Armchair Builder

Drain Tile Problems. A Reader Question

Interior Drain Tile

Cross Section Showing Drain Tile (Interior & Exterior)

A reader recently had her interior drain tile in the basement repaired and is still seeing signs of moisture.  Here are her comments and question along with our response.

Reader Drain Tile Issue“I had drain tile replaced (interior method) and a couple months later, all the new cement, which was placed after the drain tile was replaced, was wet.  The contractor blamed this on the fact that my sump pump was older and that it was not their responsibility.  I had another contractor use a moisture meter, and it is showing high amounts of water in the walls, about 5 inches above the perimeter.  Should water still be in the walls?  They drained weep holes.  Yes, it has rained a lot lately, so I just wanted to know if it’s normal to have water still in the walls after this costly repair.  I did have one side of the basement renovated, and along all the perimeters in that area, the brand new paneling has begun to buckle/warp.  Could this be from an improper drain tile installation?” response regarding drain tile:  “Hi reader…Sorry about the problem you are having with your drain tile…basement moisture issues are no fun.  A good contractor would review the entire drain tile system before doing anything and give you an estimate to make it right.  The sump pump is an integral part of the system and if it was deficient, they should have replaced it when performing the job.  The drainage system around the foundation collects the water and delivers it to the sump crock.  That’s where the sump pump takes over…pumping the water up and out of the basement.  Unfortunately there’s no way to know for sure if what they are saying is accurate.   But with the relatively low price of sump pumps, I would probably go ahead and replace it with a quality model. 

Drain Tile Empties into Sump Crock

Drain Tile Terminates at Sump Crock/Pump

Ask your contractor what he/she recommends in terms of model/manufacturer (for sizing and quality purposes).  The reason to say ask them for input is…you want to “remove the bullets from the gun”…so to speak. Don’t give them any reasons to point the finger at someone or something else.  You will find out very quickly after replacing the sump pump as to whether there are other problems with the installation of the drain tile.  One other thing to keep in mind, sump pumps don’t last all that long, so if you’ve had the current one for more than five years, it’s probably time to get a new one anyway.  You don’t want to damage your basement finishes trying to push the lifespan of the pump (unless you have two, of course).  I hope this helps and feel free to shoot other questions over if you have them.

Have you had problems with your drain tile or basement drainage?  Let us know about it and maybe we can provide some free advice that can help you come to a resolution.

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