Water damage is common when it comes to foundations. Since your entire house sits on the foundation, keeping this structural element in the best possible shape should be on your to-do list. Your home is most likely your biggest investment, and by protecting your foundation you are ensuring the structural integrity of your home.
In addition, a waterproofed basement is dry, which means there is no unwanted mold growth that could impact the health of your loved ones or uninvited pests who can wreak havoc all over the place.
All in all, there are many reasons why you should take the time to ensure foundation health. While you probably know about sump pumps, discharge lines, insulation, and other protective measures, you might not have heard about weep holes. These small holes can save you a lot of headaches, so here is everything you need to know about them.
What Are Weep Holes?
During heavy rains or snowmelt, water can saturate the soil around your basement and slowly collect behind your foundation walls. In time, this can easily lead to structural damage and cause moisture problems. However, with weep holes, this problem can be easily averted. These holes allow the water that is trapped within your walls to exit them and flow directly into the drainage system. This way, they can relieve hydrostatic pressure on your foundation walls. It is important to correctly calculate the size of the weep holes so they can overcome surface tension.
Should I Drill Weep Holes?
Now that you know what weep holes are, you are probably wondering whether you could benefit from them. To solve this dilemma, find out which material your foundation is made of. If your foundation was built with concrete masonry units (CMU blocks) you should invest in weep holes. The reason is the hollow cells each of these blocks contains. When water infiltrates your wall, it fills out these cavities and increases the hydrostatic pressure. In the end, the pressure will cause the water to enter your basement and damage everything in it.
While you can never completely eliminate hydrostatic pressure, you can keep it at levels that won’t cause any harm to your foundation. With weep holes, you can quickly drain water from the CMU blocks and direct it toward your interior drainage system. From this drainage system, the water will be directed toward the sump pump pit, from where it will leave your home through the discharge line.
If you have noticed that your basement often leaks or you are just about to finish your basement and turn it into a cozy living space, you should consider drilling these holes. You should also consider taking this step if you are about to install a French drain in your basement.
Perks of Weep Holes
While weep holes cannot singlehandedly keep your basement protected against water damage, they can be a valuable part of a waterproofing system. These holes will let the water out of your walls, making sure it doesn’t cause any damage.
Weep Hole Installation
A contractor will drill the weep holes at the base of the wall. When the holes are in place, they will effectively remove the water from the foundation walls and direct it toward the interior drainage system.
AquaStop Drain® is an interior drainage system that captures all the excess water that seeps in through the walls and the wall/floor joint. It also collects water that comes out of the weep holes.
Since it is barely visible once it is installed, it is ideal for both finished and unfinished basements. It has a clog-free design, so there is no need to worry that the system will malfunction due to clogging. The AquaStop Drain® is made of rugged plastic and therefore will never rust or decay. In addition, it is a more affordable option than the exterior drainage system and can be installed much faster.
By alleviating hydrostatic pressure, weep holes can prevent water damage from occurring.
Do you believe you could benefit from weep holes in your foundation walls? If so, do not try to drill them on your own. This installation requires skills and experience, so contact your local contractor. Here at AFS, we serve homeowners in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. Schedule a free inspection and estimate, and one of our inspectors will assess the state of your foundation and recommend suitable waterproofing measures.