Knowledge

Weeps

Function & Code Requirements

Weepholes are used to drain any water collected by the flashing. The 2006 International Building Code requires that weepholes provided on the outside wythe of masonry walls shall be at a maximum spacing on 33" and that they not be less than 3/16" in diameter. The BIA (Brick Industry Association) recommends that weepholes be spaced a maximum of 24", 16" when rope wicks are used, and that they be not less than ¼’ in diameter.

Weephole Types

Weephole types include but are not limited to plastic tubing, cotton rope wicks, rectangular vents installed at head joints and corrugated or fibrous mat placed at the bed joint. In addition, the head joint at the base of the wall can be left open. Plastic tube weep holes are not recommended as they can easily become clogged and lose effectiveness. The method that we prefer is a corrugated or fibrous mat on which the bottom course of the brick rests. This method provides a clear path for water to escape, generally free from the danger of being clogged by mortar droppings.

Installation

Many manufacturers are producing base flashing systems with integral weeps that incorporate fibrous or corrugated mat on which the base course of masonry rests. These take the guesswork out of installation and provide an effective weep system. Often, plastic weep tubes are inserted after the mortar is laid up, and the end result is that the weep tube is clogged before the wall is even complete. While we do not recommend weep tubes, if they are installed, they should be installed before the mortar is placed.