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Drain Tile: What Is It and Do I Need It?

Wednesday, May 1st by Kristina McGovern


Drain tile clogged with mud

Drain tile placed along the outside perimeter of the foundation is prone to clogging. An interior perimeter drainage system can be a clog-free alternative.

If you have water in the basement or crawl space, you might have heard about “drain tile.” Maybe you have a neighbor or friend who has a drain tile system in their home. If you’re considering buying a home with a water seepage problem, maybe the home inspector mentioned that you might need to have a drain tile system installed.

Drain tile can also be called a drainage tile, French drain, weeping tile, perforated drain, foundation drain, perimeter drain, or drainage channel. These terms are often used interchangeably when referring to a drainage system that directs water away from the home’s foundation.

What is Drain Tile?

In modern residential applications, drain tile is a drainage system made up of perforated PVC or flexible plastic piping. There are two methods for installing drain tile:

  1. Piping is buried deep underground around the outside of the foundation
  2. Piping is placed along the inside perimeter of the basement or crawl space beneath the floor and in front of the footing.

Where does the water go?

The water that collects in the drain pipes is usually directed downslope from the house or to a sump pit inside the basement or crawl space.

Do I Need Drain Tile?

If you notice water in the basement or crawl space after heavy rain or when the snow melts, a drainage system is most likely the answer. If you have a sump pump or drainage system that’s not working as it should, have it inspected by a professional that specializes in basement or crawl space waterproofing. Basement Systems offers a wide range of drainage options for basements and crawl spaces.

Your local Basement Systems or CleanSpace Dealer can help you choose the best foundation drainage solution for your home. Contact us today to schedule your free waterproofing consultation.

About the author

Kristina McGovern, Content Specialist Find me on LinkedIn

After nearly a decade writing about home improvement, Kristina realizes the importance of having a dry, clean crawl space. Born and raised in Connecticut, she has made it her mission to find good pizza in the South. She enjoys spending time on her 13-acre property with her husband (and high school sweetheart), energetic toddler and rescued Labrador mix.

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