Window weep holes are small openings found in the bottom of window frames that allow water from rain or condensation to drain out of the frame. These holes are an important feature in windows because they prevent water from collecting inside the frame and causing damage to the window and surrounding structures as well as preventing the growth of mold and mildew.
Weep holes are found in windows that are constructed of vinyl, aluminum, steel, or fiberglass since these windows have chambers within their frame members that can collect moisture. The only windows that will not have weep holes are wood windows that use solid framing and are devoid of the chambers found in other window types.
Why Do Windows Need Weep Holes?
One of the primary benefits of window weep holes is that they prevent water from becoming trapped in the window frame. If water is allowed to collect in the frame, it can cause rot and deterioration over time, leading to costly repairs or even the need to replace the entire window. In addition, trapped water can also provide the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can pose a significant health risk to the occupants of the building.
Window weep holes are also important for preventing damage to the wall surrounding the window. If water is allowed to build up inside the frame, it can seep into the wall and cause damage to the drywall, insulation, or even the framing itself. This can lead to expensive repairs especially if it goes on unnoticed for an extended period of time.
Where Are Weep Holes Located?
The size and placement of window weep holes are important factors to consider. If the holes are too small, they may not allow enough water to escape, leading to buildup inside the frame. On the other hand, if the holes are too large they may allow water to enter the frame during heavy rainfall and contribute to the problem that they were designed to alleviate.
While most weep holes can be found on the face of the window frame as the one in the image above but some manufacturers will make an effort to conceal their placement in the interest of aesthetics. It’s important that you familiarize yourself with the location of the weep holes on your windows so you can properly maintain their function.
Weep Hole Maintenance
Window weep holes are easy to maintain. If a window doesn’t have them, they can be added to an existing window by drilling a small hole in the bottom of the frame but it is important to know what you’re drilling into. This is best handled by a professional contractor. Maintenance of weep holes is minimal and typically only involves cleaning out any debris that may have accumulated in the holes.
Some weep holes make use of covers to prevent the buildup of dust and debris inside of the window frame which could clog the weeping system (see image below). However, it is critical that these are checked a couple of times a year to ensure that they don’t get stuck preventing the free flow of water. It’s as simple as using something like a small screwdriver to lift it open and ensure operation.
If you’ve had new windows installed or moved into a new home you should also check to make sure that the weep holes weren’t accidentally caulked over. This is not uncommon on weep holes that are tucked away or hidden as the individual doing the caulking may be unaware.
In conclusion, window weep holes are a crucial feature in windows that are installed in areas prone to moisture or water exposure. They help to prevent water from becoming trapped in the frame, which can cause damage to the window and surrounding structures. The size, placement, and material of the holes are important factors to consider, and weep holes are typically easy to install and maintain. With proper installation and maintenance, window weep holes can help to extend the life of your windows and protect your home from water damage.