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January 4, 2024

Don't Let Your Window Tracks Overflow

A Guide to Cleaning Window Weep Holes

Those tiny slits you see along the exterior bottom of your window frames aren't just for decoration – they're weep holes, unsung heroes that assist in channeling away water and moisture and to help prevent water damage. But like any hardworking hero, weep holes need a little TLC sometimes. If they get clogged with dirt, debris, or even spider webs, your weep holes may not perform as efficiently as possible. So, it’s important to learn how to keep them clean!

Why Weep Holes Matter

Think of weep holes as tiny drainage grates for your windows. They allow condensation and rainwater to escape, preventing it from pooling inside the window frame track and causing moisture related damage or concerns. It’s not uncommon for window tracks to fill with water occasionally and then drain. Clogged weep holes on the other hand, are like blocked gutters – when the moisture doesn’t drain, it can damage your windows, the surrounding walls and trim carpentry (window sills, casing, shutters).

Signs Your Weep Holes Need Help

  • Water stains or moisture related growth (such as mildew) on the window frame or surrounding wall or window sill areas
  • Cracks or peeling paint around the window
  • Visible dirt, debris, or cobwebs clogging the weep holes

The Cleaning Arsenal

You don't need fancy equipment to tackle this job. Here's your friendly neighborhood weep hole cleaning kit:

  • A small, stiff brush (a toothbrush works great!)
  • A can of compressed air
  • A bucket of warm water and a gentle dish soap (if needed)

Cleaning 101: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Locate the weep holes: They're usually small slits or slots along the bottom of the window frame, on the exterior side of your windows, often near the track. From the interior side, most weep holes are found below the window track itself. Please note: Sliding windows that move side to side will have window tracks, single hung windows that lift up and down will not. To access window tracks in sliding windows, first lift the vent window (sliding portion of your window) out of its frame, then the track will be accessible to remove and clean underneath. The tracks can be easily snapped back into place after cleaning has been performed. 
  2. Brush away any loose debris: Use the stiff brush to gently remove any visible dirt, cobwebs, or leaves.
  3. Blast it out with air: Give the weep holes a few short bursts of compressed air to dislodge any deeper clogs.
  4. Flush it out (optional): For extra cleaning power, mix some gentle dish soap with warm water and use a cotton swab or syringe to flush the weep holes.
  5. Test and repeat: Pour some water on the window frame near the weep holes. If the water drains freely, you're good to go! If not, repeat the cleaning process until the water flows through. Please be aware, water will generally weep slowly out these openings, this is normal.

Weep hole location

Bonus Tip: Make weep hole cleaning a part of your regular window maintenance routine. Aim to clean them at least twice a year, more often if you live in a rainy or humid climate. Windows that face weather pattern exposures, open spaces such as fields, wetlands, or open roadways (at the end of a street for instance) can be subject to high volumes of water from exposed rains or heavy rains accompanied with sustained high winds making window track & and weep hole maintenance paramount. 

By keeping your weep holes clean, you're protecting your windows, your walls, and your wallet from costly water damage. So, grab your cleaning kit, channel your inner superhero, and give those weep holes the respect they deserve!

Remember, a little preventative care goes a long way in keeping your home happy and healthy. Happy cleaning!

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