No homeowner fancies the idea of water collecting behind their foundation walls. Such water can lead to structural damage and unpleasant moisture issues. But that’s unlikely to happen if your basement has weep holes to direct water away from your home.
These four situations will require weep holes:
- Basement is nearing completion
- Foundation is built from concrete masonry units (blocks)
- An interior French drain was installed in the basement
- Frequent basement leaks
Wet basements are similar to dams in some respects. However, there’s one major difference between them. Dams are designed to discharge water on demand something basements don’t. When water enters the foundation, it will keep rising and exert pressure on the retaining walls, and this can lead to a leaky basement.
What Are Weep Holes?
Weep holes are tiny openings that allow water to drain from within your foundation walls. They’re usually drilled into the base of foundation walls to allow moisture to escape. Whenever water gets into the foundation, it will drip down the back of the wall and pass through the weep holes. Weep holes have to be properly sized to overcome surface tension.
Many homes in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. have weep holes that direct water into the basement drain system, which takes it to a sump pump system so it can be pumped out of and away from the foundation.
How Are Weep Holes Installed?
Weep holes are usually drilled into masonry head joints above flashing courses. You’ll likely see them at the wall’s base. Their installation goes like this:
- The installation team removes 6-12” of concrete around your basement’s perimeter.
- They then drill weep holes into your foundation wall to allow water to move out. The drilling point is roughly one to two inches above the area where the footing meets the lowest course of blocks.
- The BasementGutter™ interior drainage system is installed and the trench is backfilled with stone before a vapor barrier is applied on top.
It’s likely that some holes will have additional debris due to drilling. So, we’ll flush them out with water.
When waterproofing their homes, many homeowners give consideration to popular solutions such as basement drains and gutters and little regard to weep holes. The truth is that weep holes are useful in keeping the basement dry. When installed properly, weep holes will move water out of the foundation walls to the BasementGutter™ system. This will alleviate pressure on your foundation walls and prevent water infiltration.
Professional Weep Hole Installation
If you think your home could benefit from weep holes, contact JES Foundation Repair for a free waterproofing inspection quote. We can install weep holes correctly so excess rainwater won’t cause problems in your basement during the wet season.