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The basics of perimeter drain system

The basics of perimeter drain systems – What exactly is a perimeter drainage system?

Around the outside of your home are specialized drainage pipes that help direct water away from your home. These pipes contain small holes that allow water to enter so that it can be directed elsewhere.

The perimeter drainage system, also known as drain-tile, clay-tile and weeping tile systems, protects your home from the natural groundwater throughout the perimeter of the house’s foundation. When the system fails, it allows the natural groundwater to create hydrostatic pressure on the foundation. Once this happens, it’s only a matter of time until the groundwater finds a path of least resistance through the foundation, generally, a crack, causing your home to flood.

Benefits of a perimeter drain system

Getting a drain system installed around your home sounds like it can be an investment, so is it worth it? Of course!

Here are some reasons why homeowners ensure they have drain tiles installed on their property:

  • Helps prevent basement and crawl space flooding
  • Helps conserve the longevity of your home’s foundation
  • Assists in preventing flooding around your home
  • No water accumulation
  • Reduces soil erosion
  • Can help reduce contaminated water caused by flash flooding

John G. Plumbing is your local Vancouver Island expert for installing and maintaining drain tiles. We service areas like Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, and Coombs for plumbing and gas fitting services. (Technical Safety Gas contractor license number: LGA0208853)

How does a perimeter drainage system work?

Along the footing of the house perforated pipe is laid and graded towards the low point of the perimeter. On top of the pipe, drain rock is placed to filter out dirt and debris before entering the pipe.

On the foundation, a membrane is installed; it is generally either tar or blue skin and dimple board. At the low point of the house, a sump is installed to allow any dirt and debris from the piping to drop to the bottom of the pit while the water flows out to the city main. When it starts raining or in some locations that have constant groundwater the water flows toward the house. The water then hits the membrane which acts as a foundation waterproofing.

Since the water cannot penetrate the membrane gravity takes over and the water takes the path of least resistance to the drain rock. The drain rock then filters the murky water. The groundwater then hits the house’s original hard compacted ground (hardpan) upon which the foundation was laid.

The water cannot penetrate the hardpan, therefore it builds back up. As the water table rises the water then enters the pipe through the perforations (small holes). Since the pipe is graded the water starts to flow to the desired location, to the low point.  At the low point, the water and the debris that may have accumulated upon the journey falls into the sump. The debris remains at the bottom of the sump and as the water rises, it eventually reaches the out-going line and flows to the city main or in some cases into the sewer main.

How can I tell if my home drainage system is broken?

If you find your perimeter drain isn’t draining, that’s a sure sign you need the professionals at John G. Plumbing to take a look. Debris and roots can sometimes get into the pipes, causing problems. Usually, the first sign of knowing if your drainage system is broken is if you experience flooding in your basement or water seeping through the walls.

We use cameras and other equipment to inspect your drainage system to look for debris, overall condition, and areas that require repairs.

How long do perimeter drains or weeping tiles last?

When properly installed and maintained, they can last for decades. This helps ensure your home is protected from water damage.
vInstalling a perimeter drain – what to expect

When installed by the professionals at John G. Plumbing, your home will be protected from water damage for many years.

Our plumbers will come to your home for a personalized quote, so you can know exactly how much it will cost and the expected timeframe needed to complete the job.

The installation will involve digging up part of your yard around your home to install pipes near the foundation, next to the footing. Usually, this is about 6 feet deep. The water collected by the pipes will be directed to a sump pump or other suitable location.
vDo perimeter drainage systems require maintenance?

Most people who are aware of perimeter drainage systems have the common misconception that they are supposed to last a lifetime. That is not the case. Over time, drainage pipes often deteriorate, compromising the entire system. Roots may have started to penetrate the pipe or dirt has completely blocked the line or even worse, the pipe has collapsed. The age, the type of pipe installed and the condition of the drainage system will determine how often the perimeter drainage pipes should be maintained.

Although every home is different the rule of thumb is that the perimeter drainage system requires maintenance every 2 years. If your perimeter drainage system has not been regularly maintained it is strongly encouraged to schedule an inspection. We will use a hydro-flusher to pull the dirt to the sump and use an auger to clear any roots. We will then use state-of-the-art cameras to inspect the condition and integrity of the perimeter drainage system. Upon completing the inspection, we’ll provide a complete report on any deficiencies or repairs that may be required, and a recommendation for how often your system should be maintained.

As such, if you have left your perimeter drainage system unattended for at least a couple of years, then consider contacting us at John G. Plumbing. We are happy to assist in maintaining or repairing your pipes to perfection.

How much does installing a perimeter drain cost?

Installing a perimeter drain depends on several factors, including the size of your home. For that reason, we offer personalized quotes depending on the size and location of your home. Please contact us for more information.
vUnclog weeping tiles, drain cleaning Nanaimo

Are you located in Nanaimo, Coombs, Parksville, or Qualicum Beach and are looking for a plumber to help with your drain tiles? The professionals at John G. Plumbing are here to help.

Perimeter drain tiles, also known as French drains or weeping tiles, are an important part of your home’s maintenance and longevity. Installing this system can help prevent flooding, soil erosion, and expensive repairs down the road.