South Africa has now legislated, in terms of SANS 0400 XA, that cavity wall construction is mandatory for the the following reasons:
- A reduction in the carbon footprint with the benefits of thermal insulation.
- Environmentally friendly.
- A reduction in the energy requirements in buildings through heating and cooling resulting in less demand for power supply on the national grid.
- Reduce the damp experienced in internal walls due to the lack of cavity wall construction.
Poor construction methods have compounded these factors and an insert of polystyrene sheeting has become an option to enhance the thermal properties of the cavity wall construction. However, recent factors have come to light that need to be addressed in this construction method:
- Rodents are penetrating the Weepholes and have a tendancy of nesting in the cavity which could attract snakes.
- Water penetration through Weepholes occurs in both residential and commercial developments.
- Poor workmanship in keeping the cavity clean during construction leads to a compromise of the system.
Builders, plasters and painters all endorse EcoWeep™ as a user-friendly product as architects praise the use if the weephole system due to its uniformity in the end result of the walling project. This is particularly evident in high rise buildings where driving rain onto the lee face of a wall prevents water penetration into the cavity and hence the cavity system is not compromised.
Weep holes may seem a small part of masonry wall construction, but they are critical to the durability and performance of cavity walls. Cavity walls and veneers are designed to drain the wall of moisture. Without weep holes or with clogged weep holes, walls collect moisture and hold it like a dam.
Weep holes should be installed in the masonry head joints above all stepped DPC courses. This includes the base of the wall, above all window and door lintels. Anywhere the cavity is interrupted, you must install a stepped DPC course and weeps. Be sure to keep the cavity clean of mortar droppings so the weep holes don’t get blocked and the DPC is not compromised.
During construction with insulation as per SANS 10400 XA:
The internal brickwork is to proceed the outer skin to allow for the DPC to be laid one course above the external course of bricks. The stepped DPC is then dropped down on the outer skin of brickwork to form a natural drainage away from the internal brick-work and assist in self-drain.
Construction of the inner skin of brickwork may proceed making sure that no mortar droppings fall onto the DPC and contaminate the integrity of the DPC. During the process brick ties are installed into the inner skin to receive the insulation and tie the outer skin brick once this is laid. (It is recommended that a lift of no more than 1.5m is laid in a single shift)
EcoWeep™ is installed in the mortar bed along brick header on the outer skin to allow natural ventilation and drainage at approximately 700mm centres, or 3 brick stretcher courses. The Eco Weep represents the width of a brick perp and will allow a consistent aesthetic appeal to the brick wall.
The EcoWeep™ has moulded in it the correct orientation of top and front in the product to assist in the installation. The positioning of the EcoWeep™ is dependant on wall finishes.
Face Brick Walling should allow the EcoWeep™ to be recessed a few millimetres from the face of the brick so that it is the same depth of the striked jointing. Cleaning of the Eco Weep™ is essential on completion of the brick laying at the end of each day.
Plaster Brick Walling can be flush with the brick work as the plasterer will need to complete the work and clean the Eco Weep™ which is essential on completion of the plastering at the end of each day. A painter will have to apply the same discipline as the plasterer so the EcoWeep™ is not compromised and the integrity of the cavity wall will perform and be durable.
How to insert an EcoWeep post construction:
Identify the positions of the existing weep vents in the existing walling structure. If the are no weep vents, then mark of where these are to be installed.
Use a masonry drill bit to open the perp in the mortar of the brick to receive the EcoWeep™. This should be just larger than the EcoWeep™ which is 73mm high, so a height of 75mm should suffice. All loose mortar and dust are to be removed. Extreme care should be given that the DPC is not compromised in this process!
Make sure that the EcoWeep™ will fit in neatly and that it is slightly dropping to the outer side of the wall so that drainage will be not compromised. Apply a small bead of silicone on the outer face of the EcoWeep™ which will assist in positioning and setting.
EcoWeep™ is a patented weep hole, specially designed to enhance the durability and performance of cavity walls. The unique features encompass the louvered system on the inner side to prevent rain, and the penetration of vermin into the cavity wall. The external opening is designed to suit building and cleaning conditions during construction which allows a builder/painter the ability to clean the EcoWeep™ without compromising the DPC (Damp Proof Course), both during and post brick laying or plastering of the wall.
Sizing: 110mm x 73mm x 10mm (Same sizing as the head of an imperial brick)
Material: Polypropylene Homopolymer HNR100
Packaging: 200 units to a box for retail sales and 1200 are in a carton for distribution.
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