How to Tell If Your Weeping Tile Is Plugged

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A weeping tile is not actually a tile. It is a six inch plastic pipe that contains several small holes and is placed against your home’s footing and runs around the outer edge, leading into the sump pump pit. The weeping tile is buried under the soil and collects water from the soil near your foundation wall. Weeping tile can become blocked by tree roots or soil and when this happens, it cannot drain water away from your home fast enough. This moisture presses against the foundation from the outside and results in leaks.

Inspect your basement or crawlspace for cracks in your foundation walls. These may be horizontal, vertical or diagonal and may be hairline cracks or larger. As water pools against the foundation due to a clogged or blocked weeping tile system, the force of the water can cause foundations to crack.

Search for leaks in your basement and crawlspace. Small areas of dampness or pools of water around your windows and on the floors are signs that the water may not be draining away from your home as it would do if the weeping tile system is working properly.

Pay attention to unusual odors. If some areas have a strong musty or damp smell, this is a sign of mold or mildew due to moisture.

Look for mold or mildew along joists, on walls and on flooring. Stained or peeling drywall, paneling or paint and lifted flooring indicate significant moisture behind your walls and under your flooring. Water pooling around the weeping tile may seep into these areas and over time this can result in mold or mildew growth.

Inspect the sump pump pit. You should see some water in the bottom. This is normal and traps gases to prevent odor. If you notice moisture or leaks in your basement and the pit is not filling with water, this may mean the weeping tile is blocked.

Go outside and inspect the soil near your home’s foundation and inside your window wells. A blocked weeping tile will cause water to pool around these areas during wet weather.

Run a garden hose near, but not on your exterior foundation wall or a window well to test the weeping tile. Turn on the hose and let the water run.

Return to the basement and watch the sump pump pit. The water from the hose should eventually be carried by the weeping tile system to the sump pump pit. If the pit does not fill, the weeping tile is probably blocked or broken.

Contact a professional to install a new weeping tile system. A blocked weeping tile cannot usually be cleared out or repaired. It must be dug up and replaced.

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