drain tiles are generally next to foundations and six to eight feet deep

What Is Drain Tile And Do You Need It

[Updated April 2022]

Homeowners who live in an area where it usually rains heavily are often worried about one thing the most: that it might flood and water might get into their basement or crawl space. This is a legitimate concern, too, because water damage repairs can be quite expensive, and some belongings that can be destroyed are irreplaceable.

This is why many homeowners ensure that they have drain tiles. Now, if you are wondering what it is and how it works, our reliable and expert drainage contractors from Michigan will answer your questions about it:

What Is a Drain Tile?

It may be confusing for some that drain tiles are called as such because it isn’t a tile but more like a system of perforated pipes installed beneath or alongside the home’s foundation. What the pipes do is collect water before it reaches the foundation and gets it into the pipe network that will lead the water to a sump pump or a drain system.

Drain tile systems are an excellent way to drive water away from the home’s foundation, so there won’t be any risk of water seeping through cracks in the foundation!

How Does a Drain Tile Work?

Modern drain tile systems are usually made of PVC or other crush-resistant plastic pipes that are perforated to let water in. The best time to install drain tile is when a new home is being constructed and the foundation footer has already been laid. Often, the pipe is laid in a trench running alongside the footer itself.

It is then covered with washed gravel that is too large for the pipe’s perforations and loose enough to let filtered water in. Then, it is covered with a fabric that is porous enough to allow water in while keeping soil out of the pipes simultaneously. Soil is then poured on top of the pipe system.

The way the drain tile system works is actually quite simple. It merely makes a path that encourages water to follow around the house and down to the drain tile. Once in the pipes, water can just flow downward through the system and out to the drainage outlet, ensuring that the house’s foundation remains dry!

Do I Need a Drain Tile System?

If the house is still being built, you should definitely install a drain tile system to give you peace of mind knowing that you have secured your home’s foundation and won’t be dealing with water damage. But what if your existing home is already showing signs of potential water issues?

Well, you can still have drain tile retrofitted to address the problem. However, as this requires excavation in your basement and out in your yard, it can be quite costly, and the project can take days or even weeks.


A drain tile system is an excellent solution to prevent water from damaging your home’s foundation and seeping into your basement and crawl space. Typically, it is best to do a drain tile installation in the early stages of the home construction, but if that’s not possible, it can still be retrofitted around an already existing home. If your home needs protection from water damage, make sure that the contractors who will handle the installation are experienced and dependable!

Sir Williams Drainage & Waterproofing Solutions has been providing reliable backyard drainage solutions in Michigan for over four decades now. No matter what drainage or waterproofing problems you may be facing, you can trust that seasoned experts can handle them efficiently. Contact our team today to set an appointment!

Sir Williams Gardens in Michigan can help you with your interior or exterior flooding issues.

We provide drainage, waterproofing, and landscaping services in the following towns:

  • Plymouth, MI
  • Canton, MI
  • Northville, MI
  • Novi, MI
  • Livonia, MI
  • Salem, MI
  • Farmington, MI
  • Farmington Hills, MI
  • Ypsilanti, MI
  • Westland, MI
  • Van Buren TWP, MI