Weep holes: What are they and do I really need them anyway?
What are weep holes and why are they top of the list when conducting building inspections in QLD? Although you may not even know what they look like, are weep holes even necessary? These tiny, almost hidden vents can mean the difference between a livable home or expensive damage to your potential new dream home.
What do weep holes look like and why do they need to be inspected?
Weep holes are gaps in the brickwork that usually sit 75 mm above the foundation. They are critical to allowing moisture to escape and ventilate the home’s interior. Without adequate and functioning ventilation in a home, all sorts of issues can develop, such as dry rot in the wooden framework, mildew, mold, and in the worst cases, “leaky building syndrome.” This is when moisture gets into and builds up between a house’s exterior and interior materials, and it rots away around you.
What do compromised weep holes look like and how do I know they are not functioning?
Weep holes should have at least 75mm clearance from the ground and not be blocked or covered and must meet the Australian Standards AS300 for masonry structures. Typical obstructions could be a raised concrete path, raised garden bed, or decking. Any weephole with less than 75mm clearance could be a big welcome flag for termites and other pests such as bees or wasps, although specific measures can prevent the bees and wasps. Mud tracks or dirt tracks can signify termite entry, and mud nests or weeping honey surrounding these holes should be a sign to get a pest inspection. Weep holes should be the size of the standard gap between bricks and look like missing grout rather than a gaping hole. They become an entry point for vermin like mice, snakes, and small rats if they are too big.
Weep holes saving Brisbane homes after the 2022 floods
Recent floods in 2022 have once again engulfed houses within Brisbane. Water has entered through doors and windows and been high enough to engulf the homes from the eaves down. Once the water subsides, there is a lot to do, pull up flooring, remove wet gyprock and allow things to dry out. In a flood scenario, the weep holes will allow the moisture to correctly disperse from your home and prevent mold and rot in your frame. Bricks are not a waterproof barrier in your home and will draw in moisture. Weep holes allow correct ventilation to prevent dampness in your brick walls and rot in the framework.
Protect your investment – book a comprehensive pre-purchase building inspection
Obtaining a professional building inspection with meticulous attention to detail, especially for the tiny details that may be hiding huge issues, can save you thousands. Contact us at Action Property Inspections. With over 30 years of experience and hundreds of five-star reviews from happy customers, you can be confident that even the tiny details are important to us.