What is Drain Tile?
Thursday, October 25, 2012 • 11:05am
Tile drainage began an agriculture practice to remove excess water from subsurface soil to increase crop yields. Where irrigation is the practice of adding water to the soil, drain tile removes water and lowers water levels. Drain tile is still used as farm drainage as well as yard drainage. It is a way to move sub-surface water from one place to another.
What is the difference between Drain Tile and a French Drain?
French drains and tile drains are essentially the same thing when used in the basement. They can also be referred to as Perimeter Drains, Foundation Drains, Blind Drains, Footing Drains or Weeping Tiles.
Today we will talk about drain tile with respect to your basement. When we say drain tile or French drain what we really mean is a perforated pipe used for underground drainage. The pipe is typically plastic with small slits cut lengthwise into it. It is buried and surrounded by stone larger than the slits. The rocks prevent accumulations of soil from getting into the drain tile.
How does Drain Tile work?
While surface water can be redirected, tile drainage is often the best recourse for subsurface water. This is because it relieves the hydrostatic pressure (water pressure) from the footing area. The water in the surrounding soil around the drain tile flows into the drain tile which then drains into the sump pit
A tile drain around the inside perimeter is most commonly installed after the house has been built in response to a wet basement or right before finishing a basement. The system is designed prevent water from flooding your basement. It is installed inside the basement, below the floor, around the perimeter. This drain tile controls the water, delivers it to the sump pump(s), and discharges it out of the house. The exhausted water can then be pumped a safe distance from the home.
How is Drain Tile Installed?
To install this kind of drain, the perimeter of the basement floor is jackhammered down to the footing and the concrete is removed. The drain tile is to be installed so that the top of the pipe is lower than the bottom of the interior concrete floor. A layer of stone is laid down, and a perforated drain pipe is laid on top of it. Water is collected from the basement wall floor joint as it enters, and a pump is installed to remove water from the house and away from the foundation.
If your house has hollow block masonry walls, weep holes are drilled into the lowest course of block, allowing the drainage to occur. A drain tile system will capture the water entering the block system and drain the water into a pit where a sump pump will discharge it from the building. An interior tile drain is much less likely to clog than an exterior, partially due to the fact that it is not sitting underneath several feet of soil.
Do I Need Drain Tile?
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Doug Lynch is a basement expert from Westfield, NJ where he lives with his wife Kelli and their dogs Sammy and Angie. Doug teaches a class at Westfield Adult School “Keeping Your Basement Dry” and is the Author of Basements 101 Everything You Need to Know About Your Basement. Doug has testified in NJ Superior Court as an Expert Witness in Basement Waterproofing and does seminars for local Real Estate Agents to educate them about basements. Doug is the owner of A-1 Basement Solutions in Scotch Plains and authors the popular BASEMENT SCHOOL Blog.
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