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What Is Drain Tile In Basement

When Drain Tile Fails

Why Interior Drain Tile for Basement Waterproofing?

Drain tile in the interior of a basement can fail in several ways. Most commonly, drain tile can have infiltration from soil or tree roots that are placed too close to the home, it can crack and break as the home shifts and settles over time, it can fill with mud, sand or shale and bleeders and weep holes can become clogged. These can result in a leak against the cove of the wall. There are also some additional considerations:

* Level of water table in your area

A high water table increases the chance of water seeping in cracks under the slab.

* The age of the home and type of footing

Older homes may have a footing that is too narrow. They also may have original clay tile that is broken or missing.

* Grade or slop of the slab

A subtle exterior grade towards the sump pump is common in older homes. Modern drain tile takes this slope along the interior of the footing towards the sump pump, rather than allowing the water to collect on the exterior of the home.

* Type of soil

Heavy clay soils tend to hold water against the foundation. This increase in water retention is often referred to as hydrostatic pressure and can not only cause water infiltration, but structural problems as well.

What Is Drainage Tile

We know that basement repair is not the most fun investment to make, but when the time comes, it needs to be done. Having uses with water is your basement is a huge pain. Most of the time, the solutions for the problem are not that big. There are other times, however, where the issue requires a little more attention. One of those solutions in drain tile.

A drain tile system, is installed around the footing of the structure. Depending on the type of drain tile system you use can affect the placement of the piping. There are two types of drainage tile systems known as interior drain tile and exterior drain tile. Depending on your basement contractor, they will decide on what method they see fit for the job.

How Do You Protect The Gravel

You must protect the gravel with a barrier. It prevents silt and mud from the soil from clogging the gravel or the drain tile pipe.

During excavation, dirt removed from the hole is fluffed. This means that it is disturbed and broken up.

It’s volume usually increases about ten percent. It’s loosened and disturbed more during backfilling procedures.

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Signs You Need Drain Tile

If you can answer Yes to any of these four questions, you should consider a drain tile system repair or installation:

  • Does your basement have water issues even though your gutters are working?
  • Do you have wet basement walls?
  • Is water seeping up from your basement floor?
  • Do you have plans for a finished basement, or want to store valuable items in your basement?

Drain Tile Installation Cost

Drain Tile Systems in Metro Detroit &  SE Michigan

In order to get an exact cost on a drain tile system, whether it is interior or exterior depends on a number of factors. Some of the factors or considerations are, what kind of system will the homeowner use, it can be interior or exterior drain tile installation, flexible or rigid piping, and whether this will be for a house under construction or an existing home. Another factor to consider is whether you want to fix basement water intrusion with a foundation waterproofing membrane, which can prevent further moisture into your home.

Is this a DIY project? Potentially, the decreased costs of doing it yourself can be very tempting. Unfortunately we do not recommend that you take on this project yourself. Installing a drain tile system requires major construction in your home. This is certainly a job for professionals, you would not want to have repercussions in the future that will cost even more down the road.

In order to have an accurate estimate on the cost of drainage system installation is to have a professional come to your home. An experienced contractor can inspect your home and give you an estimate taking all of these factors into consideration.

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One: Planning & Considerations

When planning how to best use the space, your mind may wander with possibilities. This can be a space where you work or play. On the other hand, it can be somewhere your kids spend their time or guests spend the night. Once you determine the best use for your lifestyle, there are numerous ways to use the square footage in your basement. Since different uses influence the design, the areaâs functionality needs to be defined before you begin.

Some of our favorite finished basement design ideas are:

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Foundation Drain Tile Installation


The builder is doing just about everything right installing this drain tile. The drain tile is the white pipe next to the footer. He should have 2 or 3 inches of gravel under the pipe. If the pipe has two rows of holes, they should point down in the 4 and 8-o’clock position. Finally, he should cover the drain tile with about 2 or 3 feet of gravel, not 3 inches like you see. He did put the pipe alongside the footer instead of on top and he’s covered the gravel with tar paper, so it doesn’t get clogged with silt from the backfill soil. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

“The basement, before the house is built on top of it, looks just like the typical in-ground swimming pool. Once the house is built, this swimming pool gets covered.”

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Where Does The Drain Tile Pipe End

The water outlet is simply the place where the collected water flows to. It can be one of two places:

  • Daylight – downslope from your home
  • Sump Pit – inside a basement or crawlspace

If you build on a hillside, your drain tile will simply ‘daylight’ or come to the surface. This happens naturally because the drain tile pipe is installed nearly level and as the ground falls away from the house at some point the pipe will be visible.

