A weeping tile and a sump pump are the main parts of a basement waterproofing system. The latter pumps out excess water, while the first one gathers it. Homes placed in rainy or snowy climates have higher water tables beneath their homes, so when the rain starts falling those water tables rise more quickly and reach your home’s foundation and basement.
To prevent floods and cracks, plumbers install a system of plastic pipes, known as weeping tiles. Some homes in drier areas, do not need these at all since water tables there are usually set to the minimum. However, if your home is constantly facing difficult weather conditions along with basement leaks, concrete cracks, and floods, you might be in need of a weeping tile. On the other hand, if you already have one, schedule a free consultation to check if you need to replace some of its parts.
How Does it Work?
A weeping tile system is a collection of connected pipes that either surrounds the house’s exterior perimeter or are placed in the interior, under the basement. Remember, a weeping tile isn’t an individual mechanism, but a large network of connected pipes. Their main duty is to collect excess water and direct it toward proper disposal areas. They do this with the help of holes on the surface, placed facing the ground who gather the water as soon as its levels start to rise. But water doesn’t stay on the tiles, it starts moving! How, you might ask? Well, with the path of least resistance and with the help of gravity forces. The tile either directs the water downhill toward an exterior disposal area or it directs it to a sump pump from where it is pumped out right out of your home.
Until 1950, drain tiles were made from poorly connected clay and concrete pipes. But the poor connection was done on purpose since these pipes didn’t have holes on their surface and for gathering the water used the spaces between them instead. Unfortunately, these materials are vulnerable to soil pressure which shifts their positions and cracks them over time. Today, weeping tiles are made from plastic and there are two main types:
- PVC – This type of drain tile looks solid on the outside and it is widely known for its strength since it can withstand a weight of 3000 pounds. For the lines to be connected, strong and inflexible PVC drains require corner fittings. The holes on this type are placed facing the ground and immediately gather the water as levels start to rise.
- Corrugated flexible – PVC looks firm and strong like made from stone. Corrugated looks more like a harmonica. It is flexible and soft. The holes are more like small slits or perforations. These holes gather excess water drops with preventing large soil parts to enter along with it. The best-corrugated drains are the ones with fabric coverings and coatings since corrugated are less resistant to pressure and crushing than PVC.
A Short History Lesson
The weeping tile mechanism was first used 2000 years ago. Egyptians and Babylonians needed a way to get rid of excess water and improve agriculture so they started creating pipes out of clay. Even though these civilizations already mastered the weeping tile technique, America didn’t even hear of it until the year of 1838 when an immigrant by the name of John Johnston used clay tiles to drain unwanted water from his farm fields. The results: significantly increased product quality and instant fame. Some people envied and despised him while others were amazed and astonished like Henry French. He got inspired by John’s work so much that he started thoroughly investigating and even improving it. Everything Henry thought of was written down in a book – the Bible for modern day drainage systems.
About Aquamaster Plumbing
Aquamaster Drain, Plumbing & Waterproofing Inc. is your full-service plumbing and basement waterproofing company assisting the Greater Toronto Area residents. We offer services such as drain cleaning, basement waterproofing, sump pump installation, and more.