What are drain tiles?
Drain tiles, also known as French drains, are a great way to keep water from pooling around the edges of your foundation. Drain tiles are used widely on both the interior and exterior of foundation walls, and help to keep water below ground level. In crawl spaces and basements most drain tiles will tie into a sump pump system, which then pumps collected water out.
Despite their name, drain tiles are not strictly related to their kitchen and bathroom cousins. Drain tiles are perforated pipe buried in a filter media designed to give ground water a path of least resistance. The system is comprised of a perforated pipe, gravel or another filter media, a geotextile filter sock, and a water outlet. Drain tile installation is a vital step to removing ground water from around home foundations. If you have dry rot, water damage, or standing water in your basement or crawl space, it might be time to consider a water management system.
Drain Tile Installation
As all drain tiles need to be installed below ground level, the first step to any drain tile project would be creating a trench or ditch for the tile to sit. This trench needs to be graded at an appropriate level as to allow water to flow from one end to the other. In finished basements without a functioning drain tile system, installation usually requires breaking through the edges of the existing concrete pad. Not to worry though, this process might seem invasive, but it’s important for creating a water tight basement!
After the trench is created, a perforated drain pipe with a geotextile filter is placed into the trench. This geotextile is designed to filter out silt and other particulates that accumulate within the water. Many companies will install the drain pipe without a filter sock and the filter pipe will cease to function after years of buildup.
Once the piping matrix is complete, the trench is back filled with a filter media such as gravel. Water passes more easily through gravel than the surrounding packed soil, preventing water from pooling on the floor. Similar to the filter sock, the filter media will also collect silt and keep the filter sock working properly.
In most use cases, the water outlet is an existing drain or sump pump reservoir that provides a path outside the foundation.
With the addition of a sump pump, a drain tile system can stop the flow of water into your underground swimming pool—I mean crawlspace. The Pacific Northwest offers seemingly unlimited amounts of rain, so it may be time to think about a solution. Even if you have an unfinished crawlspace, standing water can impose a vapor and pest risk to the rest of your house.
SFW Construction LLC is a full service water intrusion and dry rot contractor. We’ll solve your water management challenges and address any damage needed to keep your home happy and healthy. Give us a call today to get started.