blocked drain tile

We frequently hear from homeowners seeking answers to repair and maintenance problems. Many of these questions and answers are compiled in our Home Improvement Library. Here is a recent question.


My husband suspects our drain tile is blocked. Short of digging up the perimeter of the house, is there any way to check this? If we end up digging would you be able to recommend a reputable contractor?


We’re guessing a continually wet basement is what prompts your question.

For exterior drain tile concerns, can you locate the end of the drain tile? If it drains or exhausts to “daylight” – meaning you can find the exhaust end of the pipe (like the photo above) – then you can have it pressure washed just like a sewer line. You can also have the sewer folks run a camera into the drain tile pipe to see the interior condition (we recommend River City Sewer & Drain).   This is the same method used in medical procedures for checking arteries for blockages. The tools are larger but the procedure is the same.

The other option is to add an interior drain tile and avoid the whole exterior issue. This involves breaking the concrete basement floor and installing new drain tile and a sump pump. The advantage of this is that any water entering into the basement will be exhausted and drained by the sump pump. And we always recommend installing a battery backup sump pump system if you have a finished lower level or walk-out basement. The battery backup is insurance that the sump pump continues to operate even if the electric power is lost.

If you want help determining the best course of action, we specialize in water management and can analyze and solve your wet basement problem. For help, call our office at 314.909.1800 or contact us here.