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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Default Basement Weep Holes- what to do, fill or not fill: that is the question

    I have a 50-60 year old home in Northern Kentucky area. Typically, we get three to four good heavy, day long down pours of rain, and it seems that when the water table fills outside the house, water will literally pour through these little square holes that are placed on one side of our foundation. This part of the basement is not finished, but used for storage. Once rain stops, water will stop. I have thought about filling these with a water proof epoxy of sorts but wanted to see what feedback was out there before doing so. I am open to any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Boston
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    1,004

    Default Re: Basement Weep Holes- what to do, fill or not fill: that is the question

    how big are the holes? my first choice would be hydraulic cement

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    4

    Default Re: Basement Weep Holes- what to do, fill or not fill: that is the question

    Small, maybe big enough for a number 2 pencil to get in. There are at least three of them on just the northern side of the house. (of course this is the side that is also covered in a deck and a deck walkway and I can't dig down to see a view from that side of the foundation.) Almost looks like sometime of form was used to create them when the foundation was poured.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,797

    Default Re: Basement Weep Holes- what to do, fill or not fill: that is the question

    The proper thing to do would be to install a french drain along that wall to take the water to a sump. Filling the holes will leave the blocks filled with water which in time could deteriorate the block, leave the wall wet for longer periods and blister any paint on the wall.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    6,530

    Default Re: Basement Weep Holes- what to do, fill or not fill: that is the question

    While we don't have basements in my city, we have a lot of block walls and retaining walls, where P holes are a must and the same goes to basement walls.

    Do as Jack recommends to take the water away, before it has a chance to sip inside.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    4

    Default Re: Basement Weep Holes- what to do, fill or not fill: that is the question

    Would love to put French drains around the entire lower end of my house, but in all honesty it would be a lot of work to do. We have a large deck, as well as poured walk ways around that side of the house. I guess I will just have to live with the water when it happens. Getting the feeling that plugging the holes is not a good option.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Basement Weep Holes- what to do, fill or not fill: that is the question

    You could put the french drain on the inside so it can drain to an interior sump pump basin.
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    1,737

    Default Re: Basement Weep Holes- what to do, fill or not fill: that is the question

    You may not need french drains, just get that side of the yard properly graded so that water is directed away from the house and around it and down hill from there. If your yard is sloped and the side that is leaking is on the uphill side, the ground should be regraded to slope downward from the house to a swale about 10 feet away, and then the swale drains to swales along the sides of the house to the downhill side.

    Is your house brick? If these holes you speak of are gaps between the bricks every 3 feet or so, you do not want to block them up. That will cause you more problems down the road. You have to keep the water level from rising up to the weep holes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,797

    Default Re: Basement Weep Holes- what to do, fill or not fill: that is the question

    Or you can install a Dry Track system in the basement. It is a channel that fits against the wall and channels the water to a sump or drain.


    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2,091

    Default Re: Basement Weep Holes- what to do, fill or not fill: that is the question

    And my usual answer

    Water belongs on the outside of houses; it should never get past the exterior surface. So that's where the solution to water ingression belongs if the job is to be done right. Lesser problems may get by with french drains etc, but they can be inadequate for the worst times so more may be needed. Sadly it is only today that it has become commonplace to waterproof all the below-grade structure from the outside in building, and retrofitting can be a bugger to do, but you may have to go there.

    In the old days when there was no truly effective way to waterproof, the solution was to allow for the water to pass. Solid walls had weep-holes and no solid walls were built unless needed so that water could leave as easily as it got in. It was a good system so long as you didn't need total dryness- look at how well many old homes built this way have stood the test of time! But if you want waterproof, then you have to re-engineer from the start including grading, drainage, and waterproof exterior coatings. Or you can do like they used to- allow for the water and live with it.

    Phil

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