Should I Seal the Weep Holes in My Brick Facade?
LESLIE: Now, Hugh is on the line from Texas and needs some help with brick repairs. How can we help you with the project?
HUGH: Got a house down in Houston and every – I’ve forgotten how many bricks but every so often, it’s got a vertical slot between the ends of the brick, as if it’s – I guess it’s a slot for air to be able to ventilate going up. And then up in the attic, it’s – the air can come up there. And I was wanting to find out, would we be better off to seal that up to keep the scorpions and such out? Or do you – does the house need that?
TOM: The answer is no, because you do need that air for ventilation. I’m going to presume that this is a brick façade, so it’s probably over a wood-framed wall. And those weep holes in the brick help the brick to breathe; otherwise, you can trap moisture behind the brick and that could cause the exterior wood surfaces in the structure beneath them to rot.
So it’s there for a reason, Hugh. You really should use it and find some other way to keep those scorpions away.
HUGH: OK. Now, what about insulation? Now, I don’t know that this house had any insulation in the walls. It was built back in the early 70s or something and we bought it secondhand. But would that be where you’d normally put insulation? In between the brick …?
TOM: No, it would not be, so – and here’s why: because you don’t want to, again, insulate that space because that’s there for insulation. If you were to insulate it, it would be in the wall frame itself and even though 1970s sounds like a very old house, I can assure you they were definitely using fiberglass insulation – insulated batts – in walls that were constructed at that time. So you may very well have it.
And in addition to that, if you’re going to add insulation to a house anywhere, the best place to add it is to the attic because that’s where you have the most heat loss, not the walls, not the floors. So the order of priority, in my mind, would be attic first, followed by floors, followed by walls.
HUGH: OK. Well, we’ll leave them open then. I sure do appreciate it.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Hugh. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.