Anyone somewhat interested in home building knows of the importance of a weeping tile, especially with the type of harsh climate we get out here in Ontario, Canada. It is one of the most fundamental parts of maintaining a solid foundation is keeping it dry and strong.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your waterproofing tile system or you are new to deal with a wet basement, let’s be honest, the leakage problem is not a fun thing to deal with. The water can make its way into your home, causing leaks and water stains on the walls. These leaks are annoying and can reduce the value of your home. It can also be a source of mold, deteriorating the structure and cause mold growth.
In addition, your drainage conditions around the house are not always encouraging. The rainwater or melted snow when not routed away from the house can go reaching the base of the foundation. This results in hydrostatic pressure forces causing gaps and cracks in your foundation wall.
A lot of homeowners are terrified with the very idea of having a weeping tile system installed for their home. Rightly so because things like breaking out the concrete floor and patching the floor can be expensive. In order to ensure your home stays healthy you need to evaluate your available options for fighting off leaks.
Here’s our take on interior and exterior weeping tile system, what both of them are, the benefits of both, how both are integral to a home’s structure and foundation. So, let’s delve in:
Weeping Tile- So what is it?
To put it simply, a weeping tile is a drainage pipe that guides ground water away from the home. The purpose of the weeping tile is to help carry away any unwanted water from the foundation/footing– reducing the hydrostatic(water) pressure on the structure. This will then prevent any cracks or compromising the strength of the structure.
These weeping tiles- usually 4″+ in diameter are made up of perforated holes so water doesn’t fill up the sleeve. are usually connecting to one or more pit inside the basement of your home- collecting the water before its discharged out and away from the home with a sump pump.
Now that we have briefly gone over what the function of these weeping tiles is, we can compare the use of them within an interior and an exterior part fo your home.
Exterior Weeping Tile
As the name suggests, exterior waterproofing includes installation of a weeping tile beside the footing to stop water from coming into contact with the walls. These perforated weeping tiles won’t let the water to build up against your foundation walls and keep your basement dry.
The installation of exterior water proofing consists of two components – weeping tiles and an exterior barrier. The waterproofing contractor will first excavate the area surrounding your home to reach the foundation of basement walls. Once there, the experts will clean the area and install weeping tiles. They are long plastic pipes of standard length placed in a trench with perforations or holes inside. The water travels inside the pipes away from the foundation wall.
After this, the experts will clean the wall and apply a coat spray on waterproofing membrane on the wall. Afterwards, they install a dimple-board membrane so any water accumulated on the foundation wall is guided down into the weeping tile and away from the home. Such an arrangement helps prevent your basement from future cracks and leaks.
- The biggest pro of installing an exterior basement is the little or no disruption on the inside of your home. All the works are performed on the outside of your home
- In interior waterproofing, you need to clear the space and hand it over to the basement contractor. But in exterior type, you just have to take care of the landscape or anything around the perimeter of your house.
- With exterior weeping tile system, the saturated soil next to your house will be drained helping relieve lateral water pressure against the foundation. That’s a critical benefit when you have a cinder block foundation instead of concrete.
- Most if not all contractors who use the spray on membrane will provide you with a certificate letter/letter of guarantee that your house is waterproofed.
- If you have any attachments outside your house that are too close, like decks; you would have to demolish or remove them or go ahead with expensive shoring work
- It doesn’t take care of the drain water from beneath the basement floor. For such, you may also require a sump pit and an interior weeping tile.
- Exterior work includes extensive excavation, especially when basements are too deep. The same translates in to the cost and timeline of the work.
- Exterior waterproofing weeping tile systems require more time to complete.
Additional tips on installing an exterior weeper
In the province of Ontario, you must call the City Inspector to schedule an inspection prior to backfilling this area as they want to ensure it is installed correctly.