This is the best situation because your system depends entirely on gravity to work.

Drain Tile Installation: Interior Vs Exterior

DIY Interior Draintile Installation for Wet Basements

There are two types of drain tile systems: interior and exterior. Interior drain tile systems are installed beneath the basement floor/slab, while exterior drain tile systems are installed around the homes outside perimeter.

Fortunately, regulations in the US now mandate a drain tile install in homes with basements and crawl spaces unless the structure sits atop soil that drains easily. Therefore, if your home is relatively new, it probably already has at least an exterior drain tile system installed.

Interior drain tile

Interior drain tile systems are installed beneath the basement floor/slab. They are often installed in older homes that dont have an external drain tile system. However, interior drain tile systems are installed in new homes as well.

The procedure involves first moving everything out of the basement, including any floor coverings. The foundation repair contractor then uses a jackhammer to break up the floor. After that, a trench is dug around the basements inside perimeter, along with a sump pit. The drain tile pipe either rigid or flexible is placed in the trench along with gravel, and then the floor is replaced. The new drain tile system will now channel water into the sump pit. A sump pump will take that water and pump it out and away from the home.

Exterior drain tile

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What Is The Purpose Of Drain Tile

The name drain tile is often confusing to many homeowners. In actuality, the term tile is a reference back to homes built before the 1950s that used an orange clay material that resembled tile. They allowed water to channel into the soil outside the foundation. These old systems failed over time and modern replacements in drain tile use material like heavy-duty plastic. The purpose of an interior drain tile system is to move water away from the foundation and the home by guiding the water into the sump crock and ejecting it with a sump pump.

Is Interior Drain Tile Better Than Exterior Drain Tile

Exterior drain tile can be effective for preventing water from entering the cement blocks but it needs to be installed before backfill, as in the case of new home construction. Installing around the perimeter of the basement, which requires digging down to the foundation after backfill, simply isnt feasible. Other concerns are that exterior drain tile:

  • Does not prevent water from seeping into a basement if a poured foundation wall cracks
  • Is typically made of corrugated pipe and tends to clog
  • Does not relieve hydrostatic pressure which is the water entering the basement from below the basement floor due to water

Interior drain tile, on the hand, can be installed more easily in existing homes. It tends not to get clogged if its hard PVC installed next to the footer with washed rock by a professional basement waterproofing company. Finally, interior drain tile systems provide some relief for hydrostatic pressure. Some homes may require a trunkline across the basement and not just around the perimeter to further eliminate hydrostatic pressure.

An interior drain tile system controls the flow of water into the drain tile and sump pump, and is the preferred method in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

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What Are Basement Drain Systems

Basement drain systems keep your basement dry by channeling water away from your foundation. They ensure that the soil around and under your homes foundation doesnt get oversaturated with water that cant drain off. Water that cant drain off will find a way into your basement.

Because basements are below ground, theyre susceptible to water intrusion. Fortunately, most newer homes today with basement foundations have basement drain systems. If your home doesnt have a basement drainage system, chances are its an older home. That doesnt mean youre out of luck, though. Foundation repair contractors install basement drain systems in existing homes all the time, as you will see.

In this article, were going to talk about the different types of basement drain systems, including the interior and exterior varieties, sump pumps, floor drains, and finish up with other things you can do to keep water out of your basement.

But first things first. To understand how interior and exterior drain tile systems work, youll need to understand hydrostatic pressure.

Options For Your Basement Drainage System

Basement Waterproofing, Drian Tile

Home»Blog»Uncategorized»5 Options for Your Basement Drainage System

Is your basement always damp? If so, it is time to consider waterproofing solutions.

A wet basement may prevent you from enjoying the additional space in your house. It can also turn into a giant petri dish where unhealthy molds and fungi thrive.

Since a basement is subject to leaking at some point, you must prepare adequately to deal with excess water.

Having a reliable drainage system for your basement involves knowing what to choose. Read on to learn the 5 basement drainage system options to choose from.

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How To Stop Water Intrusion In Your Basement

The goal of drainage systems is to remove water that seeps into your basement or remove it from the soil outside before it gets in.

The best thing you can do to protect your basement is to stop the water intrusion at the source. We will offer some tips below that can permanently solve your wet basement problems.

