If you are looking for the best tool to prevent foundation leaks in your home, then check out exterior drain tiles. The sole purpose of an exterior drain tile is to intercept moisture and drain it away from your home before it gains access to your basement and causes structural damage. It protects your basement from all sorts of ground water sources, including overflowing gutters, heavy rain and snow, and missing downspouts. It also protects your basement from water when your plants and shrubs have been over-watered. Keep reading to learn more about how exterior drain tiles work and how you can benefit from installing one around your house:
What Is An Exterior Drain Tile?
Just like the name suggests, an exterior drain tile is located on the outside perimeter of a building. It is also sometimes called a French drain, weeping tile, or footing tile. In a nutshell, it's a PVC pipe wrapped in a filtration fabric and buried in the ground in a continuous loop right outside the foundation of your home. The water in the pipe empties into a sump basin and is then pumped away from the house by a sump pump.
How Is Exterior Drain Tile Installed?
An exterior drain tile is typically installed during the construction of a new house. But, an exterior drain tile can also be installed after a home is built. If you are installing a French drain around an already-built home, then you start by digging a trench around the entire house's foundation. The trench must be as deep as the footings, but as narrow as possible.
Once the trench has been dug, apply a waterproofing membrane to the outside wall of the house and foundation and cover it with drainage board. Then, put a layer of washed gravel on the bottom of the trench. Next, place a continuous loop of perforated PVC drain pipe along the trench, on top of the gravel. The pipe should be covered with a nylon filter "sock" before placing it into the trench. This will prevent debris from entering the pipe and clogging it.
The final steps are to dig the draining sump basin. Then install the sump pump according to the manufacturer's instructions. Put more washed gravel on top of the PVC pipe to promote drainage. Then back fill the trench. You will probably want to spread grass seed or plant some shrubs, bushes, and/or flowers to beautify the area where you just installed the exterior drain.
Benefits Of Exterior Drain Tile
There are many benefits to installing exterior drain tile, but here is a look at the 3 biggest ones:
1. Preserves the foundation wall of your home – Having an exterior drain tile in combination with the waterproof membrane around the foundation of your home will prevent water from seeping through the porous foundation wall. If water does seep through, it will cause the foundation to deteriorate and eventually crumble.
2. Protects a masonry foundation – If your home's foundation is made of stone, brick, or concrete, then you need an exterior drain to prevent water from entering through the masonry wall joints. Since mortar is much more permeable than stone, bricks, or blocks, masonry joints are prime locations for leaks. If a significant amount of water enters through the masonry joints, the mortar will crack and then crumble. The moisture that will enter your home can cause mold and mildew growth that will affect the health of everyone living in the house.
3. You won't have to tear apart your finished basement – If you are considering an interior drain, then you'd have to tear apart your basement. If you've spent a lot of time and money to make this a comfortable living space, then the last thing you want to do is start poking holes in the walls and pulling up the flooring to dig through the concrete to install a drainage system. Instead, install an external drain tile, which involves very little to no work or effort to ready the area prior to installation. The only thing that involves access to the interior of your home when installing a French drain is connecting the sump pump.
If you have any questions about exterior drain tiles, then contact your local contractor for more information. If you'd like to tackle this project on your own, you can get all the supplies at your local hardware store or home improvement center. Check out sites like http://www.rite-waywaterproofing.com for more information.