What Is Weeping Tile? How Does Weeping Tile Work

What Is Weeping Tile? How Does Weeping Tile Work

What Is Weeping Tile?

A weeping tile is a type of porous pipe utilized for collecting or discharging underground water. The pipe gets its name from the way it exudes liquids, giving the appearance of “weeping.” In the past, these pipes were made of terracotta tiles but today they are typically constructed of corrugated plastic pipes with small slits or weep holes.

The pipe is buried among larger aggregate rocks which prevent excessive soil from clogging the slits. Water from the surrounding soil then flows into the weeping tile which drains into a solid pipe and either discharged or directed into a sump for removal by a pump.

Weeping tiles are commonly employed for basement waterproofing, where they are referred to as French drains. They can also be used in agricultural fields to drain waterlogged land and anywhere that soil drainage is required.

In septic drain fields for septic tanks, weeping tiles serve the opposite purpose and are used to distribute clarified sewage from the tank.

How Does Weeping Tile Work

Weeping tile, also known as a drain tile or a perimeter drain, is an underground pipe system that collects and redirects water away from a foundation to keep it dry. The weeping tile is buried around the foundation of the building and works by allowing surface water to enter through perforations in the side of the pipes.

This allows the water to be redirected into drainage systems such as storm drains. Weeping tiles also minimize hydrostatic pressure buildup under buildings, which greatly reduces the risk of basement flooding.

Additionally, some weeping tile systems are designed to filter out any sediment from entering before re-entering the environment, helping reduce pollution levels in local rivers and streams.

How To Install A Weeping Tile

Weeping tiles are a common feature in modern homes. A trench is dug around the foundation during construction and the surrounding earth is sloped properly. The pipe is often covered in cloth or mesh to prevent soil clogging and is surrounded by coarse gravel for better drainage.

The area is then filled with dirt and possibly concrete. Homebuilders ensure proper sloping during construction, but homeowners are responsible for maintenance. Properly installed and maintained weeping tiles can last several decades.

How To Fix A Faulty Weeping Tile System

Water will inevitably find its way into the ground and reach the exterior of basement walls, either through the backfill or between the strata. This highlights the importance of proper installation of the exterior weeping tile system, as a poorly installed system will require excavation and redoing.

In older homes, clogging of open clay pipes’ socks or holes is a common issue, and the only solution is to dig out the foundation and replace the pipes with newer plastic pipes, covered with a rot-proof permeable material.

Types Of Weeping Tile Systems

There are two main types of weeping tile systems: exterior and interior. Exterior weeping tile, also known as French drain, prevents water from entering the basement by directing it away from the house through a sloped trench, gravel and pipe.

The water is filtered and channeled through the gravel and holes in the pipe. Interior weeping tile is used when an exterior system fails, it is installed under the basement floor and directs water to a sump pump for discharge.

The installation process is similar to installing a sump pump, a 12-inch wide trench is cut around the basement and a pipe with course gravel is placed inside, covered with concrete.

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