According to the National Association of Home Builders, between 75% and 90% of homes in the Midwest, North Central, Eastern and New England states have basements, either full or partial. They are very common in Chicago and surrounding area.
Unfortunately, a large percentage of these basements will develop leaks and seepage over time and those homeowners will seek a solution to the problem.
Of course, no two houses (and no two basements) are alike and the sources of seepage or dampness vary but there is one tool in the kit of the basement waterproofing contractor that is the closest there is to being a universal solution – drain tile.
Drain tile works by relieving pressure created by oversaturated soil and removing water from the perimeter of the foundation. It can be installed on either the interior or exterior of the foundation and is an extremely effective method of keeping a basement dry.
When drain tile is recommended to a homeowner with a wet basement, the first question he or she usually asks is “How much does it cost?”
Regardless of its location, drain tile consists of perforated pipe embedded in washed gravel and is situated alongside the foundation footings. The pipe is connected at one or both ends to a sump basin where a sump pump discharges water away from the foundation.
One other thing in common between the two installations is that either is a labor-intensive undertaking. Most of the cost of drain tile is in the labor and not so much in the materials needed.
To install interior drain tile, the work begins by cutting out a portion of the basement floor that approximately 12 inches wide along the perimeter of the basement. With the concrete removed, the installers then dig out a trench down to the base of foundation footings.
The bottom of the trench is then filled with a bed of washed gravel and lengths of flexible, perforated corrugated plastic pipe are connected to a sump pump and laid on top of the gravel. The pipe is generally encased in a “sock” of filtration fabric. The trench is then filled with more gravel and new concrete floor is poured and finished. A meticulous installation will also include a specially designed cove molding (like a baseboard) that will allow any future seepage from the wall to be captured by the drain tile.
A typical full-perimeter drain tile installation can run between $8,000 and $15,000, depending on the choice of sump pumps and other accessories or additions. A four-wall installation is not always necessary and the cost will be reduced proportionately for smaller jobs.
Installation starts with an excavation down to the footings and wide enough for an installer to work in. A similar bed of washed gravel is poured into the bottom of the excavation.
Rigid, perforated PVC pipe is used for exterior drain tile because it better resists the movement of soil below ground and will last longer. The pipe is also wrapped in a filter sock, connected and laid on top of the gravel bed. More gravel is added and the excavation is backfilled.
Generally, exterior drain tile will cost two to three times the price of an interior installation, including the exterior waterproofing membrane. Final pricing depends on the depth of the foundation and any repairs or modifications that must be made to the foundation walls. Removing or working around landscaping, patios, decks and sidewalks may add to the cost.
Regardless of whether interior or exterior drain tile is the right solution for a home’s problems, the homeowner will need the advice and services of a basement waterproofing contractor with the experience to employ the most efficient installation practices. At U.S. Waterproofing, we have installed literally miles of drain tile, both interior and exterior, since our founding in 1957 and we have more than 300,000 satisfied customers around Chicagoland. Why not ask for our free advice?
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