The basics of perimeter drain system

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

The perimeter drainage system also is known as drain-tile, clay-tile and weeping tile system, protects your home from the natural groundwater through-out 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.

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 prior to 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 towards 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) in which the foundation was laid upon.

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.

Do 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 the course of 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 will provide a complete report on any deficiencies or repairs that may be required, as well as we will recommend how often your system should be maintained.

In case you have left your perimeter drainage system unattended for at least a couple of years, then consider contacting us at John G Plumbing and we would maintain or repair your pipes to perfection.

Our promotion for Perimeter Drainage System – Hydro Flushing and Video Inspection Combo

Why choose us?

1. Affordability. John G Plumbing prices are always affordable and reasonable – in our industry.
2. Instant response. Water leakage is an emergency, we at John G Plumbing know that if there is a Plumbing Emergency we need to act fast!
3. Meticulous care.
4. Reliable and Friendly team.

Call us now at (250) 797-0858.


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