Believe it or not; the brick walls that make up our homes are actually built as two separate walls. There is a regular, run-of-the-mill interior wall, with drywall, vapour barrier, insulation and all the rest, and a separate wall of brick and mortar that wraps around it like icing on a cake.
Since we live in a humid environment with pretty wild swings in temperature we need a way to make sure that moisture doesn’t build up in behind walls that can freeze and damage the mortar between bricks. This is accomplished with weep vents, small gaps between the lowest layers of bricks that allow accumulated moisture to drip out from the mid-wall weep cavity.
The problem for homeowners comes from weep vents that are large enough for mice to slip through. Once inside the weep cavity, a mouse has free access to the entire exterior wall of the home behind the bricks. This wall cavity runs up behind the exterior wall, behind the soffit and directly into the attic. Often, mice don’t even have to work that hard to get in, and can squeeze through any slight flaw in the construction that we may not be able to see!
I was lucky enough to visit a customer a few weeks ago and get this great photo from their garage. They had a great brick facade right across the front of their home, but when they added a garage, they cut through the wall to extend the garage out. This is the kind of photo that saves me typing a thousand words. You can see the size of the gap behind bricks and how freely a mouse might be able to move around behind there. The screwdriver shows the scale, this is a Slot #10, a pretty sizeable head.
The important role of weep vents means that they must be treated carefully, so that proper drainage is maintained. This means that we want to block them off for mice, but make sure that drainage and ventilation must be maintained.
At Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control , we custom fit a piece of screen into each weep vent, mouse proofing them while still allowing proper ventilation. A common DIY mistake is to block these vents with caulking, steel wool or even mortar! Block weep vents can promote mold inside your walls and accelerate deterioration, costing you thousands in unnecessary repairs.
You can’t get rid of mice without preventing their entry. When it comes to mouse proofing trust the pros at Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, we have over 26 years of experience solving wildlife problems.
If you are concerned about mice getting through your weep vents, give us a call at 1-877-222-9453.
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