Drain tile: keeping this silent server unclogged

Many homes have a system of drain tile whose job it is to move water away from the foundation of a home and thus prevent damage to the basement or crawl space of that home. The drain tile (pipe) is installed with a filter media such as gravel and has an outlet for the water collected in the pipe. It’s explained more here.

It’s important, of course, to make sure the drain tile does not become clogged. Fortunately for the average homeowner, there is a way to check on this, and checking is a maintenance chore that should be performed regularly.

Using a flashlight and a simple stick, examine the area (often a sump pit) from which the drain tile carries away water. Make sure the pit itself is fully drained; if it is not, then the drain tile might be blocked. Inspect the basement, in particular noting if walls are damp or cracks have formed where the basement joins the foundation.

After a heavy rain, water should be pouring out of the drain tile. Using the stick, do an examination of the edge of the outlet. Once water stops flowing, use the flashlight to do a visual inspection of the pipe

Drain tile is a silent server in the home, but keeping it in good condition is an important step toward protecting the home’s all-important foundation. Contact us if you need help with this maintenance.

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