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Installing Weeping Tile Systems That Last

an ugly weeping tile system installed in a basement.

Hiring a contractor to install weeping tile in your home is a significant investment in your home.

The wrong weeping tile can create a nonfunctional eyesore in your home that leaves you with a wet basement.

The difference between a quality weeping tile system and a cheap one is the difference between a dry basement and one that will eventually flood.

Like all technologies these days, weeping tile has come a long way! Today's drain pipe installations are more effective and faster to install than ever before.

What Makes A Great Weeping Tile System?

A great weeping tile system relies on five factors:

  • Resists Clogging
  • Drains Water From The Walls
  • Does Not Rely On Filter Fabric
  • Has A Big Drain Outlet To The Sump
  • Will Not Cause Foundation Structural Damage

At Basement Systems, our waterproofing systems meet all of these requirements, and are provided with a written transferable warranty.

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We have the warrantied solutions you need to keep your basement dry all the time! Call us for a free basement waterproofing estimate!

Weeping Tile DOs and DON'Ts

To be able to use your basement, you're going to need to count on it to be dry -- and to stay dry. If the space can't be relied on to stay dry, you probably won't feel comfortable investing in finishing your basement, storing your valuables there, or making personal use of the space.

Below is a list of DOs and DON'Ts that we've learned through seeing basement waterproofing systems for more than two decades. We can think of many a homeowner who wishes someone had told them about these -- before their basement flooded!

A diagram of the mud zone, showing that some drains are installed in the mud, and some are installed out of the mud.

DO Install Your Weeping Tile Above the "Mud Zone"

When your foundation is built, and before your concrete slab floor is placed, the builders will create a level surface by filling in some of the space with dirt. In some cases, they will place gravel on top of that dirt.

Any weeping tile system should be installed above that level of dirt to keep from clogging.

Why It Works:

If you place a drainage system directly in mud, that mud is going to wash into the drainage system. Over time, this mud will build up and potentially clog your drain. At Basement Systems, we prefer to install our drains above this mud zone to keep your drain functioning the way it's meant to.

A weeping tile system that incorporates an open gap along the floor that will accept dirt, dust, and debris.

DON'T Leave An Open Gap Along The Floor

One important key to a waterproofing system is its ability to collect water from the walls, whether the walls are leaking now or simply have the potential to leak in the future.

To try to accomplish this, many contractors will install an open gap that's flush with the basement floor. While creating a way to collect water from the walls is the right idea, this is the wrong way of doing it.

Do This Instead!

A better way is to have spacers along the back of the flange that stick up above the floor for 3/8".By creating this wall flange, you protect the wall drain from collecting with dirt, dust, and debris that could be swept into it from the floor.

If your Basement Systems dealer is also installing one of our basement wall products for you, we can tuck this neatly into this wall flange, directing all water from your walls to your drainage system.

A sump pump system installed in a basement floor.

DO Install A Sump Pump System

Some contractors will install a weeping tile system that includes a "gravity drain" that is meant to drain water without any mechanical help.

Basement Systems prefers to install sump pump systems, which will pump the water away from your house.

Why It Works:

Gravity drains must run downhill, and your basement is already underground. It's very rare that a gravity drain system can be installed properly.

A sump pump system will be able to pump the water away from your house, no matter how your house is situated in your yard.

Sump pump systems are also much less likely to clog than gravity drains. As the water is being pumped out of your system, it rushes out quickly, with much less time for sediments to build up as they may with a gravity drain.

A backhoe excavating a foundation to install weeping tile.

Don't Install Your Weeping Tile From The Exterior Of The Foundation

Some contractors tell homeowners that the best way to waterproof a basement is from the outside.

Installing a drain along the base of your foundation requires you to excavate your foundation to place the drain. This process drives up the price of installation dramatically.

Once the drain system has been installed, dirt is pulled on top of it to fill the excavated space.

Over time, some of this dirt will make its way into your weeping tile, clogging the system. Once clogged, the only way to service the system is to excavate the foundation again.

Do This Instead!

Installing weeping tile on the inside of the home often costs less than half the price of one installed along the exterior. Interior weeping tile systems can be installed with no disruption to your yard or landscaping, and the installation can be completed in one, perhaps two days.

A basement specialist providing a free estimate to two homeowners.

DO Hire A Professional

A "Jack Of All Trades" is a master of none. There are many mistakes made with weeping tile installation these days -- and many of them are being made by plumbers, general contractors, and do-it-yourselfers.

We recommend that you consult with a professional, certified waterproofer before installing weeping tile in your home.

Why It Works:

Professional waterproofers are experts in their field -- installing weeping tile and sump pumps is what they do every day. A reliable company will offer a warranty with their system that can be transferred to the next homeowner should you decide to sell the home. Waterproofing your home well is their livelihood!

Our basement drain system compared to round PVC pipe.

Don't Install Generic Weeping Tile

Many homeowners will see the lower cost of PVC pipe materials over modern drainage systems and opt for them instead. At Basement Systems, we strongly recommend against installing a PVC pipe system in your basement for drainage.

Do This Instead!

Modern improvements on PVC drain tile have made systems that install much more quickly and are more clog-resistant.

Larger, clumsier PVC weeping tile systems require the installer to jackhammer a larger section of the floor and dig deeper. Your contractor will work harder and longer to remove the extra debris, and spend more money on concrete as they restore the concrete after installation.

