If you have been hanging out with plumbers a lot, or your neighbours and they are particularly interested in talking about water flooding homes and basements, you may have heard about drain tile.
If you haven’t, it’s time you learn about it. There’s no owning a home without getting familiar with its foundation and the systems that protect it.
What Is Drain Tile?
The shortest and simplest answer to this question is: Drain tile is a system of pipes that keep water away from your home.
Drain tile is one very specific method of achieving this, because its focus is on keeping the basement dry.
Though it’s called a drain “tile”, it has nothing to do with tiles on your kitchen floor or patio.
This particular system of keeping the basement dry with pipes around it started in the 19th century, when these pipes were made of terracotta clay, which was also used for roof tiles.
How Do I Know If I Have a Drain Tile System?
If you have a house with a basement or some sort of crawl space beneath your home, you probably have a drain tile system installed.
If the house is newly built, the information should be available to you with the construction plans.
If you bought a home that someone else lived in previously, you could either ask previous tenants, or have your local plumber inspect your home.
If you live in the Greater Vancouver area, contact us and we can send one of our experts to take a look for you.
Can a Drain Tile Get Clogged?
If your drain tile is old or not properly installed, it can certainly get clogged. Mud, debri, or some other type of sediment can find their way into the pipes and clog them, leading to a flooded basement or pools of water around your home.
If that happens, you should act immediately.
Call our trusted team of plumbing and drainage professionals to fix your drain tile ASAP, and give you advice on how to minimize the chances of future floodings.
Are Drain Tiles Necessary?
There are homeowners who don’t have drain tile installed and don’t have problems with a wet basement.
These homes have probably been built on well-drained soil, or they sit on a steep enough surface so excess water naturally flows downhill away from the house even without drain pipes.
However, most houses today are built with drain tile systems installed during the construction. If your home doesn’t have it and you experience frequent basement flooding, you may need to consider installing an interior or exterior drain tile system.