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Weeping Tiles vs. French Drains – Which Is Right For Your Needs

When homeowners finally decide to replace their old, damaged drains and update their home’s drainage waterproofing system, they’re usually conflicted between two types of drains – weeping tiles and French drains. Although many people assume that weeping tiles and French drains are the same, they actually indicate two different drainage systems. While they have the same purpose, what sets weeping tiles and French drains apart is their placement and output.
In this weeping tile vs. French drain article, we’ll explain the basic difference between these two types of pipes. We’ll also help you decide which drainage system will work best for your home.

What Are Weeping Tiles?

Contrary to what the name suggests, weeping tiles aren’t actually tiles at all. They’re pipes with so-called weep holes, which allow water to drain away from your home, making it look like the pipes are “weeping.” Water accumulates beneath your house on a regular basis. If you don’t have a properly installed drainage system, it could cause massive damage to your property that’s both time-consuming and expensive to repair.
The main purpose of a weeping tile is to get rid of underground water. That’s why these types of drains are typically installed under your basement, and they can even be laid 8 to 10 feet below the surface. However, they can also be placed in trenches surrounding the premises.
These types of pipes have a sponge-like design, as they allow water to discharge away from the property. They’re usually made from corrugated plastic, and they’re 4 inches wide. When a sufficient amount of water is gathered in the pipes, it’s discharged into the property’s sump and can then be removed by a sump pump.

Installing weeping tiles is a standard part of basement waterproofing and it should be considered by every homeowner. Once installed beneath your basement, the weeping tiles are then filled with coarse gravel and soil. These pipes also need to be connected to an underground sump pit that’s somewhere on or near your property. After everything is complete, these pipes are covered with concrete.

What Are the Benefits of Weeping Tiles?

Weeping tiles play a significant role in keeping your home free from flooding and moisture buildup. What makes them better than standard, fully-enclosed water pipes is that they collect seeping groundwater, which is then directed towards the main channel and to the sump pit. Therefore, weeping tiles provide your basement and home with better drainage. They can also protect a structure from hydrostatic pressure.
Properly installed weeping tiles can last for a few decades. Not only do they protect your home and basement from water damage, but they also prevent mould, mildew, and many other harmful buildups. Another benefit of installing weeping tiles is that they go underground, so they won’t decrease your home’s exterior beauty. Finally, installing high-quality weeping tiles means a higher resale value for your property.
Weeping tile installation in progress

What Are French Drains?

French drains and weeping tiles are very similar, and both of them are standard parts of basement waterproofing systems. What’s more, they have the same purpose as weeping tiles – to protect the basement from moisture buildup and foundation damage. However, what sets them apart is their placement and output.
French drains are actually exterior weeping tiles. As opposed to weeping tiles, which are supposed to be installed below the ground level and laid on a slope, French drains are installed on the ground level just below the surface. Their job is to redirect underground water to a septic tank or a drain area, keeping your property flood-free. It also drains melting snow and rainwater runoff away from your property.
A French drain is a type of perforated pipe that’s installed in trenches, which is then filled with gravel or rock. Once installed, French drains need to be maintained and inspected regularly to prolong their lifespan.
Another feature that makes French drains different from weeping tiles is that they can also protect your backyard from the same issues. By managing the pools of water and snow before they get to the property’s foundation, French drains stop the water buildup and redirect it to the drain area before it reaches the basement.

What Are the Benefits of French Drains?

French drains prevent the over-saturation of soil. They are ideal for homes in areas where it rains or snows a lot because they can help prevent basement flooding, keeping rainwater runoff away from foundations and basements. They can also be used for retaining walls in order to relieve groundwater pressure. In some cases, French drains can even prevent erosion.
These types of drains can also solve issues with surface water by directing it away from the low-lying areas on your property and into drain areas. Even though French drains are exterior pipes, they are still buried underground, so they won’t ruin your home’s aesthetic. Just like weeping tiles, installing French drains come with a higher property resale value.

Weeping Tiles vs. French Drains – MT Drains Will Help You Decide

You might be wondering when is the right time to install weeping tiles or whether you should do it in the first place. Improperly installed or damaged weeping tiles lead to basement leaks. These types of issues can go undetected for years, and such repairs can cost a fortune. Even if they are properly maintained, your home’s drainage system can potentially wear out after 10 years or so. That’s why you should choose strong, thick, and quality-built weeping tiles or French drains.

No matter which drainage system you opt for, weeping tiles or French drains, these types of installations are extremely labour-intensive. They’re not your standard DIY project, and they’re not intended for homeowners with no draining experience. So, the next step is to find professional waterproofing experts who you can trust to do the job the right way.
MT Drains & Plumbing will help you install weeping tiles or French drains on your property in the safest and most efficient way possible. We are a licensed and insured professional plumbing service, and we have had our fair share of basement waterproofing and draining jobs. With over 21 years of experience, we offer specialized plumbing services in Vaughan and the Greater Toronto areas. labour-intensive. They’re not your standard DIY project, and they’re not intended for homeowners with no draining experience. So, the next step is to find professional waterproofing experts who you can trust to do the job the right way.

We can help you with internal and external basement waterproofing, sump pump installations, or give you advice on what kind of drainage system will work best for your home. We handle each project with care, responsibility, and attention to detail. You can contact us any time by calling us at 905-761-5551.


Paul S

Paul has more then 20 years in basement waterproofing and plumbing projects experience. Looking for an advice from an expert plumber? Make sure to read Paul's articles about residential waterproofing and plumbing projects in Toronto.

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