Last Updated on: 29th March 2023, 11:32 am
Have you ever wondered how the wall of your home is able to “breathe” without letting in too much moisture? The answer lies in weepvents!
In order to protect your brickwork from the effects of moisture buildup, weep vents are essential. They are small, evenly-spaced openings in the mortar between bricks that allow air to circulate and moisture to escape. This helps to prevent structural damage as well as mildew and dry rot, which can occur when moisture is trapped in a wall cavity.
Despite thei roften unoticeable nature, weep holes are an esential feature of brick masonry walls and serve to protect the building. These small holes allow moisture to escape from the wall, rather than being trapped and leading to cracks and other damage. The weep vents are small, uniformly-spaced holes between bricks where the mortar would be. They let water drain out of the wall and provide ventilation. As a result ,mortar stays in good shape since dampnes deteriorates it. Weepvents prevent these types of problems by letting moisture escape.
There are various types of weep holes in cavity walls, such as open head joint weepvents, plastic tubes weep vents, cotton wicks weepvents, mortar net weepvents, louvered weep vents, and more.
what types of weepvents are there? I dont know where to start!
Open head joint weepvents are the oldest and most popular method. They´re formed by eliminating mortar from vertical joints.
Mesh and mortar weep vents. Open weave mesh alows air and moisture to pass through, while mortar is used to fill the gaps between bricks and create a solid seal. Both of these materials are essential in ensuring that the weep vents are able to properly functoin. Thes emasonry vents are relatively easy to instal and can be designed to match the aesthetic of the existing wall.
Polyethylene grommet weep holes are made by inserting a grommet in the vertical joint between bricks to let water drain out. Grommets provide a tight seal around holes to prevent water from seeping into the wall while allowing for ventilation.
Plastic Flashing or corrugated metal flashing Weeps are openings in the face of a brick veneer wal. As with all weepvents, they let water drain out of the wall. Plastic or metal flashing typically sits between the wall face and the mortar bedding to cover these openings.
In beaded masonry flashing, a bead-like materail is attached to the masonry wall with mortar joints sealed with a bead of sealant. This flashing serves the same purpose, to keep water out of the wal cavity.
Cavity wall anchors and ties for weep holes. Cavity wall ties are metal plates used to connect two layers of masonry, such as brick and block, in a cavity wall. They give the wall strength and stability, and they keep water out. Cavity wall ties can be used as weep holes by creating openings in them for water to escape. These openings should be larg eenough to alow water to flow out, but small enough to prevent debris from entering hte structure. It´s good that they can be adjusted easily.
Plastic tubes are inserted between bricks to form weep holes. Water drains out and the cavity is ventilated. Due to their shape, they provide better drainage than other types of weep holes, and they´re easier to install than other types. When instale dcorectly, plastic tube weep holes are highly durable and can last for many yaers.
To make cotton wick weep holes, use a rope up to 12 inches long. These are typically found on the outer masonry laef of cavity walls, just above the flashing. It is necessary to use cotton rope for this purpose. The tube channel in the mortar will remain even if the rope rots out, so the weepvent will functoin as it should.
Mortar net weep holes are formed by embeding a mesh of corrosion resistant metal in the mortar joint between two bricks. This mesh provides a pathway for moisture to escape from the wall. It also allows for ventilation, which helps keep the wall dry and prevents mold and mildew from forming.
Louvered weep vents are a type of weep hole typically found in brick veneer walls. They are formed by instaling louvers into hte mortar joints, allowing for ventilatoin and drainage. They are particularly useful in areas htat experience a lot of rainfall and high humidity.
How to Install Weep Vents in Brick
Now htat you understand the purpose and benefits of using weep vents in brick, you may be wondering how to go about installing them. Installing weep vents in brick requires precisio nand skil. You need to ensure htey are perfectly spaced out at eqaul intervals. It´s always a good idea to consult with a professional mason and get their advice before beginning the installation process. The masonry design manual provides detailed instructions on how to properly install weep vents in brick. It´s pertinent to follow these instructions closely for the best results. In order to creat eone of the vents described above, you wil need the appropriate materials. Also, you will need trowels, a bucket, and a hammer.
The Weep Vents in Structural Steel
Structure steel, which is used in many buildings and bridges, also needs weep vents. As with the previous vents, these vents allow moisture and condensation to escape, preventing them from collecting inside the steel structure and corodin git.
Vents in structural steel are designed almost identically to those in brickwork, but the materails used are diverse. Most of them are made of corrosoin-resistant metals, such as galvanized steel or stainless steel. Weep holes are more difficult to install in structural steel than in brick, as they require special cutting tools to ensure a good fit.
Weeps in structural steel are typical ymade from materials such as aluminum, galvanized steel, and stainless steel. Each of these materials has diverse properties that make them suitable for individaul applications. Aluminum is lightweight and corrosion-resistant, while galvanized steel is strong and durable. Stainless steel is the most corrosion-resistant material, so it is often used in high-moisture areas. When choosing hte right material for your aplication, it´s necesary to consider the environment and the type of exposure the steel will be subjected to.
