Understanding Weeping Tile Systems

Understanding Weeping Tile Systems

Heavy rains are common in Montreal and can cause the soil surrounding your home to become saturated.  Lush front or back yard lawns need regular irrigation and also contributes to the saturation of the soil on your property.  When your soil is saturated it can cause erosion and shifting of your home’s foundation.  Structural instability of your foundation causes cracks which lead to basement leaks.  One method of avoiding this problem is to have a weeping tile system. 

Cracked Foundation
Photo courtesy of Tristatefw.com

Water seeks the path of least resistance and will get into your basement if there are cracks in the foundation, mortar joints, tie rods or the window wells.  A weeping tile system collects the underground water and directs it to the city’s storm drains or a sump pump system.  If you don’t have a weeping tile system or the one you have is congested or blocked, water that isn’t removed will pool around the base of your home’s foundation.

Weeping Tile
Photo courtesy of En.Wikipedia.org

There are both exterior and interior weeping tile systems.  The exterior system is buried close to the foundation wall and will direct water away from your home.  The interior system is installed on the floor at the lowest points of your basement and will manage water that has entered your basement.  Both weeping tile systems help relieve the hydrostatic pressure that builds up against your walls by handling groundwater and draining it away. 

Exterior Weeping Tile
Photo courtesy of Asweepingtile.com

To install an exterior weeping tile system a trench is dug around the perimeter of your home’s foundation and is fitted with a complicated system of pipes.  Each pipe has a series of holes or slits to collect excess water and draw it away from the foundation.  Rot-proof filter cloth covering the pipes prevents soil from clogging the holes and slits which extends the life of the weeping tile system.

Photo courtesy of Basemenntsystems.ca

An interior weeping tile system is installed by digging up a furrow along the edges of the basement floor and installing a drainage membrane such as Delta MS to the bare foundation wall.  The water is then directed to the weeping tile under the basement slab.  Gravity draws the water from the weeping tiles to the sump pump.  It might be easier to install an interior system if you need to have the work done in the winter months or if you don’t want to spoil outdoor landscaping or stone work.  

More tips and information about waterproofing your basement can be found on the City Wide Group Facebook Page.