Contrary to what the name suggests, a weeping tile system isn’t the type of tile that a homeowner would install as flooring, or even roofing, within their home. A weeping tile system is actually an intricate drainage system that is intended to protect the foundation of your home from water damage.
Whether you live in an area that gets several inches of rain during the rainy months of the year, like we do here in Toronto, or you simply have a lot of greenery in your yard that requires regular irrigation, water from any source can saturate the soil surrounding your home. When this soil becomes saturated it can lead to erosion and cause shifting of your foundation, which can lead to instability of your home, cracks in the foundation and other costly problems you don’t want to deal with.
Understanding the Basics of a Weeping Tile System
Interior vs. Exterior Weeping Tile System
It is important for a homeowner to understand that there are two different types of weeping tile systems to consider: interior and exterior. An exterior weeping tile system sits buried outside of the home along the foundation as a means to prevent moisture before it is able to penetrate. While an interior weeping tile system sits on the inside of the basement running along the floor, or lowest points of the basement, to help manage water that passes underneath or through the foundation.
Exterior Weeping Tile System
An exterior weeping tile system is composed of an intricate piping system that surrounds the earth around your foundation. These plastic pipes are typically 4” in diameter and have holes or slits punched into them. When it rains, water from the surrounding soil finds its way to these holes and is carried at a slight incline to a disposal area or sump pump, so it is safely relocated away from the foundation of the home. Because water is likely to transport the surrounding soil into your drainage pipes, most are covered with rot-proof material that keeps the holes from clogging, which can help to extend the life of your weeping tile system.
Some of the reasons why homeowners consider an exterior weeping tile system over an interior system include:
- The indoor space of the basement is never compromised
- Removes water pressure from affecting the foundation of the home entirely
- No need to prepare for professional installation, as all work is done outside of the home
However, just as there are advantages to an exterior system, there are some disadvantages that homeowners have to consider:
- Landscaping will oftentimes have to be moved or destroyed surrounding the home in order to properly install weeping tile
- Water from beneath the basement is not drained with this system
- Typically more labor is required to properly install an exterior weeping tile system, so this project can last longer than an interior system installation
- Costs associated with this home improvement project are typically higher
Interior Weeping Tile System
In order to create an interior weeping tile system a trench along the perimeter of the basement floor is created and holes are drilled into the concrete blocks within these trenches. Plastic pipes with holes are attached next to the footing so that water can pass from the surrounding foundation into the pipe which will flow into a drainage system that leads to the sump pump. Then, professional installers will attempt to cover up these piping systems once more with concrete repair done over the footing so that the aesthetic appeal of the basement isn’t necessarily compromised.
Some of the reasons why homeowners would consider an interior weeping tile system over an exterior system include:
- No damage done to the outdoor landscaping of a home
- Home improvement project can be completed faster than an exterior system, and typically for a lower cost
- Relieves and removes water from beneath the foundation and outside of the foundation to the sump pump
- Can be installed year round
Some of the disadvantages associated with an interior weeping tile system include:
- Basement is unlivable during the installation of the weeping tile system
- Exterior sealant installation is necessary for a stone or brick foundation so water does not leak through masonry
- Two feet of foundation within the basement will need to be exposed for installation. Removal of drywall, insulation and flooring is to be expected.
Understanding the basics of interior and exterior weeping tile systems can better help you to prepare for the type of drainage system that is right for your home. Once you have identified the system that is best for your home you can begin to search for a professional weeping tile installation company that can get the job done right!
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