Weep holes, also known as drainage holes, are small openings that are installed in a retaining wall to allow water to escape and prevent damage to the wall. Installing Weep Holes In Retaining Wall is easy once you know the basic steps.
They are often placed at the base of the wall, near the bottom row of blocks or bricks, and are covered with a mesh or fabric to prevent soil from entering the holes.
Tools for installing weep holes in a retaining wall
- Measuring tape
- Weep hole covers
- Marking crayon
- Coring tool
- Drainage pipe
- Mounting plate
- Power drill
- Expanding anchor
The process for installing weep holes in a retaining wall is as follows:
- Locate the lowest point in the wall. This is where the weep holes should be installed.
- Measure 24 inches from one end of the wall and mark the spot with a crayon.
- Measure 6 inches from the ground and mark the spot with a crayon.
- The point where these two marks coincide is the location for the first weep hole.
- Repeat this process every 60 inches along the wall, 6 inches from the ground.
- Take a coring tool mounting plate and position it at the wall face.
- Align the plate’s center with the marked location for the weep hole.
- Use a power drill with a half-inch carbide drill bit to make holes 2 inches deep at all marked locations.
- Insert a half by two-inch expanding anchor into each hole and tap with a hammer to secure.
- Use an adjustable wrench to expand the anchors in the wall.
- Install a 3.5-inch coring bit into the coring tool and attach the mounting plate to the tool.
- Tighten the nuts to secure the tool in place.
- Use the coring tool to make a hole through the face of the retaining wall.
- If the wall is made of concrete, wet the coring bit with fresh water.
- Repeat the process to install weep holes at all marked locations.
Watch this video : Installing Weep Holes In Retaining Walls
Advantages of Weep Holes
Effective Water Drainage: Weep holes allow water to flow out of the retaining wall, preventing water penetration and capillary action.
Protection from Water Penetration: Weep holes create a gap that prevents water from penetrating behind the wall.
Protection of Air Behind the Wall: Weep holes allow air to circulate behind the wall, preventing the build-up of moisture and mold.
Release of Moisture: Weep holes permit moisture to escape, preventing damage to the wall’s structure.
Longer Wall Life: Weep holes increase the longevity of the retaining wall by preventing damage caused by water and moisture.
Reduction of Hydrostatic Pressure: Weep holes prevent the wall from experiencing hydrostatic pressure, which can cause damage to the structure.
Reduced Buoyancy: Weep holes reduce the risk of uplifting of the structure caused by water pressure, ensuring stability.
Prevention of Stability Issues: Weep holes prevent stability issues caused by water and moisture, ensuring the safety of the structure.
How to add drainage to existing retaining wall ?
- Locate the areas of the existing retaining wall that need drainage. These are typically the areas where water tends to pool or where there is evidence of water penetration.
- Measure and mark the locations where weep holes will be installed. These holes should be spaced every 24 inches along the wall and be 6 inches above the ground.
- Use a power drill and a half-inch carbide drill bit to create 2-inch deep holes at the marked locations.
- Insert expanding anchors, such as half by two-inch anchors, into the holes and secure them in place using a hammer and adjustable wrench.
- Install a three-and-a-half-inch coring bit into the coring tool and attach the tool to the mounting plate.
- Use the coring tool to create weep holes through the face of the existing retaining wall. If the wall is made of concrete, wet the coring bit with fresh water to make the process easier.
- Repeat the process for all the marked locations to ensure proper drainage along the entire retaining wall.
- Once the weep holes are installed, you may want to add drainage pipe behind the wall to guide the water away from the structure.
- Finally, cover the weep holes with a mesh screen or other protective material to prevent debris and animals from entering.
It is important to note that weep holes should only be installed in a retaining wall that is designed to allow water to escape. If your retaining wall is not designed for this purpose, installing weep holes could cause more damage than good. It is always best to consult with a professional before making any changes to your retaining wall.