Having drain tile installed around your home is an expensive process. A large portion of your yard has to be dug up, often to a depth of several feet, in order to ensure that the pipes are laid properly. Once the system is in place, it is crucial that you properly care for this system so that it continues to divert water away from your home.
Since drain tile is a passive system, the only thing keeping the water moving is gravity. When the pipes are first laid, the contractor will carefully survey the trench beds to ensure that all the pipes are on the proper slope. They will often use additional substrates to help keep the pipes at these depths as the system ages.
As good as these contractors are, they still can't plan for every possibility. While you know not to do any major landscaping without taking the underlying drain tile into account, your neighbors don't. In addition, Mother Nature always has her own plans concerning what the land around your home is going to do. With enough time or a big enough change, the ground underneath your drain tile can shift enough to cause a system failure.
While there is little you can do to prevent these external changes, you can keep an eye out for potential system failures. Any dumps or bumps in the ground near the system lines is cause for concern. If you notice excess dampness anywhere along the line after it rains, you should have someone out to check the system. While it might not cause any mediate problems, a break in your drain tile could force water back into your basement durning a major storm.
Long Term Care
Long term care for drain tile is primarily a matter of not doing anything to break the lines. Just as external forces can cause ground shifts over time, any changes you make to the ground around your drain tile could make the pipes break. Of course, you should never dig into your drain tile, but you should also avoid planting trees nearby, as the water in the pipes will encourage the trees to grow their roots into the system. If things get too bad, you might need to hire a plumber to snake out the pipes.
The one area you do need to care for is the place where the drain exits the ground. Depending on how much space you have, there are several different ways that the contractor could terminate the pipe. Regardless of the type of exit, or how many there are, you should never fill in these holes. If you are having issues with critters or yard waste getting in the pipes and clogging them, just have the contractor install a screen that will prevent these problems without reducing water flow.
Finally, keep your current drainage system in mind when installing any new drains. While an internal drain tile system will require a final drain somewhere within the boundaries of your external system, all other drainage systems need to be outside your drain tile. This includes septic tasks and gutters. In particular, you need to resist the temptation to allow water from your gutters to remain near your house. Do the extra work and move that water out away from the house.
Talking care of your drain tile system is not difficult, but this can make it easy to forget. Always remember that many of the mechanisms that keep your house safe are not really visible. This careful consideration will ensure that any changes you make will not cause additional problems.
For more information, talk to a contractor, or visit http://www.rite-waywaterproofing.com.