What In The World Is A Weep Hole? Terms Homeowners Need to Know

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Every week, the detail-oriented folks at Green Scene Home Inspections will give CandysDirt.com readers an education in inspection. Want to see what they see? Tune in for “Upon Closer Inspection.”

Whether you’re a first time home buyer or a veteran of the home buying process, there are probably systems in your home that you’re unfamiliar with. Next time you buy a home, there are probably going to be items on your home inspection report that don’t immediately make sense, and some of that has to do with unfamiliar terms.

This week we’re looking at some common “home inspection vocabulary” that aren’t terms that come up in ordinary conversations.

Flashing

Material installed on roof structures that is specifically designed and placed to prevent water from penetrating the structure. You’ll commonly see flashing details around chimneys, vent pipes, walls that abut the roof, and any roof openings. Flashing is usually made out of metal, rubber, or plastic.

Weep Hole

A small hole or opening in brick or mortar which allows water to “weep” from behind a wall’s veneer. When it rains, water is absorbed by the brick and mortar on the outside of your home. Weep holes placed near the bottom of the structure allow water to drain and also keep air flowing to help dry the structure.

Lintel

The cross piece between the horizontal supports of a door, window, fireplace, or portal. A lintel can be load-bearing or merely decorative. The lintel in the picture is a steel rod across the top of the window. According to current building standards, there should be a weep hole installed with the lintel, but this one doesn’t have one.

Soffit

A soffit refers to the exposed undersurface of the roof and also the type of structure found in many places in the home that covers structural elements like, arches, vent hoods, kitchen cabinets, stairs, and more.

Fascia

The flat board or other material that covers the rafters in the roof structure. The fascia often supports the gutter.

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