TAC returns with the next installment in an ongoing series of words that are good to know as an architect in training: The Architect’s Companion “Word of the Day”.
Today’s word of the day comes to us straight from the cavity wall: the weep (see also, weep hole). According to Wikipedia, a weep is defined as follows:
A small opening that allows water to drain from within an assembly. Weeps are located at the bottom of the object (cavity wall) to allow for drainage; the weep hole must be sized adequately to overcome surface tension.
Masonry is an inherently “absorbent” material. Weep holes (along with adequate air space) are an essential piece of cavity wall construction, providing an outlet for water or moisture to escape from behind the masonry veneer in said wall system. Typically located just above the flashing, these openings also provide an inlet for ventilating air to reach behind the veneer and dry the system. Properly installed weep holes are a preventive measure to reduce mold growth or deterioration of the masonry veneer itself due to the presence of moisture.
If you didn’t know, now you know.
*Weep hole image courtesy of ABI Home Services