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Interior Drain Tile Systems

Interior Drain Tile is a type of drainage system that protects your home from general seepage. It works by relieving the hydrostatic pressure around the perimeter of the home and maintaining the water table level below the floor slab. Drain tile installation is typically a 2 -day process.

An interior drain tile system installed by Reliable Basement Systems consists of a few simple components:

  • Perforated PVC Pipe (Generally 4″ Diameter)
  • Filter Sock
  • Backfill Material (Generally 3/4″ Washed Gravel)
  • Cove Product (Drainage Board)

While every basement and install project is different Reliable Basement Services generally follows a similar procedure:

  1. Break open the floor slab around the perimeter 12″ out from exterior walls using jackhammers
  2. Excavate a trench roughly 12″ wide and 12″ deep depending on footing size and condition
  3. Install and pitch perforated PVC pipe towards a sump pit or other drain outlet
  4. Encase the PVC pipe in filter sock
  5. Backfill majority of the excavated trench with gravel
  6. Install HydroCove to protect the new system for re-pouring the concrete floor
  7. Re-pour concrete floor to match existing slab

The pipe acts as a passage to collect the water and direct it towards the sump pit where it can be pumped out of the home. The perforations along the pipe are the entry points for the water to get into this pipe. The filter sock acts as a layer of protection to prevent dirt, debris, and other material from getting inside the pipe. The gravel backfill acts as a collection point for the water to accumulate around the pipe and a front line of filtration for dirt before it can get to the filter sock. The cove product serves two very important functions. One, it protects our gravel and pipe when re-pouring the floor. Two, it is what directs water coming through the joint between the footing and foundation wall into your drain tile.

There are many indicators that your home may need drain tile or that your existing drain tile is clogged, damaged, installed incorrectly etc. Here are just a few things to look out for:

  • Seepage where the floor meets the foundation wall
  • Seepage up through floor cracks, slab penetrations, support posts in the middle of the floor
  • Efflorescence (white chalky substance) at any of these points
  • Staining, discoloration, rust colored lines around the perimeter of the home 12-18″ off the floor
  • Excessive paint peeling or concrete spalling
  • Deteriorating mortar joints in brick or cinder block walls

This is not exhaustive list, but merely some of the things to be aware of. The team at Reliable Basement Services can assess your home and provide additional information.

Typically, It Takes Us Just Two Days to Install a Drain Tile System

This Comes With a Lifetime Transferable Warranty!

Interior Drain Tile is the Best Balance Between Effectiveness and Affordability for Preventing Basement Seepage

They are also the most popular systems. As long as your interior basement drainage system is installed correctly and your sump pumps are maintained there is very little chance of getting water.

Around Chicago and many other parts of the country, most homes have at least partial basements or crawlspaces. The last thing that anyone wants in their basement is water. Every house that gets built nowadays has a drain tile system installed when the home is built. They are a part of the current building code because they are the best way to keep water out of structures that have any part built below grade level. An adequate foundation drainage system is essential to a dry basement. Your home may have been built before it was common practice to install drain tile. It may have an aging system that has become clogged or damaged. It may have a system that was installed incorrectly. Whatever the reason you may need interior drain tile installation consider using the expertise of Reliable Basement Services.


A foundation drain tile system has four main components: the drain tile (pipe), the filter media (gravel), the gravel cover, and the water outlet. All four of these components must be installed for any drainage system for basements to function properly. Usually, the drain tile (pipe) is 4 inches in diameter and is perforated or has pre-drilled holes along its length. Reliable Basement Services uses the filter media (gravel) to cover the drain tile. It’s easy for the water to flow readily through the gravel and into the pipe. Usually, we use washed gravel that measures approximately 1 to 1 ½ inches in diameter.

The water outlet is simply the place where the collected water flows to. It can be one of three places. If you live on a hillside, your drain tile will simply “daylight,” which means it will come to the surface. This is the best situation because it’s entirely dependent on gravity. If you build your home on level ground, you have two choices: install a sump pit or install a large buried French drain. If you choose a sump pit, it will usually be installed inside your basement. The drain tile pipe runs beneath the footer to this sump. The collected water will be mechanically pumped out from the sump.

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