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I recently got my drain tile replaced by professionals. They poured new concrete over the new drain tile. The thing that struck me as odd was that the weep holes are partially to fully above the level of the new concrete. I was under the assumption that weep holes were supposed to be drilled just above the footing to allow water to drain into the drain tile. After weep holes are drilled, it is then covered up with gravel, then the fresh concrete. Am I just speaking out of ignorance, or am I correct? Are weep holes supposed to sit above the floor level? If so, it looks terrible.

Completed Drain Tile

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  • Drain tile is usually placed around the lowest level of the building/structure to allow the groundwater to drain to the discharge point. It should be covered with coarse backfill, not concrete. The weep hole is required for the retaining wall to supplement the drain line to drain the groundwater from behind the wall to the exterior/front side of the wall, and usually is started right above, or a few inches above the footing base. What is your situation, a basement wall, or a retaining wall?
    – r13
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 23:36
  • It's a basement wall. I added an image to display what I'm talking about. There's also this clear plastic sticking a good 3-6 inches above floor level
    – Mitchell
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 0:38

3 Answers 3

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I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. Someone did a hack-job. Sadly, this isn't uncommon in the waterproofing world. There's a lot of hacks. It's unfortunately an industry where charlatans and honest businesses are difficult to differentiate, since the work is all hidden behind concrete and the company is long gone when the problem re-occurs.

The purpose of the weep holes is of course to drain any water that gets into the hollow blocks of the wall. Either you put the weep holes below the floor level (if there are indeed concrete blocks this low, which there often isn't), or you put the weep holes where you see them. Then put something called dimple board on the wall, covering the weep holes and extending below where the concrete is poured.

Dimple board is just a thick sheet of plastic that has raised dimples on it so it creates an air void above the wall so the water can flow from the weep hole, under the dimple board, and drain into the rock+drain tile, then into the sump.

These idiots just decided to let the weep holes drain onto your concrete floor. Why? Who knows how people like this think.

This is bad enough that I'd question the quality of the rest of the job. Sorry to hear you got taken by charlatans.

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My friend, you are in trouble.

I guess have a wet basement and wanted to keep it dry by diverting water to the subdrainage enclosed by the drain tile. Then you encased the drain tile in concrete in order to prevent the groundwater from getting into the drain tile and backflow into the basement. This scenario has several problems:

  1. The concrete can crack, so the groundwater will get into it and flow back into the basement.

  2. At certain times, the water at the discharge point could be higher than the elevation of the drain tile, then again, the drain line will be filled and backflow into the basement.

  3. The water in the basement wouldn't drain or drains slowly due to the reasons above.

  4. Most importantly, your wall wasn't designed for the hydrostatic pressure from the groundwater. Now as it has nowhere to go but stay still pushing against your wall, the wall can crack or even collapse depending on the height of the groundwater.

The correct ways to solve the problems of the wet basement:

  1. If the local groundwater elevation is high, you shall keep/restore the drain tile, then waterproof the exterior face of the wall, and backfill with granular material. The finished ground shall be sloped away from the house.

  2. Inside the basement, you shall install a drain pipe and slope the base slab towards the drain. The drain pipe shall end at a sump pit that pumps the water out automatically. The water shall be disposed into the stormwater line at grade level.

I suggest having an engineer look into your plan. But no weep holes, please.

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  • There is gravel around the new drain tile, so it goes drain tile, gravel, then fresh cement. The drain tile does lead to a sump pump. I just think they eyeballed the initial weep holes and went way too high
    – Mitchell
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 2:05
  • I still it is wrong. But if you chose to live with it, your basement might stay dry from the groundwater if it is not running fully in the drain line. But you won't be able to clear the water in the basement. Good luck.
    – r13
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 3:08
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Yeah those guys definitely didn't do the job right there should be waterproofing membrane, what they call dimple board underneath that concrete and going up your wall covering those holes

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