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Protecting Your Home With the Right Waterproofing System

Waterproofing your basement is an important part of protecting your home from water damage, but not all waterproofing systems are created equal. Flexible, corrugated drain tile is popular for its affordability and ease of installation, but in reality, it’s not the best choice for keeping your basement dry. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why you should avoid using flexible corrugated drain tile when selecting a waterproofing system for your home. 

The Problem With Flexible Corrugated Drain Tile 

Flexible, corrugated drain tile is designed to be used in surface drainage systems or as a collection pipe for sump pumps. It’s not a proper waterproofing solution. In fact, there are several problems with this type of drainage pipe. 

  1. We’ve been asked to replace many, many waterproofing systems that use this pipe and many of them fail because they can’t handle the backfilled soil and gravel. They tend to collapse and then get plugged up with dirt and debris.
  2.  If corrugated pipe does fail, it can cause extensive damage in the form of basement flooding.
  3. The pipe is flexible and installs like a roller coaster in the trench. This creates low spots where water can be held increasing the risks for mold and mildew.
  4. Even if the pipe was capable of maintaining a smooth downward slope to the sump basket, the corrugations also hold water.
  5. The slots cut in the pipe to allow water in are rather narrow and, over time, can be breached by minerals in the water causing the system to lose efficiency.
  6. Corrugated pipe can become blocked with silt and debris, which can cause flooding.

To make things worse, many municipalities require contractors to put a filter over the corrugated pipe (like a sock) and simply set it next to the foundation. Here’s the problem, filters tend to clog and because there is no drainage field to take care of the dirt, sand, and silt problem the system functions far below it’s capacity.

Advantages of Rigid PVC Drainage Pipe 

Rigid PVC drainage pipe offers superior performance when compared to flexible corrugated drain tile. 

  1. It’s strong enough to withstand the weight of gravel and new cement and won’t break down over time.
  2. We can ensure the pipe is installed at a steady downward slope to the sump basket so there will be no low spots to hold water.
  3. Rigid PVC has no corrugations to hold excess water.
  4. The holes in rigid PVC are larger than those in flexible, corrugated pipe and cannot be breached by minerals in the water.
  5. When installed correctly, surrounded by a washed rock drainage field, the pipe is not sitting on the dirt bottom of the trench. It’s elevated to prevent silt infiltration. 

Comparing Flow Rates

For the purpose of retrofit, sub-soil drainage — commonly referred to as basement waterproofing — the Minnesota Uniform Plumbing Code specifies drainage conduit with a minimum 3” diameter. 

3 inch corrugated drainage conduit, with an opening of 7.06 square inches, has a flow rate of 35 gallons per minute. The corrugations cause friction as the water flows through, affecting flow rate. The corrugations also hold water, so it does not drain completely. Plus, it’s flexible, which makes it difficult to install at a continuous downhill slope, once again, affecting flow rate.

3 inch Rigid PVC drainage conduit, also with an opening of 7.06 square inches, has a flow rate of about 44 gallons per minute. It follows a smooth downward slope to the sump basin and drains completely. 

Our Solution

Standard Water installs a sub-slab rigid drain tile system, the most effective system according to the University of Minnesota.  By placing the drain tile alongside the footing, water is allowed to drain to a level beneath the slab. Getting water across the footing and into the main drainage field is one of the biggest challenges to installing one of these systems.  Contractors have used several methods to move water across the footing.  Some installed small tubes from the block to the drainage field.  These are prone to sediment blockage, and also make it hard to replace the concrete floor to the same thickness as the original slab.  Other contractors installed washed rock on top of the footing, which isn’t prone to blockage, but again doesn’t allow the contractor to replace the concrete to the original thickness.  Our Patented Diamond Drainage Board solves that problem. We install a state of the industry sump pump with the best warranty in the business. 

Plus, you get our lifetime warranty. It’s good for the life of your foundation and you can transfer the warranty to the new owners if you ever decide to sell.

Add Battery Backup For Extra Peace Of Mind

With our custom branded Battery Backup System you can sleep soundly at night knowing that the rains will come and go without interruption. The backup pump moves 2,400 gallons per hour with a 10 foot head. The battery can run 7 hours straight or intermittently for days, and will remain viable for 5 to 7 years. The Backup Control Unit monitors household power, battery and pump conditions. It triggers and runs the backup pump once a week to assure proper operation and much more. Importantly, most backup pumps are tied into the same discharge pipe as the main pump. We think this is a problem. When you Combine our backup system with our Dual Seamless Discharge pipes you’ll also have added pumping capacity. If there’s ever an interruption in your electrical service the last thing you’ll have to worry about is your basement waterproofing system.


When selecting a waterproofing system for your home, make sure you choose one that uses rigid PVC drainage pipe instead of flexible corrugated drain tile for maximum protection against water damage. Rigid PVC drainage pipe offers superior protection against water damage compared to flexible corrugated drain tile. Investing in the right waterproofing system now will save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs due to water damage!  If you have any questions about which type of system would be best for your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re always happy to help!

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