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Weeping Tile: What is it?

2023-12-27 20:35


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  • When it comes to home plumbing and drainage systems, taking shortcuts is never a good idea, and may lead to headaches down the road or big costs to fix what could’ve been prevented in the first place. So, what can you do to help ensure the chance of flooding in your property is mitigated? It is all about making sure the plumbing and piping is set up correctly.

    You might be familiar with the term “weeping tile,” but what is it, exactly? And how can it help protect against water damage? You’ve come to the right place to find out.

    What is Weeping Tile?

    According to The City Wide Group, the term “weeping tile” refers to a type of drainage system. It goes by many names (you might’ve also heard “perimeter drain” or “French drain”).

    A weeping tile drainage system is used to protect your home or business’s foundation from damage, which is especially critical if you have a large front or backyard, live in an area that gets a lot of rain, or frequently water your grass. As moisture seeps into the soil surrounding your foundation, there is the potential for erosion, basement leaks, foundation cracks, and structural instability.

    How Does a Weeping Tile System Help with Drainage?

    There are two types of weeping tile systems, both with the goal of relieving hydrostatic pressure that is building against your walls. Usually, just one is installed, although they can sometimes be used in combination.

    • Interior weeping tile system.
    • Exterior weeping tile system.

    An interior weeping tile system is installed inside the basement along the perimeter, according to Canadian Home Inspection Services. This helps protect against water that has already passed through and into the property.

    An exterior weeping tile system is buried beneath the soil close to the foundation wall. This helps to prevent moisture from entering the property in the first place.

    Do I Need a Weeping Tile System?

    Not necessarily, but these systems could certainly be useful in areas where rain and moisture are frequent. Despite the labor involved with installation, they may prevent future headaches down the road, or assist with your property’s resale value. In fact, RateHub indicates that properly installed weeping tile drainage systems could last for decades.

    Where Does Weeping Tile Drain To?

    Typically, weeping tile systems drain into a sump pump (usually located in a property’s basement). If your home doesn’t have a sump pump or a basement, then your weeping tile system likely drains into your city’s storm drains.

    What Does Weeping Tile Look Like?

    This depends on which type you have installed, but generally, an interior weeping tile system will be “buried” beneath your floor after being covered with cement, so it isn’t readily visible. Usually, the only parts visible are the sump pump discharge pipe, which leads to the exterior of the property, and the sump pump itself, which is often located in a corner or “out of the way” location.

    An exterior weeping tile system initially looks like a configuration of pipes laid down in trenches surrounding the perimeter of your house. However, the trenches are often filled with gravel, sand, and/or other landscaping techniques, allowing easy access if needed.

    Are Weeping Tile Covers Necessary?

    While covers aren’t strictly necessary, and a lot is dependent on much you’re willing to invest in installation, they can help protect pipes from soil or silt, which can enter via perforations or slits in the plastic. If you opt for cloth material covers, know they are typically rot-proof, designed to permit only water which is then drawn into the pipes and directed away from your foundation.

    What is SERVPRO’s Water Damage Process?

    When water damage strikes, whether from faulty plumbing, flood damage, a leaky roof, or more, SERVPRO® technicians will implement an eight-step water damage restoration process, which includes:

    1. Emergency Contact. In the first step, when you reach out to your local SERVPRO, a specialist will ask multiple questions to make sure the proper equipment and personnel are dispatched to the water-damaged location. This is a critical step; fast arrival times are important, so technicians can assess the affected area and develop a plan of action specific to your damage.
    2. Inspection and Water Damage Assessment. When technicians arrive, they will first locate and stop the source of the water damage (if necessary). Then, they will thoroughly survey the area, note any hazards, determine what can be restored, and begin developing a response plan.
    3. Water Removal. In the third step, SERVPRO technicians use pumps and powerful extraction units to thoroughly remove water, reduce drying time, and help prevent a further spread of water.
    4. Damaged Material Removal. In this step, SERVPRO professionals will assess affected belongings, and let you know if any cannot be salvaged. These items are removed from the premises as quickly as possible to expedite the restoration and drying time of materials that can be salvaged.
    5. Cleaning, Inspection, and Sanitization. Various industry-leading techniques, proprietary products, and equipment are used to restore floors, ceilings, walls, furniture, and even more that may require deep cleaning in the aftermath of water damage.
    6. Drying. Typically, when technicians first arrive, they will place drying equipment (although the type and amount depend on your specific needs). The goal is to withdraw moisture from within materials, returning them to their regular moisture level. Drying also takes place after most of the water has been removed in step three.
    7. Monitoring. Technicians will routinely visit the property to assess drying progress, verify content is drying, and adjust equipment as needed.
    8. Repairs and Construction. In the final step, any last needs are met. This can range from smaller fixes such as carpet cleaning, to major reconstruction of specific areas or entire rooms. It is SERVPRO’s goal to return your space to pre-loss condition, “Like it never even happened.”

    SERVPRO Cleans Flood Damage Around the Clock

    If your weeping tile malfunctions, or your drainage system starts leaking, reach out to your local SERVPRO. With more than 2210 franchise locations across the United States and Canada, SERVPRO franchises are educated and equipped to handle both large and small cleanup, restoration, and construction jobs.  

    Beyond water damage cleanup due to faulty or leaking drainage systems, SERVPRO franchises are also prepared to handle a variety of other situations, including fire damage cleanup, mold remediation, document restoration, deodorization, air duct and HVAC cleaning, and more. SERVPRO franchises are open 24/7, including holidays and weekends, so if you experience damage outside of business hours, your local franchise is available. SERVPRO is Here to Help® and looks forward to assisting in the process of restoring your property to pre-loss condition.

    Visit our FAQ and Glossary for more information on SERVPRO and the cleanup and restoration industry.


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