What should I use to fill the small holes in my brick walls? -Steven

The small vertical slots near the bottom of brick walls are known as weep holes and are used to allow any moisture from condensation to drain out of the wall as well as air to circulate. While you should never fill weep holes with solid material—such as caulk, wood, or mortar—you can put strips of fiberglass screen wire or scouring pad in the weep holes to keep insects out.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Steven Asks: What should I use to fill the small holes in my brick walls?

Danny Lipford: The holes you’re talking about, that you’ll find around the perimeter of a brick home, are called weep holes. Now, these are very important and can’t be sealed up, because bricks always hold moisture and store moisture. So you need some place for that moisture to escape and air to circulate.

Now, if you’re concerned that insects may use that to get inside your home, well, here’s something you can do there. You can find some fiberglass screens—readily available, very inexpensive. You can just cut small pieces of it like this, and then just force it into the crack to keep the insects out. Another way is to use a scouring pad like this. Again, cut small sections of it, and insert it right in the crack. But you don’t want to use anything that has metal in it, because sooner or later it’ll rust.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Reading about critters entering thru weep holes (esp snakes) , it is ok then to put fiberglass mesh in the weep holes ??

  2. Didn’t realize a baby snake can slither right into these pinkie size weep holes in my brick home. Last night walked in my Kitchen and a 8-10 inch baby Copperhead. Brown snake with yellow tipped tail sitting on my kitchen floor where SUN from Skylight hits the floor !!! (several hours per day) Think it was sunbathing till I can along. Caught him with sticky trap and disposed of him. Now I know what I must do. Got my scourimg pads from dollar general store. ( Cheapest pack of 8 cost 2.00!. Targets price for 4 scouring pads HD (3M) was 4.50. Think I will stick with the DG pads. THey seem to be acceptible Nylon based. Got screwdriver and irrigated holes (around 60 of them on my house. Got some Home Defense Insect repellent sprayer, and sprayed into EVERY ONE of those holes. THen following up by plugging these holes. Especially on the SUNNY side of the house facing East! Going to complete them all in 2 days. Next going to lay a couple of SNAKE sticky traps ( avail on Amazon) in my crawl space to see if anymore snakes/lizards residing under there (have heard bumping noises in my walls and attic recently.) Last year I saw a few Blue tailed Lizards on wall of my brick home. Thought they were harmless so I didn’t mess with them. Now they may have become a possible “food source to a Snake”; need to exterminate them too!

  3. Hi, I live in Northwest Ohio in a home built in 1904. I think its textured block. Not sure of the correct name, but it’s block with a thick, rounded outer layer that looks sort of like stucco, but I think is concrete. The weep holes were covered with mortar by a previous owner. I’d like to get some weep holes in but don’t know how high up, how far apart, etc. Is there anyway to find the previous weep holes? Thanks for any help!

  4. What if the weep holes in the brick are close to ground level and heavy rain can enter the holes. What do you do if anything?
    Thanks

  5. My master bedroom has two windows which has a flower bed and a drainage system. When it rains really hard that the drainage can not keep up with the rain, the water seeps in thru the weep wholes and floods the bedroom. Might I be able to close/shut/stop only those weeps wholes so that water doesn’t keep filtering thru the weep holes and flooding my bedroom? Your response would be greatly appreciated.

  6. I live in the deep south in a flood zone. I have a brick veneer home with weep holes all around the outside. When it dumps rain, say an inch within an hour, it floods quickly. Yesterday the water level got up about 3″ onto the brick. Of course, just like every time before, water came in where the weep holes are located. Not everywhere, just where the weep holes are. What can be done about this? I’m older and not very physically able to do much. I have arthritis etc. Small amounts of water would be better than water in every room of the house every time it floods. It doesn’t do it with a driving rain, only with flooding.
    What about sealant and filling in those weep holes?

  7. I live in Texas and we have hurricane season 6/1-11/30 and I am looking for weep hole covers to keep flood water out but will be able to remove and use again during another storm. Is there anything that is easily inserted and removed on the market. Home Depot and Lowe’s are dumb when you ask for these products. WE live in the south, you would think they businesses would educate their employees. They are not even interested in helping you. Thanks hope to hear from someone soon.

  8. I’m in the same boat as Lisa Smith, as far as flooding. I understand brick hold moisture. But if I wait for a dry summer week, then seal the brick with a sealer, could I then close up the weep holes?????

    I think this makes perfect sense, AC is on throughout summer, and sometimes the winter.

  9. I have ants crawling on my window seal. Raised the window and there were thousands of ants. Most of them dead. Cleaned up and vacuumed. Next day….same things and just as many again. Noticed they are crawling in the weep hole outside and notice a yellow jacket going into the hole also. Not sure if the screen or scouring pad will keep ants out as they can crawl in little places. But I am wondering what’s really going on inside of the wall and what would you recommend me to do to kill them and the queen??? Thanks.

