Exterior Drain Tile Installation – The Basics

Many home owners are familiar with interior drain tiles. They have become the one sure way of waterproofing basements from the interior. The interior drain tile is extremely effective at intercepting and draining excess ground water away from the basement. This prevents it from getting into your basement.

Exterior drain tile on the other hand is effective at dealing with water from any source. This includes overflowing gutters, heavy rains, poorly positioned downspouts as well as overwatering of shrubs and plants.

This type of exterior drain has several other names. The Canadians call it a ‘weeping tile’ and others call it the ‘French drain’. Whatever the name used, the function and installation of the drain is the same.

Exterior drain tile installation

It is important to note that the installation of the drain should be done under the supervision of a professional contractor. A professional contractor will be able to advise you on the width and depth of the trench as well as its location in proximity to your foundation walls.

The trench must be dug around the whole foundation. It is not usually a large or wide trench. However, safety concerns are considered in determining the width of the trench. Although the drain is usually narrow, space must be provided for the excavated soil. This results in taking up quite a large amount of space.

A bed of gravel is then laid at the bottom of the drain. A perforated drain pipe made from PVC is wrapped in a sock that is made from filtration fabric. The pipe is then installed on the gravel next to the footings. More gravel is added to the drain to cover the pipe. The trench is then backfilled.

There is more to drain tile installation than simply digging out the trench and backfilling it. The foundation of your home must be made waterproof too. This involves installing basement waterproofing to protect the foundation against seepage.

Some people choose to skip this step. However, it costs much more to install basement waterproofing later. Applying waterproofing on the outside wall of the foundation and covering it with the drainage board is the best practice. This is the method used by many professional contractors.

Reasons to invest in exterior drain tile installation

  • Preserve your foundation walls by preventing water seepage.
  • Prevent structural damage to your basement walls through water pressure.

Prevent damage to your belongings through buildup of moisture in basements.