Now I will ALWAYS recommend to go a step further from the damp proofing of the concrete that is required by code. I do believe now that Building Codes have incorporated that you must put a waterproofing membrane on the exterior. Builders have gotten away with murder by doing the bare minimum and putting on the black tar that is damp proofing– making it very expensive for homeowners to do it after the fact. Given the fact that water levels are now rising quicker than every before due to global warming- you want to ensure that your basement and more importantly your structure is protected.
Interior Weeping Tile/ Waterproofing
With an interior weeping tile/ waterproofing, you only deal and manage with the water that passes through or under your foundation concrete block walls. It is a dewatering system where drain tile or weeping tile system is installed at the lowest point of the structure along the footing of the foundation inside of your basement.
In the interior weeping tile system, all the work takes place in the inside of your basement. But since no excavation is involved, the procedure is less expensive and less damaging. It is a highly proven and efficient waterproofing method for basements where the homeowners can’t compromise on the exterior landscape or features.
Interior waterproofing options include two components – a sump pump and a weeping tile system. A sump pump pit in the lowest part of your basement. The sump pump will get rid of the water build up beyond the capacity of weeping tile system. The weeping tile system is installed along the interior of the basement foundation wall to manage water that has already entered the foundation walls. This perimeter drainage system has proven to be a reliable waterproofing system and it can virtually deal with all sorts of foundation waterproofing problems.
- Since the work is performed on the inside of the basement, you won’t have to do disrupt outside work
- If your basement is already finished, you won’t have to remove the walls as weeping tile system captures floor and wall seepage.
- A lot of homeowners prefer interior system because it is less labor intensive and is less costly.
- The biggest pro of interior waterproofing is that it relieves the hydrostatic pressure underneath the floor. The piping system runs along the perimeter of the wall, it picks up the water from beneath the floor relieve any hydrostatic pressure.
- You won’t have to wait for permitting weathers to work. You can install interior perimeter drainage system even when the ground outside is frozen.
- Interior system has long life as they are not subjected to elements, soil conditions, or tree rots growth.
- Although it is less disruptive, but you can’t use your basement for the time being.
- As it is not a proofing system you may have to install exterior sealant to avoid water from leaching through the masonry foundation.
- You need to move away the store items on the shelves or cabinets etc.,
- The experts will remove drywall, studs, of insulation to reach 2 feet underneath the foundation of the floor.
Additional tips on installing an interior weeping tile
The most important tip I can give with regards to an interior weeping tile is to understand the soil conditions as well as the water table. We have taken on projects in the past where two sump pits are dug up just because of the sheer size or because we have hit the water table 5 ft down from the grade level.
A wet basement and foundation leaks is more than a nuisance. If you’ve got a finished living space in your basement, leaks and moisture can ruin carpeting, drywall, and framing. But even if you just use your basement as storage, a wet basement can encourage mold infestation. But don’t worry, the leaks in the basements are quite common and there are solutions for a soggy basement.
Whether the water is coming from falling rain, approaching drains or from rising ground water, interior or exterior weeping tiles have proven to be effective. Both methods can prevent water accumulation around your foundation, protect the basement concrete block walls, and avoid hydrostatic pressure along the basement walls.
But as you see both the interior and exterior basement waterproofing and weeping tile system have their own pros and cons. So, what method would work best for your home? Well, your decision depends on the situation you’re facing and the budget you have. That’s why it’s best to consult a professional and reputable waterproofing contractor who can assess your basement’s conditions and guide you towards making the best decision possible.
If you’re tight on budget, you’d obviously prefer an interior basement waterproofing system. The contractor would cost you less because it only has to deal with the couple inches of concrete floor instead of digging 6 to 7 feet of soil on the outside. Similarly, if you’re living in colder region like me in the suburbs of Toronto, you won’t prefer sub-standard repair because of improper curing or sealing of the foundation!
But on the other hand, if you already have spent a fortune on finishing off your basement, you might want to compromise on the disruption outside of your property. Anyhow, at the end of the day, the decision is entirely yours. The professional basement waterproofing companies can only provide you with enough information so you can make a decision that goes well with the budget, the seeping water reasons, and the situation of your basement.