What Is Drain Tile?

A drain tile system is a type of drainage system that prevents groundwater from flooding your basement or crawl space. This system ensures that your basement and/or crawl space do not flood during periods of heavy rain or snow, saving you money on costly damage to these areas of your home.

A drain tile is usually a type of porous plastic PVC pipe or flexible plastic pipe that is laid underground around the foundation of a house. Water collected in pipes is either gravity-directed to a collection pit away from the house. where it is removed from the house by an electric sump pump.

These pipes collect water from both the roof of the house and excess groundwater that collects during periods of rain or snow. Perimeter drain tile is the pipe that is installed around the outside of the house.

How a Drain Tile System Works?

A drain tile system is made of crush-resistant plastic (usually PVC) pipes that are perforated with holes to allow groundwater to enter. It is best to install drain tile after the foundation footer of a new home is laid. The pipe is usually laid in a trench that runs along the footer.

Then the drain tile is covered with a layer of washed gravel. When water enters the pipe, it filters the water.

The tile is then covered with a porous fabric that lets water in but keeps the soil out. Finally, the soil is placed on top of the covered pipe to complete the project.

Do I Need Drain Tile?

If you’re building a new home, you should think about installing a drainage system as an extra layer of security to give you peace of mind. Drain tile systems are most easily installed during the initial stages of new home construction. But what if your current home starts to show signs of a water problem?

The good news is that the water problem can be solved by retrofitting the drain tile. The bad news is that this can be expensive and time-consuming, as it will require excavation inside your basement and/or outside in your landscaping.

Drain tile is commonly retrofitted around the inside of your foundation where a channel is cut into your slab in this situation. Drain tile piping is installed beneath, leading to a sump pit. When groundwater collects beneath the slab, the drain tile directs it to the sump pit, where the sump pump can pump the water away from the house. While this is not an easy task, it can be done to solve groundwater seepage in your basement.

Troubleshooting Drainage Problems

However, the pipe can become clogged with dirt, roots, or other debris and unable to carry water away from your home. Alternatively, if your system relies on a sump pump to draw water from the storage pit. Sometimes an electric pump can fail or stop working. Below are some signs of a drainage problem:

  1. You have water in your basement.
  2. Water stains on the walls of your basement. If nothing is done, this could lead to severe flooding.
  3. Puddles near the foundation of your home. Puddles could also indicate that your yard is not properly sloped away from your house, or that your downspouts are not diverting the water far enough away from the roof.

If groundwater is properly managed, drain tile becomes just one component of a larger water management system. Grading the yard carefully is important for directing water away from the foundation, as are roof gutters and downspouts.

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