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All About Drain Tile

Drain tile – What is it? – Do I Need It?

Several factors go into the drain tile decision. All components and variables need to be carefully explain and weight before a final decision is made. It is critical that the homeowners understand why drain tile is necessary or whether another solution is possible. Midwest Waterproofing Consultants will explain in detail your options and answer any questions to make you feel comfortable and confident in your decision. 

Unfortunately, there are some companies that suggest drain tile for every situation.  I’m always shocked to learn a company, who had visited the client prior to me, suggested installing drain tile even though the injection of a few cracks would solve the problem for a fraction of the cost. Sure drain tile would have solved the problem but why spend thousands when a few hundred dollars would accomplish the same goal? Midwest Waterproofing only recommends drain tile when it is the appropriate solution.

The good news is not all basement water issues require a drain tile solution. A vertical crack in a poured concrete foundation can be simply injected. Even if you have several cracks, as long as they are reasonably straight up and down, they can be successfully injected and covered with a Lifetime Warranty. Diagonal and horizontal cracks could indicate a structural issue which needs to be addressed differently. 

Things to think about when considering drain tile 

Are you planning to finish the basement? I have clients who have decided against doing interior drain tile prior to finishing the basement even though there was evidence of seepage. Unfortunately I was called back months later and we had to do a retro-fit drain tile job that was substantially more then the earlier estimate. Not only did they incur the added cost and hassle of the retro-fit drain tile job, they had to replace the damaged portions of the basement and furniture. They ended up paying twice!

Air quality is a huge consideration when deciding whether or not to install drain tile if injections are not the appropriate solution. A finished basement can become a mold factory when water is wicked into drywall. Mold needs air, water, and an organic food source to liveDrywall has a paper cover on which mold thrives. Even without a finished basement,  cardboard boxes containing your priceless memorabilia can be a food source for mold. Old papers, containers, wood, etc. can promote mold growth. 

How Does a Drain Tile System Work? 

Simply stated, we are giving the water that would flow onto your basement floor, a place to go. We capture and contain it under the surface of the floor, direct it to a sump pit and eject it outside where it belongs.

First we will excavate about 18″ in from the wall of the concrete floor along the perimeter of the area where the drain tile is being installed. Next we add 3/4″ washed gravel that surrounds a slotted corrugated pipe we install in the contracted area. In Chicago and other municipalities, PVC is required. 

If a there is not an existing sum pit and pump, we add a correctly sized pit for your situation along with the appropriate pump. If you already have a sump pit and pump, we can usually use the existing sump pit. However, we will want to make sure the sump pump and pit  are correctly sized as the system will be moving more water.

Another consideration is a battery back-up system. Remember, a power outage renders your sump system useless unless you have a battery back-up pump. Power outages occur mostly during storms when your drain tile and sump system are needed most. 


Block Foundations

If you have a block foundation, there is no alternative to drain tile. Block foundations are built with concrete block containing hollow cavities. Those cavities fill with water. There is no way to successfully seal the wall from the interior. Exterior drain tile is possible but it is a massive and expensive project usually three  times more than an interior drain tile solution and it is very disruptive as you will lose all of your landscaping, deck, stairs, fencing, etc. 

However, with interior drain tile the cost and disruption is far less. if the basement is unfinished or even finished, our years of experience have allowed us to create an elegant solution that leaves you basement in like-new condition but dry because of the drain tile installed underneath. 



Poured Concrete foundations

In some circumstances poured concrete foundations need drain tile solutions. Cove Seepage is an indicator that a drain tile solution is required. The cove is where the wall and floor meet. The only solution for seepage from the cove is  drain tile.

Many homeowners wonder why this area cannot be injected like a vertical crack. The simple answer is it just doesn’t work. The pressure and forces are different at this level. It has been tried, but met with little success. Midwest Waterproofing only provides tried-and-true solution that have been verified with success over time and warrantied.

Remember,  finished or unfinished, Midwest Waterproofing can install a drain tile system in almost every situation.

Use the Book Online option at the top of the page to schedule a Free-No Obligation In-Home meeting with one of our experienced Consultants. They will walk you through the diagnosis and possible solutions to your waterproofing issues. Or call 815-245-6890