How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What are the small slots at the bottom of the outside of my window?
Friday, June 15, 2018
There are usually two of them at the bottom of the window sash (frame) and they are weep hole covers. There is a top-hinged flap recessed in the slot that only opens outward. The flap is designed to open to allow any water that might get into the voids in the window sash to drain out onto the sill, which is sloped away from the window.
Gravity keeps the flap closed until the pressure of any water accumulation behind it pushes it outward. Here is one below, held open by a small screwdriver.
The flap eliminates air infiltration through the frame, keeps insects out, and ensures that debris does not accumulate in the drain slot and clog it. If the flap is missing, as in the photo below, it should be replaced. The red arrow points to the hole when a pin for the missing flap fits into the cover piece. The cover can be pried out with a small blade or screwdriver, and a new one snapped in place fairly easily.
Here’s a photo of a window weep hole after a heavy, driving rain blew water through the screen and against the window. You can see the trail of water draining down the wall below it from the weep hole.
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To learn more about doors and windows, see these other blog posts:
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