Drai tiles are a system of pipes fitted around your foundation. They carry excess water away from your house and your landscaping. It’s an efficient system when working correctly. However, if it becomes clogged, you can experience problems resulting in water in your basement or crawl space.

Drain tile History

At one time, people created drain tiles from a clay pipe. Subsequentially, this led to the name “tiles” instead of pipes since we make tiles from clay. They laid the tiles with ¼-inch spaces between each. This process allowed excess water to enter and move away from the house’s foundation. These helped to avoid damage from floods and more.

Drain Tiles Today

Today, drain tiles are sometimes known as French drains or footing drains. They include sections of perforated PVC pipe with holes drilled along one side. The pipes are laid in a gravel trench and covered with more gravel. Therefore, when water enters the trench, the pipe is carried away by gravity. Often, the pipes are covered with a sleeve to prevent dirt from infiltrating the system.

In some homes, the tiles might lead to a sump or basin in the basement or crawl space. Then, the excess water is pumped away from the house to avoid damage to the foundation.

How can you tell if there’s a problem with your drain tile?

  1. Clogged Drain Tiles

As with gutters, dirt, debris, and tree roots can interfere with the drain tile’s operation. Several signs could be present if your drain tile is clogged.

  • Water entering your basement or crawl space where it was once dry
  • Puddles outside on your lawn or elsewhere where water is not flowing as it should
  • Lush grass growth in spots that are getting “watered” frequently
  • A sinkhole may be forming along the line of piping

In some instances, you attach downspouts to drain tiles. At times, heavy rain can overwhelm the system. Rain pours off the roof, down the spouts, and into the drainage system. Dirt, dead leaves, twigs, and other debris may also gather in the drain tile system. They can cause clogs that become a real problem.

  1. Crushed Drain Tiles

Drain tiles can also suffer damage by being crushed by vehicles or something hefty. When cars are involved, ensure they stay on paved surfaces and away from the drain tile system. Crushed systems will result in water pooling in the damaged area. The systems can also lead to water seeping into the foundation if left unchecked.

  1. Infiltrated Drain Tiles

Experts suggest not planting trees too close to the drain tile to avoid damage. Trees that are especially “thirsty,” like willows, will have roots that grow toward the system. The roots infiltrate the drain tiles and sewer and water pipes. Repairs can be pricey, as you may also have to remove the tree.

Making repairs to your drain tile system

Before digging up your system and pulling things out or replacing them, you want to ensure that the system is the problem. As such, it’s a good idea to hire a plumber or drainage specialist that uses cameras to inspect the inside of pipes. If the camera doesn’t detect any damage, your solution may be relatively simple and inexpensive. Your technician may be able to flush out the system to clean out the clogged drain tiles.

At Urban Water Works, water is our middle name. We can help you with all your water- and drainage-related problems, including repairing or replacing your drain tile system. For an assessment of your current system or to let us diagnose any issues you’re having with your drain tiles, book an appointment with our experts at 604-790-8993.