Q&A / 

Water Leaks Brick Wall Heavy Rain

Sara, who lives in Elgin, IL, has an issue that plagues hundreds of thousands of homeowners.

Let her tell you all about the water that runs down her basement walls in a heavy rainstorm.

"Hi Tim, I have viewed through your Q&A and videos. I have brick veneer in front of my house and only when it pours very heavily and at a particular direction(wind), I have water leak onto my basement concrete foundation walls near the sll plates area.

The brick veneer has a plastic sheet flashing which projects outside and I can see this everywhere. However, I do not see consistent weep holes every  two feet and I see only two weep holes for the entire front of my house(roughly 35 feet).

Can I take a small drill bit and make weep holes? Will this work to my advantage for draining water towards the front of my house? I feel that the lack of weep holes is preventing all the water to drain in the front and causes very minor leaks into basement foundation wall."

Here's my answer to Sara:

Sara, drilling holes in the lower course of the brick will probably not solve your problem.

In fact, there's a great chance you'll puncture the flimsy plastic sheet flashing behind the brick veneer.

To add even more misery, I'll bet if we took some of the lower courses of brick off the house just above the foundation we'd discover that the air space between the brick and the wood framing is packed with mortar that fell down as each course of brick was installed.

This mortar mess behind the brick causes all sorts of problems with respect to the way the water moves behind the wall.

I feel your only solution, and I don't know that the best product exists, is for you to coat the brick and mortar with some clear compound that absolutely rejects 99 percent of the wind-driven rain.

Read these past columns of mine to understand what happens as each raindrop hits against the brick veneer in a driving rain. The first linked column below is the most important one to understand the dynamics of what's going on:

Wind, Rain and Brick

Brick Leaks

Brick Water Repellents

 

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