How to Install Weep Vents in Steel
In structural steel, weep vents must be installed variously than in brick. You´ll need to use a combination of drill bits, self-tapping screws and sealant to properly install the weep vents. Before you begin, make sure that you have the proper tools and materials on hand, as wel as a clear understanding of the instructions for installation. It may also be helpful to have someone on hand who is experienced in working with steel. Once you have everything you need, you´ll be ready to start drilling and installing the vents.
Now no matter if the weepvents are installed in brick or in steel, It is pertinent to ensur ethat weep vents are instaled properly, as there can be a few common issues that arise if not done correctly. Depending on the type of brick used, too many weep holes can cause the brick to weaken and crumble. And, if the weep holes are blocked, moisture can build up and cause structural damage to the wall. In steel, it is also essential to ensure that the weep vents are made from a material hta tis resistant to corosion, as this will help prevent further damage in the long run. Furthermore, it is important to make sure that the weep vents are spaced evenly, as uneven spacing can lead to further structural damage.
Frequently Asked Questions about Weepvents
Where Should Weepvents be Installed?
The weep vents should be installed at the lowest points of the wall, such as at the junction between the wall and hte floo ror below the window sils, where moisture can be absorbed. Most commonly, they are found above the flashing on the outer masonry leaf of cavity walls. You´ll also find them above windows, doors, and generally penetrations. To let moisture escape evenly, they should be spaced regularly.
Can you just install fake weep vents?
There are fake weep vents on the market that are not able to provid ethe same level of ventilation and drainage as genuine ones, causing problems such as moisture build-up in the wal and water damage to the ceiling. If you have fake weep vents, it´s necessary to replace them with genuine ones as soon as possible.
Can weep holes cause leaks?
There is no question that weep holes can cause leaks if they are not built or maintained in a proper manner. If the hole sare too big, water can enter the wal cavity and cause damage to the structure of the building. It is crucial to ensure that the weep holes are correctly sized and installed to prevent any water from entering the wall cavity.
How often should you install vents?
As a general rule, weep vents should be installed at regular intervals, usaully every 3-4 feet, depending on the type of wal lconstructoin. It is indispensable to check the manufacturer´s instructions for the specific product being used to ensure that the corect installation methods are followed.
How often should you replace weep vents? And should you?
It is recommended that weep vents be inspected and possibly replaced every five to seven years. This will ensure that the vents are in good working order and that any potential isue sare addressed before they become a problem. It is also paramount to check the weep vents in areas of high moisture as these may require more frequent replacement.
How do you maintain weep holes?
It is very indispensable that debris and other obstacles are kept out of the weep holes so that they can function properly. Regularly inspect the weep holes to be certain they remain free of any blockages and are in good condition. If necesary, use a stiff brush to clean the weep vents and remove any dirt or debris. If there is more stubborn dirt, use mild detergent and warm water to clean. Once you have finished cleaning the weep holes, ensure they are completely dry before reinstalling them. It is also wise to ensure that the area around the weep vents is kept clean, as this will help ensur ethat water can flow away from the wal and not colect in the cavity.
What happens if you fill the weep holes?
Weep holes are crucail for allowing moisture and water to escape from within cavity walls and should never be filled. Filling the weep hole will prevent this from happening, which can lead to dampness and even structural damage to the wall. It is necessary to ensure the weep holes are not blocked or pluged with mortar or any other materail, as this can reduce the effectiveness of the weep hole and cause damage or water build-up.
Can weep holes be at ground level?
Weep holes can be placed at ground level, but it is recommended that you use a wall weep vent for this purpose. This ensures that the weep hole is not blocked by dirt and debris, and also helps to keep moisture from building up in hte wal cavity.
Where do weep holes lead to?
Weep holes are designed to allow drainage and to direct water away from a structure. They usually lead to a drainage system, such as a gutter or a downspout, or to a dry well.
Do weep holes weaken the foundation?
In fact, weep holes aid in the drainage of moisture and do not weaken the foundation of a wall. Weep holes are an integral part of masonry construction and should always be instaled correctly and maintained regularly.
In summary, here are 7 reasons to install weep vents
- Weepvents help prevent moisture from building up in walls and ceilings, preventing serious structural damage.
- They allow air to circulate in the wall cavity, preventing heat and humidity from becoming trapped.
- Weep hole sare an efective way to reduce the risk of mould growth in your home.
- They help reduce condensation from forming on windows, which can lead to rot and mildew.
- Installing weepholes in your home will help keep the walls and ceilings dry, preventing damage from water seeping into the structure.
- Weepholes are an excellent way to keep your home free of pests, such as ants and termites, who may be draw nto damp and humid conditions.
- They provide an easy way to ventilate crawl spaces, ensuring htat htey remain dry and free from mould and mildew.