What are Drainage Tiles and Why Do You Need Them?

Drainage Tiles are very important and you need them! When our RCC Waterproofing sales consultants talk about waterproofing, we often describe it as a system that is made up of key waterproofing materials that serve a specific purpose when working together. One of the most important parts of the waterproofing system is drainage as waterproofing is not just about preventing water from entering your basement foundation. Waterproofing is also about moving water away from your foundation walls, especially in Canada where colder temperatures will cause water to freeze and linger around your home for extended periods of time.

This is where one of those key waterproofing materials works to prevent water from doing damage to your home. After other waterproofing materials like a Hydro Guard rubberized membrane and an air gap membrane prevent the water from penetrating your foundation walls, drainage tiles work to collect the lion’s share of that water and disperse it in a way that won’t be harmful to the health of your foundation walls. In this article, we want to prove to you why you absolutely need drainage tiles by telling you what they are and how they are used. We hope this will help educate you on the topic of drainage tiles and give you the right information you need to know.

What are Drainage Tiles?

Drainage tiles (aka drainage pipes) are PVC plastic perforated pipes that connect together in a row and are used to either direct the water away from the foundation of the house or direct water into a collection source where it can disperse away from the house. These drainage pipes come in different diameters depending on the application but for residential homes, the typical standard diameter is 4 inches. The fact that these drainage tiles are perforated is important as these small cuts in the pipes work to disperse small amounts of water at a time as the water travels through the pipe, preventing the pipe from completely filling up or sustaining too much pressure. Sometimes, these perforated pipes are covered with a cloth sock that prevents excess amounts of dirt from entering inside of the drainage pipes.


Common Names for Drainage Tiles

Some other common names for drainage tiles include:

  • weeping tiles
  • perforated pipes
  • a french drain
  • foundation tiles
  • or clay tiles (if you still have the old style of drainage tile installed under your property)

When RCC Waterproofing crews excavate older homes, they very often find that the drainage system has not been replaced for a very long time and the indicator of this is that the drainage tiles are made of clay. These clay tiles could be what is under your home right now and they could be plugged up with excess debris or they could be impacted by roots that have grown in their direction. If a water leak happens at these particular stress points, that water could potentially find its way into your basement walls.

Where are Drainage Tiles Used?

The foot of residential concrete foundations is the most popular location to have drainage tile installed. A properly installed drainage system underneath your house is an essential and crucial part of the exterior waterproofing system. Drainage tiles gather water and transfer it away from the foundation, where it can be potentially harmful to the health of your foundation walls. Waterproofing contractors put them around the foundation of the house or beneath the floor slab in the basement. They are installed just before the waterproofing contractors start to backfill everything that was dug up from the trench and are buried in a bedding of 3/4 gravel that will also assist with drainage. They can also be used vertically when you need to install a window well. This makes it easier for the water accumulating inside of the window well pit to reach the drainage tile underneath or be properly dispersed into the soil.

A special type of drainage tiles can be installed on the inside of your basement as well and it is an essential part of the interior waterproofing process. This drainage is installed at the base of your basement walls and concealed underneath the cement of your basement floors. The system of drainage pipes is connected to your basement drain or your sump pump so that you can get rid of excess moisture that will build up in your basement due to hydrostatic pressure or other factors.




RCC Waterproofing and Foundation Repairs has been servicing Ontario customers for over 100 years. Their repairs have outlived lifetime warranties by at least two times. The company provides professionally trained sales representatives to view, assess and quote on repairs. The installers are employees of RCC and most have long term working relationships. RCC carries full insurance including WSIB coverage and HST registration.

RCC Waterproofing offers:
  • A Lifetime Waterproofing Guarantee!
  • 24-hour emergency services for Ontario residences
  • Fully trained technical sales representatives to view, assess and quote the repair
  • Over 100 years of third-generation family success both in products and services and superb warranty
  • Full-service options, providing either exterior or interior repairs depending on issues, location, and structure
  • A successful record of servicing over 75,000 customers

To learn more, contact RCC Waterproofing at 416-747-1920 or Toll-Free 1-888-766-2071 or Contact RCC for a Free Inspection