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Why are weep holes important | Why we inspect weep holes

Weep holes are small openings in the mortar joint of brick walls that allow water to drain from the wall cavity. In Australia, they are a critical component of any brick wall construction, as they play a vital role in protecting the wall from water damage, structural damage, pest infestations, and other issues. In this article, we will discuss the importance of weep holes in a home, the consequences of covering them over, the required distance between the bottom of the weep hole and the ground or pavement, the Australian standard requirements for weep holes, and why building inspectors inspect for weep holes.



Why Are Weep Holes Important in a Home?


Weep holes are important in a home because they prevent water from entering the wall cavity and causing damage. Without weep holes, water can accumulate in the cavity and lead to mould growth, dampness, and other forms of water damage. Weep holes allow water to drain from the cavity, preventing these issues from occurring.

In addition to preventing water damage, weep holes also prevent pest infestations. When weep holes are covered over, they can create an ideal environment for pests such as termites, ants, and other insects to infest the wall cavity. Weep holes also improve air quality by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and spores that can be detrimental to the health of the occupants of the home.


What Are the Consequences of Covering Weep Holes Over?


The consequences of covering weep holes over are significant. When weep holes are covered over, water can accumulate in the wall cavity, leading to mould growth, dampness, and other forms of water damage. This can weaken the structural integrity of the wall, leading to cracks, sagging, and other forms of damage that can be dangerous to the occupants of the home. Covered weep holes can also create an ideal environment for pests to infest the wall cavity, leading to significant damage to the structure of the building.


Often Building Inspections Sydney Inspectors often discover that builders and contractors fail to install weep holes or cover weep holes over with materials such as render, rendering the brick wall non-compliant and defective.



What Are the Australian Standard Requirements for Weep Holes?


The Australian Standard AS 3700-2018 specifies the requirements for weep holes in brick walls. These requirements include the size and spacing of weep holes, as well as their location and protection. Weep holes must be at least 6mm in diameter and spaced no more than 1200mm apart. They should be located at the lowest point of the wall and must be protected with a corrosion-resistant mesh to prevent blockages.


How Far Off the Ground Should Weep Holes Be?


According to the Australian Standard AS 3700-2018, the bottom of the weep hole should be no less than 75mm above the paved surface or ground level outside the building. This is to prevent blockages and ensure proper drainage.



Why Do Building Inspectors Inspect for Weep Holes?


Building inspectors inspect for weep holes to ensure that they are properly installed and maintained. Weep holes are critical to the durability and safety of a building, and if they are not properly installed or maintained, they can lead to significant damage. Building inspectors ensure that weep holes are the correct size and spacing, that they are located at the lowest point of the wall, and that they are protected with corrosion-resistant mesh.


Health Risks of Toxic Mould


Mould growth can pose a serious health risk to occupants of a building. Exposure to toxic mould spores can cause a range of health problems, including respiratory issues, allergies, and even neurological problems. People with pre-existing conditions like asthma or weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to the effects of toxic mould.


In addition to physical health risks, mould growth can also cause psychological effects. People living in mouldy homes often report feelings of anxiety, depression, and other emotional disturbances. This can be especially concerning for children who are more vulnerable to the effects of toxic mould.


What are causes of Toxic Mould Growth in Buildings?


Toxic mould growth in buildings is typically caused by excess moisture. Common sources of moisture in a building include leaks from plumbing or the roof, condensation on windows, blocked weep holes, omission of weep holes and high humidity levels. Mould spores need moisture to grow, so if the moisture problem is not addressed, the mould will continue to grow and spread.



Summary


To summarise, weep holes are critical to the durability and safety of a home in Australia. They prevent water damage, pest infestations, and improve air quality. Covering weep holes over can lead to significant damage, weakening the structural integrity of the wall and creating an ideal environment for pests. Weep holes must be properly installed and maintained to ensure their effectiveness. Building inspectors inspect for weep holes to ensure that they meet the Australian standard requirements and are installed correctly. Homeowners must ensure that their

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