brick veneer question. In this post, you said "In the case where the brick sets on a brick ledge and there is no through the wall flashing (flashing not required there) the weep holes are still required."
    So after looking through yesterday's inspection, two photos show this problem, as there are no weep holes on a brick ledge. (The veneer is supported by the foundation)
    Is this a huge problem?
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    Re: Brick Veneer Weep Hole Requirement

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:05 pm

    What you are pointing to in those photos are corbeled out brick, not a 'brick ledge' as such.

    A 'brick ledge' is an outcropping of the foundation on which the brick veneer above sets.

    It is also possible (likely?) that the corbeled out ledges are not constructed properly, but there is no easy way to determine this after the brick veneer is laid up and you are looking at the finished wall.
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