Choosing the right weeping tile system (also known as a “French drain“) for your home can mean the difference between a clean, dry basement and one that’s flooded.
Like most other technologies today, weeping tile has come a long way in the past few years. Modern weeping tile systems install more quickly and have better results than ever before.
Waterproofers know that the best weeping tile systems depend on these five factors:
At Basements Plus, we’re proud to say that the drainage systems we provide meet all of these standards — and we stand by our systems with a written, transferable warranty.
For a free basement waterproofing quote, call or e-mail us today! We serve Wixom, Novi, Brighton and many areas nearby in Michigan.
If you’re planning on finishing your basement or using it as storage space, you’ll want to be able to rely on it to be a dry, usable space — and stay that way. If you can’t count on that, then you probably won’t feel comfortable keeping valuable or irreplaceable items there, such as photographs, furniture, or winter clothing.
To help you decide which system is best for you, we’ve compiled a list of weeping tile “DO’s and DON’Ts” that we’ve seen many other homeowners learn about the hard way.
After your foundation was built, the builders of your home used soil to fill in a level space for your concrete slab floor.
Any weeping tile system that’s installed in your home should be kept above that layer of dirt to prevent clogging.
If weeping tile is placed directly in mud, some of that mud will wash into the system. Eventually, this will build up, potentially leading to a clogged drain. At Basements Plus, we prefer to install our drain systems out of the mud zone to help keep the system working properly.
Whether your basement walls are leaking now or not, you’ll want your system to be able to collect water that floods through cracks, seeps through the concrete, or leaks through the basement windows.
Many contractors will try to address this issue by installing a large open gap along the entire perimeter of your basement floor. This is the right idea and the wrong approach to this challenge.
A better approach is to include a wall flange with your drain that extends above the floor by 3/8″. By including this in your system, you protect your drainage channel from dirt and debris swept in from the floor.
If we’re also installing one of our basement wall products for you, we can integrate the wall system with this flange, so that all water from the walls is directed to your sump pump.
Some contractors will avoid installing a sump pump by designing a “gravity drain” to drain water away without any mechanical components.
While this does work in some uncommon situations, Basements Plus prefers to drain flooding water to a sump pump.
To work properly, gravity drains must be directed downhill. If your basement is underground, it is very unlikely that this will be possible for you.
A sump pump system can be used on any home — the pump will always be able to pump the water away, no matter how far underground your basement is.
Sump pump systems also clog much less often than gravity drains do. As the water is being pumped out of the system quickly, rather than trickling downwards with gravity alone, there is much less time for sediments to build up on the bottom of your discharge pipe.
Additionally, a sump pump can carry much greater volumes of water when compared to a gravity drain. At Basements Plus, we’ve observed that drainage channels being overrun with overwhelming amounts of water is one of the top three causes of basement flooding.
There are some contractors in the business that will insist that the only way to waterproof a basement is from the outside of the foundation.
Installing weeping tile along the base of a foundation will require the contractor to excavate your entire basement, exposing the base of the foundation so the drain can be placed there.
This excavation process drives up the installation’s cost dramatically. It also means serious disruption to everything on the outside of your home, including gardens, sidewalks, patios, and other landscaping.
After the drain has been installed, the dirt will be returned to the hole, piling up on top of the drainage system.
Eventually, some of that dirt will make its way into your drainage system, leading to clogs. Once the system is clogged, the only way to service it is to dig out the foundation again.
You can save half the cost of basement waterproofing by installing your system from the interior instead. Interior weeping tile installation will not disrupt your yard or landscaping, and the entire job can usually be completed in a day or two.
Remember that old adage “Jack of all trades, master of none?” That certainly applies here.
Much of the work of professional waterproofers is to fix the failed waterproofing attempts of plumbers, contractors, and homeowners.
Waterproofing is a major home improvement investment, and it’s best handled by a professional. We recommend that you speak with a certified waterproofer about your problem before making a final decision on your home.
Professional waterproofers are experts in the industry — this is what they do every day, and they do it better than anyone else.
Additionally, a reliable company will offer a written warranty with their system — one that can be transferred to the next owner of your home. This is a major bargaining point when selling your house!
Many homeowners are deceived by the lower cost of PVC pipe materials when compared to a more modern drainage system.
At Basements Plus, we strongly recommend against PVC drainage systems for basement applications. They don’t work well, and they’ll cost you more in the end.
Modern weeping tile systems have been drastically improved over old-fashioned PVC pipe. They install faster, and they fail less.
Large, clumsy PVC systems will require the installer to jackhammer a larger section of your floor and dig deeper along the floor to install the pipe.
After the jackhammering is done, there will be more debris to remove from the basement. Once the pipe is installed, more of your floor will need to be restored with new concrete.
While the ticket price of PVC pipe may be lower, you’ll pay more once the work is done, the debris is removed, and the extra concrete is placed. So you didn’t really save any money at all!
It’s important to remember that all basement water problems are different, and there are many challenges that a waterproofer faces when designing a system.
We have six different drain systems, many specialized to address a specific challenge that we encounter when waterproofing a basement. The chart below will give you some pointers on which of our weeping tile systems might be right for you. Click on the name of each system to see what it looks like and learn what it can do for you.
Weeping tile application chart
|Generic Drain||WaterGuard®||DryTrak®||TrenchDrain||WaterGuard® IOS||FlowGuard||SmartPipe™|
to sump pump
|Installed above the mud zone|
|Installs with an open gap along the floor|
|Lifetime transferable warranty|
|Designed for monolithic floors|
|Appropriate for thin basement floors|
|Collects water from hatchway entrances|
|Appropriate for use in basements with iron ochre problems|
|Collects water from hatchway entrances|
Basements Plus is your experienced contractor for the installation of a weeping tile system that’s perfect for you — no matter what your water problem is!
If you live in the Michigan area, we’d like to offer you a free weeping tile installation quote that’s custom-designed for your basement. Each of our free quotes includes a personal inspection, cost quote, and a copy of our 88-page full-color waterproofing book. Contact us today to schedule your quote!
We proudly serve the Wixom, Novi, Brighton area, including Flint, Waterford, West Bloomfield, Pontiac, Clarkston, White Lake, Burton and many areas nearby.