We’ve talked a lot about interior drain tile in this blog because it is one of the best solutions to basement seepage problems, although certainly not the only one. Another good reason to talk with our Milwaukee friends about interior drain tile is that your building code requires it, along with its exterior counterpart, in new home construction. Even in older homes in the Milwaukee area, many homeowners are finding that their seepage problems are solved quickly and permanently once interior drain tile is installed.
So if you’re contemplating putting this waterproofing workhorse in your home, what should you look for?
1. Basement Waterproofing Company Explains the Process Completely – Before anybody carries the first jackhammer into your basement, make sure you know exactly what’s going to happen and what you may need to do first. As I mentioned in an earlier article on the pros and cons of interior drain tile in Milwaukee, the installers will need a clear working space around the perimeter of your basement so you’ll have to move furniture and stored items, remove anything built-in or installed along the walls and take up any flooring materials before the crew arrives. Also, make sure you understand the demolition and installation process so it’s not a surprise when bucket after bucket of soil and broken concrete has to be carried up the stairs and out the door and coils of pipe and buckets of gravel and concrete mix must be brought in.
2. Make Sure You’re Getting only as Much Drain Tile as You Need – In new construction, interior drain tile is typically installed around the entire perimeter of the foundation to ensure the best protection from future seepage. However, if your home has experienced seepage through the cove joint along just one wall, then the right solution and certainly the most economical one is to install interior drain tile only along that wall. With installation costs determined by the foot, make sure you’re not paying for something you don’t need.
3. Install the Drain Alongside the Footing – Properly installed, interior drain tile will lay at the lowest part of your foundation, along the footing. If your basement waterproofing company is demonstrating a lack of experience by placing the drain tile on top of the footing, wave the red flag. This type of installation will not provide the protection you need.
4. Use the Right Kind of Stone – As I mentioned in a previous blog, properly installed drain tile rests on and is covered by a bed of gravel. This ensures the greatest water flow to the drain tile while still providing strong support for the basement floor. The right kind of gravel for this bed is called “washed stone,” which means the stone has been cleaned to remove “fines” (basically stone dust), dirt and tiny pieces that may clog the filter fabric. An inexperienced contractor, or one trying to save a few bucks, may dump in regular gravel with all its dust and dirt and put you at risk for costly and disruptive repairs at some point down the road.
5. Don’t Skip the Sock – Along with using washed stone, the other crucial factor in keeping your drain tile clean and running freely for many years to come is the use of a fabric “sock” on the pipe. These socks are made of a special filtration fabric that keeps dirt and debris from entering the much larger perforations in the pipe and slowing the flow of water. Installing just the pipe without a sock, whether it is corrugated or PVC, will almost assuredly lead to clogs as materials enter the perforations and accumulate in the pipe.
If you keep an eye out for these things and choose your basement waterproofing company with care, you’ll enjoy the many benefits of interior drain tile for years to come. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have been installing interior drain tile for more than 30 years and have thousands of satisfied customers with dry basements, so why not ask for our free advice on your basement seepage problem?
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