The topic of drain tiles comes up frequently this time of year. Most drainage problems become noticeable in the spring when frequent rain is persistent. This spring has been quite unusual to say the least. We have had significant rain fall during the month of April in eastern Iowa. The more rain fall we receive, the more drainage problems arise. Drainage issues for the average home are usually limited to improper grade and down spout run off. Recently we ran into a situation in a new housing development, where homes were built over old farm tile. This development was built right over top of where all the water up hill was collected. The tiles transferred the water down to the end of the tile which ended up being where the new homes were being built. Needless to say, the homes were basically overcome with water during heavy rains.
Drain tiles can be your best friend or worst enemy.
It is important to keep in mind when you are installing drain tiles, that the water re-directed must go somewhere. It is frequently seen in new housing developments, where the contractor attached a 4″ tile to a down spout and buries the tile under ground. The problem with this is that the water does not go away, it is only re-directed. Since the tile is buried, the water is basically trapped in the tile. If end of the tile is not run to a bubbler box or allowed to drain out, other problems may arise. In the winter your tile will freeze and may break or cause ice dams. In the summer, your ground may become saturated and soggy or erode. Simply installing a bubbler box for your drain tiles will give the water a chance to exit the tile and evaporate or become absorbed in the ground.