Weeping Tile Installation
Sherwood Park & Edmonton Weeping Tile Installation & Repair Experts
Is your basement leaking? Do you believe your weeping tile is clogged and should be replaced?
Before we can get into the specifics of weeping tile, we must first understand why it is used and how it works.
Why is weeping tile used around your foundation?
For the last 80 years or so, weeping tile has been installed to drain water that pools at the base of foundations. Weeping tile got its name from the original systems, which were made up of sections of terra cotta clay pipe that allowed water to weep into them. When water enters the pipe, the weeping tile system drains it.
A weeping tile system is a straightforward drainage system that is installed around your home. It is specifically adjacent to the exterior side of the footing, which serves as the foundation walls' base. The purpose of weeping tile is to provide a drainage point for water that has accumulated at the foundation's base. Your weeping tile drains into the storm sewer beneath your street or into a sump pump liner installed beneath the floor of your basement.
Without this ability to drain water at the base of your foundation, your basement foundation wall would effectively sit in a puddle of water for its entire life. Of course, this depends on the height of the water table. Pooling of water at the base of your foundation is a situation to be avoided because concrete absorbs water. Given the porosity of concrete, whether poured concrete, concrete block, or cinderblock, the mortar joints and concrete, in general, will absorb water. Groundwater naturally wicks through the concrete and the mortar joints and causes saturation of this concrete and/or mortar. Saturated concrete will soften and weaken over time; thereby gradually weakening and damaging your foundation walls.
Is it necessary to install a new weeping tile?
Installing new weeping tile around your home's footing will improve footing drainage. Because the precise cause of the leak is unknown in many cases, homeowners agree to major basement waterproofing work. Many homeowners unknowingly waste money because they did not have a drainage problem to fix. In reality, many basement leaks are unaffected by the weeping tile's drainage efficiency and can be repaired with less expensive methods. A hole in a foundation wall, for example, will leak whether or not the weeping tile works.
Does replacing weeping tile guarantee a dry basement?
It is critical to understand that a leaking basement will usually continue to leak unless the foundation walls are waterproofed. This is because the majority of basement leaks are not caused by faulty or clogged weeping tile systems. Many new homes, even those with brand-new foundations and weeping tile installations, have basement leaks. While this fact may appear illogical at first, further logical examination will reveal that it is correct.
Why do basements leak?
Water entering a basement through a foundation wall enters under pressure through voids and cracks in those walls.
The prevention of water ingress through these voids and cracks ultimately prevents water from leaking through your basement walls. The role of the foundation waterproofing product (coating) applied to the exterior foundation walls is to protect against leaks through voids and cracks. Installing new weeping tile improves your foundation's ability to drain away accumulated water at the foundation's base. Water pressure against your foundation can be reduced with effective weeping tile drainage. Water pressure reduction reduces the frequency of leaks as well as the amount of water that leaks through the foundation walls.
Poured concrete and cinderblock, or concrete block, walls are "dampproofed" in new home construction. This is accomplished through the use of sprayed-on tar and, in some cases, an air-gap membrane. Foundation wrap is also installed for the sole purpose of damp proofing.
Even when a new foundation is dampproofed with tar, the tar is typically applied as thinly as paint. When a crack forms, the thin tar application does not stretch to bridge the crack's width. As a result of the unprotected gap in the foundation, the foundation is no longer waterproof. The installed air-gap membrane does not protect against leaks because its sole purpose is to provide dampproofing. The damp proofing is specifically designed to keep wet mud from constantly contacting your foundation walls.
Even if you have perfectly installed and perfectly clear weeping tile, there is still significant hydrostatic pressure against your foundation. Water will flow through your foundation walls if there is no barrier preventing this pressure from causing water to enter a foundation crack or void. This is the most common reason for a flooded basement. It is extremely important to replace the weeping tile if the soil retains so much water that it does not reach it.
Weeping tile installation and exterior foundation wall waterproofing
When waterproofing your exterior foundation walls, you must excavate them all the way down to the footing (the very base of the wall). It makes no sense to skip installing brand-new weeping tile with the exterior foundation walls fully exposed. Weeping tile replacement is a good idea, even if it is only to replace partially blocked weeping tile along the excavated area. You should replace the weeping tile along the excavated area if you are excavating your foundation walls.
The gravel layer installed around weeping tile
Before agreeing to spend thousands of dollars excavating your foundation and installing new weeping tile, you should be aware that your existing weeping tile has secondary drainage. A gravel layer that surrounds the weeping tile provides secondary drainage. The current building code requires two cubic feet of gravel for every linear foot of weeping tile. Your weeping tile system has assisted in draining the water that has accumulated around your home's foundation. New weeping tile installation may actually provide little improvement to your existing weeping tile system's drainage efficiency.
Excavating and waterproofing a foundation, which always includes the installation of new weeping tile, can cost thousands of dollars (often in the tens of thousands). As a result, the profit margin for excavation and waterproofing activities is substantial. This is one of the primary reasons why exterior excavation and waterproofing are typically recommended to homeowners to resolve basement leaks.
Waterproofing options other than excavation
It is clear that installing new weeping tile is not always the best option for preventing and stopping basement leaks. In almost all cases, there are far more cost-effective ways to stop basement leaks. Internal de-watering / perimeter drainage systems, crack injections, and other methods can help with this. Know your repair options and, if you're feeling adventurous, choose a waterproofing solution. You are less likely to be intimidated into accepting a basement waterproofing solution that you don't need or can't afford if you are an informed consumer.
Free Inspections & Estimates
Armour Foundation Repair Systems Corp. is committed to exceeding your needs. Call for your FREE quote today and ask about our lifetime warranty.
Stephanie 587-784-7699 or Jon 780-932-2564
We also service any project in Alberta.
Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Beaumont, Nisku, Leduc, St. Albert, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove
*An inspection fee may apply to areas other than those listed; however, this fee will be applied to any subsequent work.