Weep screed or weep skreed drains are metal devices installed at the foundation line of exterior plaster or stucco walls. The screeds are intended as an exit for moisture/water that can seep into a structure near the roof, vent pipes, chimney structure, windows/doors and other locations. Weep screeds allow for the continual downward passage of moisture/water to exit at the base of the wall and drain away.
Sometimes plaster/stucco is applied all the way down to the grade to create an aesthetically pleasing look. However because it’s porous, this also provides a path for water intrusion. Stucco that terminates at grade prevents water from draining out from behind the stucco coating and can trap water at the base of the foundation. In addition, water in the soil can wick back up into the stucco.
Minor cracking is not likely to contribute to water intrusion. However, large cracks may allow water to reach
the back plane of plaster. A properly installed weep skreed will direct this moisture to the bottom of the wall and allow it to exit properly.
The installation of any type of stone, tile and brick pavers against the base of a wall at an elevation higher than the weep screed can prevent the screed from draining properly. It is important to make sure the skreed holes are not obstructed by plaster, stucco or caulk in order to drain. Care should also be taken to ensure that weep screeds are not covered by landscaping or concrete walkways.
The proper installation and care ensures that your stucco/plaster walls do not develop problems and will perform properly.