If you live in a flood prone area, you will agree that tackling basement water seepage is a nagging problem. In fact, the National Association of Realtors® posits this is not only a problem in low lying areas as 90% of all basements in the U.S experience moisture problems.
Introduction to Drainage Tiles
Well, Concrete Foundations Association (CFA), in its consumer resources, rates drainage tile among the most effective waterproofing systems. This system is commonly called the French drain, weeping tile or footing tile, but it entails the same drainage technique.
Foundation contractors help plan the layout, install and maintain this waterproofing technique, thus wiping away your basement leakage problems. Here are some aspects of drainage tile system you need to appreciate before even calling a foundation contractor:
Working of the French Drain
On undeveloped land, ground water moves freely through gravitational pull to feed water sources and other underground reservoirs. On developed land, however, there is obstructed water flow and a French drain helps to drain subsurface water away from your home. The drain consists of:
- Drain pipe: This is a PVC perforated pipe usually 4” in diameter to drain away subsurface water.
- Filter media or gravel to cover the drain pipe in the trench.
- Gravel cover, which is mostly soil cover to allow vegetation growth.
- Water outlet connected to either a sump pit pump or any other discharge point away from foundation walls.
The idea here is to give subsurface and even ground water a way out to avoid flooding, which will lead to basement flooding.
Types of Drainage Tile
Materials used to manufacture a drain may vary, but the main difference lies in location. These drains include:
- Interior drain tiles: These are placed above the slab, underneath the slab or within the edge of a slab. A portion of the basement slab is removed and a trench dug for the drain to be laid. It is then covered in gravel.
- Exterior drain tiles: Most common, both in new and existing homes. This drainage tile is installed during construction at the foundation footing. It is very effective in redirecting subsurface water away from the foundation to avoid basement flooding and foundation wall damage.
Drain Tile Installation
For starters, you need to appreciate that no aspect of foundation waterproofing is a DIY project. This applies to installation of a drainage tile, which can only be done by a qualified, certified and experienced foundation waterproofing contractor.
The processes involved include determining location of the drain tile, excavation, setting of the tile, testing its gradient and filling with gravel. In case of an interior drain tile, finishing of the slab is also done after gravel filling.