Seattle Home Inspector's Blog


Time will tell


Given that the exterior cladding (or siding as it is commonly referred to) has the primary purpose of keeping water out of the house wall system, why would anyone construct this gladding so as to promote water collection?

Water collection system

If you look carefully at all the little shelves created in this brickwork, the holes in the brick are going to collect water---no doubt about it. 

Uncapped holes in bricks

Of course most brick veneer is designed in such a way as to deal  with small amounts of water that finds its way into the supposed air space behind the brick, but why would you deliberately temp fate?

As long as there are the proper weep holes at the bottom, the proper air space and proper house wrap this poor installation may be relatively forgiving. 

Time will tell.

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Comment balloon 14 commentsCharles Buell • December 29 2012 08:25AM


Some very good information. Have a very prosperous year in 2013.

Posted by Edward & Celia Maddox, EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD (The Celtic Connection Realty) about 6 years ago

Charles, thank you for the inspector education blog.

Posted by Pat & Steve Pribisko (Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West) about 6 years ago

Hi Charles,

I have no words except "what a crappy brick job", looks like they had Uncle Bob there to do the brick after a few beers. :-)

Have a great weekend and a nice New Years day Celebration.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 6 years ago

And duct tape fitted in there wouldn't even be noticeable from the ground!  That bricklayer certainly wasn't thinking.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Charles - something tells me that if this part was so poorly constructed all the rest is probably in the same condition.   Like you said only time will tell.

Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor. (Century 21 M&M - 209-404-0816) about 6 years ago

Charles -- aren't the weep holes supposed to be on the bottom, not the top?  If this is new construction, I would be having the bricklayer back out to fix that before considering closing on this home.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 6 years ago

Edward and Celia,  thanks---and may you have a great new year as well

Pat & Steve, you are welcome---keep coming back!

Clint it does seem a tad bit sloppy :)

Jay, definitely is missing the duct tape

Jim, if you look back through my blog posts---this is the same house that had all the water infiltration issues behind thus brick veneer

Steven---20 years old---so the problems are just starting to rear their ugly little heads

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 6 years ago


I find that many of the problems with brick may show up visually prior to seeing more serious problems that might develop. 


Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 6 years ago

Steve, if only we could get into that space behind them :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 6 years ago

I was thinking the same thing as Steve - aren't weep holes supposed to be at the bottom.  Were these holes all above eye level, where the mason didn't think anyone would see?  Geez!

Happy New Year!

Posted by Melissa Brown, Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale (Helen Adams Realty) about 6 years ago

Sloppy job with the brick. Why use brick with holes when leaving it partially exposed. Odd.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 6 years ago

What were they thinking?  Sure, that's a 'reservior cladding', but lets plug the holes!

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 6 years ago

Thats fine as long as there is just as many holes above where it indents, NOT.

That's a lawsuit waiting to happen. Here that would result in ice destruction of the brick, no time needed to tell, it will. That just has to be rebuilt. Plugging and trying to seal all those holes won't work. Who could guarantee such a repair? Flashing won't work either.

You could clad over it, if you didn't mind the clash with the herring bone pattern beside it.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 6 years ago

Melissa, they didn't show on the bottom---I am pretty sure they used solid bricks there

Jim, too odd indeedy

Reuben, they certainly need sealing somehow

Robert, how about an 8' overhanging roof? :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 6 years ago