  10. what can be installed in those weep holes to prevent flooding during heavy storms? something temporary that can be removed after the waters subside

  11. Weep holes create a major flooding problem during hard rains, and since they are located close to ground, you have no way to keep water out of your house.

    Can weep holes be installed higher up on brick, and then plug the lower openings?

  12. I notice several post Harvey people asking about weep holes. We need to try to flood proof our homes! Can somebody please answer all the inquiries about plugging up weep holes. How could any thing that happens with the tiny bit of moisture that may or may not drain out of weep holes, be worse that the flooding?!!!

  13. I have a certain area of my house that gets water in through the weep holes. is it acceptable to plug just an area of weep holes

  14. We have weep holes in our brick real low to the ground. Every time it rains water comes. It was bad during Harvey. So we caulked them up to prevent this anymore. Can’t we drill holes in the brick above the weep holes to allow the air to circulate?? That’s what I guess we have to go.. Actually the adjuster told us to close them up.

  15. I just left a voicemail on your 800 number. I was flooded during Harvey and one side near the living room which the wall has windows almost to the floor is where most of the water came in. My contractor says it will not hurt to completely seal as their is enough holes on either side of the house at this point is approx 25 ft across. Do you know of a good permanent filler for these holes?

  16. so many questions and no answers on sealing weep holes against water !
    flooded in Harvey and want to prevent this again as it came through the weep holes. Please answer as so many have been asking this same question. thank you

  17. Yes I to have weep holes. But when the man came to put in the concrete patio he went higher on the bricks and covered up the weep holes. What can u do? Stupid weep holes. And does every brick structure have weep holes?? I have never heard of them before.

    • Hi, Joyce,
      If your home still has more weep holes to protect it (other than the ones covered during the patio installation), you should be all right.
      Weep holes should never be sealed because bricks always hold moisture and store moisture.
      So you need some place for that moisture to escape and for air to circulate.
      Good luck with everything!

  18. Apparently NO ONE wants to answer any of these questions… here it goes.. owned a house in Northern Alabama.. weather is crazy and very wet and humid… house was built in 95 not 1 weep hole was to be found… NEVER HAD ANY ISSUES, no bugs NOTHING.. inspection guy comes for me to sell and put on the market… he wanted weep holes he got weep holes.. house sold 2 weeks being on the market in 2012. So the new buyer got the weep holes the inspector guy she chose said to do… 4 months later… how did you all live with bugs… ummmm lady sorry to tell you home NEVER had a bug in it.. maybe a fly… she sent photos of bugs just crawling out from plug outlets , light fixtures… lol.. yeah.. so house in Texas has weep holes.. I sealed those suckers up with spray foam.. moisture my ass.. really where do these guys come along and tell folks NOT TO PLUG THEIR HOLES.. we have vents along the under side of the roof that helps with risking moisture away.. remember folks brick are NOT stacked right up on the outside boarding of the house.. there’s ALWAYS a 1.5 to 3 inch gap… stuff your holes people.. spray foam in a can is great.. and if your really in doubt… pack it full of any type rock hard substance you can find.. weep holes were made for bugs and if you have a water line to break in the house… plug it folks… I did and it also reduces internal drafts of the home during the winter

  19. We are covering our brick with mortar, doing a slurry finish. Since the brick will be completely covered our contractor says we can cover the weep holes. Is this true? Reason we want to cover weep holes is bc contractor thinks they are bringing moisture in and that’s whats causing our hardwood floors to buckle at seems since there are no leaks anywhere causing the buckling.

  20. Northern Virginia cellarway has weep holes higher up. Looks like newer brick. I suspect a repair job some time ago on 40 yr old house. Lower part w/no weep holes is spalling terribly (face of brick freezes and falls off). Weep holes are especially important below grade in freezy places to prevent spalling. If your worried about bugs you need to get you some fiberglass screening and stuff it in there but if you notice dirt coming out of the weep holes, they may clog up on you over time. If you use metal screen or steel wool it will rust away and create streaks on the brick.

  21. I am from Denham Springs Louisiana and flooded in 2016 when we had 42 inches of rain.
    For hurricane Barry I purchased flex seal tape and sealed the weep holes. Luckily the storm is as not as bad as projected. Thank heavens!!

    My question is can I leave the tape up during the hurricane season or must I remove it immediately?

    Thank you.

    • Hi, Susan,
      You’re weathering some major storms in Denham Springs!
      Flex Seal Products can offer the best recommendation for the tape under these circumstances.
      Here’s where you can contact the manufacturer: contact@flexsealproducts.com
      Stay dry and safe!

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