Waterproof Your Basement with a Drain Tile System

What You'll Need
Drain title
Filter paper

A drain tile system runs along the exterior of your foundation. The main purpose of a drain title system is to keep water away from the foundation of your home. The natural flow of water through soil means the water content of the soil can go where ever it wants, which may be right up to and through your foundation. Depending on your climate and water fall, the level of moisture in your soil will vary throughout the year. While you may not have flooding, the water below the surface must run off somewhere. The drain tile system leads that same water through a pipe and away from your foundation. The system consists of a drain tile, which is a pipe with perforations, gravel, gravel cover and a drainage pipe. The water can drain in several ways. A trench must be dug around the foundation. In some cases you may want to rent a back hoe, in others, hand shovels and a hand hoe work quite well.

Step 1 – Measure

Measure the perimeter of the home for total materials you will need. Make sure you include elbows and any T shapes you will need, along with appropriate sealant. Your sealant must be compatible with the material you are using for the drain tile and needs to be waterproof.

Step 2 – Dig a Trench

Always check local codes before digging. You will need to know where any gas lines are located. If gas lines are involved you should have the gas company dig your trench. You may also need to obtain permission to drain into the city sewer pipes or directly to the street. You may need to drain into a sump pump if the ground is too level for slopping drainage or simply allow the water to flow naturally down a hill. While a drain tile is generally no more than 4 inches in diameter most areas will require a trench at least 18 inches deep.

Step 3 – Install Filter Paper

Once you have completed digging lay the filtration paper down gentle in the bottom of the trench. The purpose of this paper is to insure that soil and sediment do not enter the drain tile and cause clogging.

Step 4 – Lay the Drain Tile

Place the drain tile on the filtration paper according to manufacturer’s instructions. Use the appropriate sealant to seal the joints.

Step 5 – Lay the Gravel

The gravel should be large and round creating a path of least resistance for the water to follow. Pour the gravel on top of the drain tile. The level of the gravel should be a minimum of 6 inches deep.

Step 6 – Cover the Gravel

It is advisable to cover the gravel with filtration paper, most often, tar paper is used. This gives a secondary barrier to eliminate possible clogging from dirt or debris getting into the drain title. Replace any of the soil on top of the filtration paper.