While the initial cost of PVC may be lower, you'll be paying the difference in installation time, removal of debris, and extra concrete. So how much money would you really be saving?

Which Drain Should You Choose?

At Basement Systems, we know that not all wet basements are the same, and we've got a weeping tile solution for any problem you may have.

The chart below will give you some pointers on which of our systems are best suited for your home. Click on the name of each system to learn more.

Weeping Tile Application Chart

Generic Drain WaterGuard® DryTrak® TrenchDrain WaterGuard® IOS FlowGuard SmartPipe™
Directs Water To Sump Pump green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
Installs From The Interior green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
Installed Above The Mud Zone green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
Installs With An Open Gap Along The Floor green checkmark
Lifetime Transferable Warranty green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
Designed For Monolithic Floors green checkmark
Appropriate For Thin Basement Floors green checkmark green checkmark
Collects Water From Hatchway Entrances green checkmark
Appropriate For Use In Basements With Iron Ochre Problems green checkmark
Collects Water From Hatchway Entrances green checkmark

We Install warrantied, Proven Weeping Tile Systems!

At Basement Systems, we've installed our warrantied weeping tile systems in hundreds of thousands of homes throughout Canada and the United States. Our basement professionals have been specialists in the field for more than twenty years.

We'd like to offer you a free, no-obligation weeping tile installation estimate, customized for your unique problem. Each free estimate includes a personal on-site consultation, written estimate, and a copy of our full-color waterproofing book. To schedule your estimate, call or e-mail us today!

Generic Weeping Tile

Generic weeping tile is usually designed from round sections of PVC or plastic hose. They are installed on either the inside of the basement or along the outside perimeter.

This type of weeping tile is highly prone to clogging, and once it does, it's not accessible. It is not appropriate in unique conditions, such as when iron ochre is present in the water.

Generic weeping tile is difficult and labor-intensive to install. Installation creates more waste, and more concrete will be needed to patch up the floor.

A generic photo of a weeping tile system for wet basements.


As our most versatile drain system to date, WaterGuard® has become the most popular weeping tile design we offer.

WaterGuard® is perfect for most basements, providing a below-floor system that does not sit in the "mud zone". A unique wall flange collects water from the walls, and can be integrated with our line of basement wall products.

Installation of this system is fast, effective, and is provided with a lifetime written transferable warranty against groundwater seepage.

WaterGuard® weeping tile system for leaking basement problems.


If your home has monolithic floors, or the floors are extremely thick, this is the idea system for you.

At Basement Systems, we know that with monolithic foundations, the floor and footing are poured together, and these floors require special care. Jackhammering a floor like this is labor intensive, and it generates a great deal of concrete dust.

Our DryTrak® system is designed to install above the basement floor, collecting water from the wall-floor joint on monolithic floors. This way, there is no jackhammering required., or the dust that goes with it.

Baseboard weeping tile system for homes with thick or monolithic floors


Often, a homeowner will experience issues with moisture entering through home through leaky hatchway stairs. While this flooding is not always severe, it's certainly something our customers would like to address.

Our customized TrenchDrain system is the ideal solution for this kind of problem. Designed with a grated top that installs flush with the floor, it collects leaking water before it can flood into your basement, directing it to your sump pump.

grated weeping tile system for leaking hatchway doors

WaterGuard® IOS

In some unusual cases, homeowners who have high iron or manganese levels in their groundwater will see a thick, rust-colored substance oozing on to their basement floor.

This material, known as iron ochre, is caused by iron bacteria, and is present across the globe. It presents no known health issues, but it has a foul smell, and it stains anything it touches.

This weeping tile system is specifically designed with wide openings and a completely removable lid that allows for service access and helps your system to avoid clogging.

Our IOS system address iron ochre issues for weeping tile systems


At Basement Systems, we recommend installing a perimeter drain system on the interior of your foundation walls. However, if your basement floor is extremely thin, it can be challenging to "hide" your drain below the concrete floor slab.

In these cases, our dealers will recommend our FlowGuard thin floor weeping tile system.

FlowGuard will collect water from the wall/floor joint, as well as the basement walls. It then directs it to a drain that's placed in front of your foundation footer and underneath the floor. It's the best of both worlds for this uncommon scenario.

A thin floor basement weeping tile system installed


Many crawl spaces have dirt floors, making it challenging to avoid the "mud zone" when installing a perimeter drain system. In these cases, we recommend the SmartPipe™ weeping tile system.

Designed to be installed within a drainage swale along the crawl space perimeter, this system includes five perforated rows of drainage holes, as well as a clog-resistant filter fabric to keep dirt clogging to a minimum.

The SmartPipe™ system is the first custom-engineered crawl space drain on the market. It's a cost-effective and long-lasting way to keep your space dry all the time!

A weeping tile system for flooding dirt crawl space floors

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Quality, Innovation, Patents, Awards

Our innovative and forward-thinking approach to designing products has solved wet basement problems that the basement waterproofing and crawl space industry has faced for decades, and our patented sump pump systems are the smartest and most reliable. Plus we listen to our customers and respond accordingly! Basement Systems Inc. has been awarded 24 Patents and 19 Innovation Prizes on waterproofing products we use every day, including a battery back up sump pump system. This approach ensures the best waterproofing systems and solutions available.