Don't Plant Your Spring Bulbs Just Yet – Get Your Exterior Drain Tile Done First

If contractors recommend that you have an exterior drain tile or French drain placed around your home this fall, you may want to put off planting your spring bulbs until the contractors complete the work. Exterior drain tile installation is a big job that requires removing or uprooting the shrubs, plants and foundation placed around your home. Taking time to plant your spring bulbs now could end in disaster later. There's a reason for this – the contractors need to make room for your exterior drain tile's pipes. The drainage pipes prevent water from seeping into your basement or crawl space.

Why Do the Exterior Drain Tile Pipes Need to Be So Close to Your Home?

One of the things your contractors will need to do during the exterior drain tile installation is place a trench around your home. Contractors try to keep the trench as narrow as possible to avoid spreading out into the rest of your property. However, the contractors will uproot any gardens and plants you have placed close to the home to dig a trench deep enough to hold drainage pipes. The pipes need to catch rainwater before it reaches your basement or crawl space.

Water from rain or snow can flow toward the foundation of your home instead of away from it. The water eventually seeps beneath the wall or foundation, and into your basement or crawl space. Once this happens, the water turns into moisture. The weather's temperatures during each season may affect how much moisture stays beneath the foundation, as well as under your basement or crawl space.

If the area you live in is cold in the fall and winter, the moisture may not evaporate right away. Instead, the ground or soil becomes wet and cold beneath the foundation. During the spring and summer seasons, extremely rainy conditions can keep the soil bogged down with water. If the sun doesn't come out and evaporate the excess water throughout the day, the water drains into the basement or crawl space.

In order for the exterior drain tile pipes to protect your home from water and moisture during every season, the contractors follow specific requirements when they do the installation.

How Do Contractors Place the Exterior Drain Tile's Pipes?

Contractors place a system of perforated drainage pipes in the trench. These pipes sit several feet in the ground and connect to another drainage system in your yard, or they empty out into the property. The contractors typically place the pipes over gravel. The drainage tile experts also cover the pipes with another layer of gravel and sand once they complete the placement.

In addition, the gravel can do four things in the trench:

  1. Support the pipelines so that they don't collapse or fall to the bottom of the trench
  2. Keep the pipes insulated from excessive cold temperatures in the ground that can cause the pipes to freeze and open
  3. Soak up extra water that can rust metal pipelines or warp plastic pipelines – these problems may require exterior drainage pipe repair services if they do happen
  4. Allow water to flow downward and toward the trench – the contractors place the trench at an angle or on a slope from the house

The covered trench won't interfere with planting your spring bulbs once the contractors finish the installation. Depending on how far the contractors place the trench, you should have at least 3 feet of planting space available to use. You won't know for sure until the project completes.

If you have questions about the exterior drain tile installation, be sure to ask your contractors before they begin the work. 

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