US Inspect US Inspect

Draining water away from the home is a necessary function of all perimeter drainage systems. When you’re outside having a cookout, walking your dog or watching family and friends play in the yard, the last thing you want is a stagnant puddle of water near your home. Mosquitos easily breed in standing water but an even greater concern is the potential damage that water can do to your foundation over time. Get to know the signs and the systems that can help you decipher potential water issues before they happen.

Drain Tiles

Clay Drain Tiles
Clay drain tiles are orange or red clay pipe sections, usually 2 feet in length with an interior diameter of approximately 3 to 3 1/2 inches.  The 2 foot clay drain tiles are laid in a gravel bed.  A 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap between each drain tile is maintained to allow the water to enter.  The opening is then covered with a filter paper to prevent sediment from entering the pipe   Clay drain tiles were the original drain tile and were replaced by perforated plastic drain tiles beginning around the early 1970's.

Perforated Perimeter Drain Tile
Modern drain tiles are usually a 4 inch black PVC or Polyethylene plastic pipe that is perforated on only one half or side.  The perforated side is placed face down so that water enters from the bottom of the pipe.  A filter paper is usually place over the pipe or around the gravel bed to prevent sediment from entering and clogging the pipe.

Back To Top

Exterior Drain

Though mistakenly referred to as "French Drains," exterior perimeter foundation drains are designed to collect the water that accumulates next to the foundation wall and divert the water away from the home.  Clay drainage tiles in older homes or perforated plastic drainage tiles in new homes are placed next to the foundation footer and covered with a minimum of 6 inches of gravel or crushed stone.  The surface water that enters the soil next to the foundation flows down the wall, then following the path of least resistance, flows through the gravel and into the drainage tile or pipe.  The water is then directed to either a storm sewer, dry well or, if necessary, to a sump pump to be directed away from the home.

Generally, the system is only placed next to the one or two walls that experience the water penetration problems.  However, in some severe cases, the system is placed around the entire perimeter.  In addition, to help prevent sediment from entering and clogging the drain pipe or tile, a filter paper is placed around the pipe (especially the openings) or gravel.

Back To Top

Interior Drain

Interior perimeter foundation drains are designed to collect the water that enters through the foundation wall or rises to the slab and divert the water away from the home. Perforated plastic drain tiles are placed on the interior side of the footer, below the slab. The pipe is covered with a minimum of 6 inches of gravel or crushed stone.  The surface water that penetrates the foundation wall or groundwater that rises to the slab is directed to the interior drain below the slab where it is captures.  The captured water is then directed to either a storm sewer, dry well or, if necessary, to a sump pump to be discharged away from the home.

Generally, the system is only placed next to the one or two walls that experience the water penetration problems.  However, in some severe cases, the system is placed around the entire perimeter.  In addition, to help prevent sediment from entering and clogging the drain tile, a filter paper is placed around the pipe (especially the openings) or gravel.

Interior perimeter drains are often connected to sump pumps that direct the water to the exterior.

Back To Top