How Is Drain Tile Installed

Drain tile systems are made up of crush-resistant pipes that are laid either around the exterior of your homes foundation in a trench along the footer or inside underneath the concrete slab floor of the basement. Most of the piping has small holes that allow water in but help keep soil out to prevent clogging. Gravel placed both under and on top of the pipe acts as an additional filter. Once the pile is laid and the gravel is placed, it is then covered by soil to complete the system. Now water can flow in the correct direction: away from your basement.

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On Top The Cement Floor By The Wall:

This is called a beaver system, and the piping is more like gutters off the side of the house that are glued to the top of the cement floor above the footing. This is one of the worst ways to install piping as it does not relieve hydrostatic pressure and is unsightly. Furthermore, holes are drilled into the cement block that do not always drain properly.

Laying Exterior Drain Tile

How To Clear a Blocked Drain Tile

Drain Tile can be retro-fitted for an older home, both internally and externally, but installation during the build phase is best. It is ideal to lay drain tile in conjunction with the foundation footing of a new home. This gives maximum flexibility with system design and keeps cost to a minimum.

When a buildings foundation is near completion a deep trench is dug alongside the footings on the exterior of the house. Installers place the pipe in the trench and then cover it with washed gravel. It is important the gravel is at least 1/2 3/4 inch in size to avoid blockages and render the drain tile ineffective.

The gravel is then covered with a layer of porous fabric such as landscape matting. The fabric allows water through but prevents soil from clogging up the drainage channel or the pipe. After the fabric is in place it is covered in soil and brought to ground level.

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What Is Drain Tile

Chances are, if your home has a basement and has experienced flooding, someone has told you to get drain tile. But what is drain tile and how does it help?

Essentially drain tile is a way to protect your home from groundwater flooding. It redirects water away from your home before it can enter and cause damage. It is one of those things you never need until you do!

Increased runoff from urban expansion and more frequent severe weather systems make our homes more likely to flood. Investing in a drain tile system could save you from lengthy insurance claims and expensive cleanups in the future.

Rigid Pvc Drain Tile:

At Standard Water Control, we install a rigid 3 PVC drain tile at a downward slope to the sump basin. Our pipe has holes too large for sediment to clog or calcify, which combined with the smoothness of the pipe, ensures a seamless water flow. Additionally, our drain tile sits on, and is covered with, washed rock that is far too large to fit into the drain tiles holes, and acts as a filter for smaller elements that could infiltrate the tile. And because the PVC is rigid, it wont break under the rock.

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Types Of Drain Tile Pipe

There are two different types of pipes used for drain tile.

The first is a rigid PVC pipe. At first glance, it resembles an ordinary drain pipe but one side of the pipe has small holes to allow water to enter. When laying the pipe the holes are placed face down so rising water enters the pipe. As with all rigid PVC pipes, you require corner fittings to change the pipes direction. The rigid pipe comes in lengths of 10-feet and costs approximately $8.95 per length.

The alternative to the rigid pipe is a corrugated flexible pipe. This pipe has small slits on all sides of the pipe. This allows water to enter from any direction, but sand, grit, and soil particles are mostly blocked. One recommendation to further protect the pipe from a possible blockage a fabric sleeve can be used along with the pipe. We dont recommend it. Filters are designed to be changed. They eventually get clogged. You will not be able to change the filter unless you dig up the drainage system.

The pipe costs approximately $0.89/foot. It is cheaper than the rigid pipe and doesnt need corner fittings because it is flexible. The pipes polyvinyl composition makes it super durable in high temperatures and cold. It will not crack like the PVC pipe when a 2800+ pound car drives over it.

Regardless of the type of pipe used it will usually be 4 inches in diameter. This is the industry standard for residential drainage, but other diameters are available up to a maximum of 18 inches.

Can I Diy Drain Tile

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Yes. The technical skills are well within reach for most DIYers, though its a dirty job. If you go the DIY route, consult online guides and any appropriate codes and regulations. Chapter 33 of the International Residential Code covers storm drain systems.

Plan your project carefully. Exterior systems often run into problems with landscaping bushes and patios may need to be removed or altered.

Interior drain tile systems are typically more straightforward. The hardest part is often hauling the concrete and mud out of your home without making a mess. Homes on crawlspaces can pose accessibility issues. Imagine digging a drain trench while laying on your side!

Whether you DIY drain tile or hire a pro, installing a new system provides a dry basement and a sense of security.

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Foundation Drain Tile Installation Tips

Foundation drain tile systems are one of the most important aspects of residential construction if your home has a full basement or crawlspace.

Drain tile systems are also one of the most misunderstood parts of the average home – both by most uninformed builders and homeowners.

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