If you own your home, you know that regular cleaning and maintenance can save you money and prevent larger disasters later on down the road. One preventative measure that isn’t widely known and can often be forgotten about is the weeping hole. Every window and glass door in your home has a weeping hole, and they should be cleaned multiple times a year to prevent water damage. Many people don’t know how to clean the weep holes on sliding glass doors or even on their exterior windows. However, don’t let the prospect of it intimidate you. In this article, you’ll learn how to clean the weep holes on sliding glass doors and any exterior windows. You can use professional tools or any items you have around your house that will get the job done. Keep reading for separate step-by-step instructions for your doors and windows, tips on how to make the process as easy as possible, and some important facts you won’t find anywhere else.
How to clean weep holes on sliding glass doors
Regularly cleaning the weep holes on your sliding glass doors is paramount to preventing water damage over time. If left unchecked, you could have a leaky sliding glass door on your hands. A clogged weep hole can lead to hardwood floors warping, tile cracking, and linoleum peeling up. To prevent this water damage, here are step-by-step instructions on how to keep your weep holes clean.
Sweep the track to remove debris
The first thing you will need to do before even thinking about cleaning the weep hole is clean the track above it. If you try to pull up the window track without cleaning it first, all of that dust, leaves and other debris will fall down underneath the track and spill over onto the floor.
If there are fall leaves and other large debris covering your window track, sweep them away with a broom first. Then, once that’s done, follow up by thoroughly vacuuming the track. Most vacuums will come with smaller attachments that can get hard-to-reach areas like these. If not, you can always use a hand-held vacuum and follow up with a wet rag.
Remove window track
Once you’ve removed the window track, you’ll find months or possibly years of dust and debris that has built up. This debris could possibly be covering the weep holes and needs to be removed before moving forward. You can remove it by hand if you choose, but it’s best to use either a broom or a vacuum. If the debris is wet or caked on, you might need to get a wet rag or even use a cleaning product like Windex. How much elbow grease this step will take is dependent on how often you clean your weep holes. If you clean them regularly, it shouldn’t take very long at all.
Clean inside the weep hole
Once you have removed the outer debris and can clearly see the weep hole, it’s time to finally clear them out. For this step, you will need a weep hole cleaning tool. You can purchase an official tool with a bent metal end that fits perfectly into the hole, or you can use any small objects around the house that are sturdy and will fit properly.
Some people use pipe cleaners, although they bend easily and sometimes aren’t sturdy enough to push out any caked-on debris. A bent metal wire will also work, or pressurized air. As you push the debris out of the weep hole, you will be able to see it come out the other side.
Test the weep hole to make sure it’s clear
The final step to this process is making sure the weep hole is completely cleared of dirt and debris. Take a water bottle or any small container and pour water into the door track. If it swiftly drains down the weep hole, you’ll know it’s completely cleared. If not, continue to clean inside the weep hole until the water flows through freely.
How to clean window weep holes
When it comes to your windows, they are a bit different than the weep holes in sliding glass doors. Since your exterior windows are up off the ground, it takes a few different steps to properly clean them. Keep reading to learn our easy step-by-step method.
Open your window
You will not be able to access your weep hole without opening your window. To do this, swing the latch that unlocks the window and slides the window upward. Pull it up as far as you need to in order to freely reach the window track. If you plan on removing the screen in order to clean it, slide the window up all the way.
Clean the window tracking
Depending on often you clean your weep holes, the window tracks might be full of bugs, dirt, and debris. Take a vacuum to remove any dead bugs, and then use a wet rag to remove any further grime and debris. Don’t be afraid to use a cleaning product like Windex if you need to use a little elbow grease.
Remove debris from the weep hole
Take a professional tool, a pipe cleaner, or any bent piece of metal and insert it into the weep hole, moving your tool back and forth to loosen any dirt or debris that has built up in the hole. Repeat this process until you no longer feel any resistance.
Clean outdoor trickle vent
Since the weep hole leads directly outside, it’s also very important to clean the outside end of the weeping hole, which is called the trickle vent. You can do this by simply wiping it off from the outside of your house or spraying it with a garden hose whenever you’re doing yard work.
Pour water into the weeping hole
Once you have cleaned both the inside and outside of the weep hole, it’s time to test the water flow. Take a glass of water and pour it into the window track. If the water flows freely through the weep hole to the outside of the house, that means the weep hole is completely clean. If you notice the water level isn’t lowering like it should continue to clean debris from the weep hole until the water flows quickly.
How to clean the weep holes on sliding glass doors: Tips
Check your trickle vents
If you’re cleaning the weep holes in your windows, don’t forget to clean them on the outside of the house as well. If you forget this crucial step, no amount of cleaning on the inside of the house will help. You can simply wipe it with a cloth or also spray it with a garden hose.
Clean your weep holes twice a year
Knowing how to clean the weep holes on sliding glass doors and windows is essential for maintaining your home. They only need to be done twice a year, usually in spring and fall. If you forget to clean your weep holes, and your area gets a winter freeze, the melting ice is less likely to drain from your window tracks and could cause damage.
Purchase official tools
Although it’s common for people to use pipe cleaners or belt metal wire, it’s recommended to have a professional tool i.e. a metal scraper for lifting the window tracks and a bent screwdriver for cleaning the weep hole.
Use warm water
When you are pouring water into the window track to test the flow of the water, it’s best to use warm (but not hot) water. This way, any leftover sediments are more likely to be loosened and washed away. Using cold water works to test the flow, but it isn’t nearly as effective at loosening debris.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my sliding glass door track fill with water?
When it rains or water otherwise hits your sliding glass door, it can run down into the sliding track and the track with water. Normally, the weep hole drains the water and keeps it from leaking into the house. However, if the weep hold is not regularly cleaned, water damage can occur.
Where should drainage holes be on UPVC door frame?
If you have a UPVC door frame, your weep holes should be on the inside of the frame in both the left and right corners.
Do all sliding glass doors have to weep holes?
All sliding glass doors do, or should, have to weep holes. If your sliding glass doors have no weep holes, be sure to contact a contractor to have them put in immediately. If not, your walls and floors could experience water damage.
Can I clean weep holes with my own hand?
The average homeowner can absolutely clean the weep holes in their sliding glass doors and windows themselves. All you’ll need is a wet rag, a small metal door for cleaning the hole, and some warm water.
If you have reached the end of this article, it means you now know how to clean the weep holes on sliding glass doors and windows no matter what type of home you have. You read step-by-step instructions for your sliding glass doors and an additional step-by-step list on how to clean the weep holes in your windows as well. On top of the directions, you also gained some useful tips that will make the cleaning process easier than ever.
This small yet vital task is often overlooked by the average homeowner. However, if you take care of the weep holes in your windows at least twice a year, you could be saving massive headaches and thousands of dollars in repairs. All it takes is five minutes to assure the security of you, your family, and your lovely home.