Weeping tile is a perforated pipe used for drainage around foundation walls. Today, a 4” plastic pipe with small holes in it is used and is covered filter fabric over top of it to prevent soil and debris from getting in to it and clogging it. The pipe is laid at the base of the exterior foundation walls and covered with aggregate stone. Excess water in the soil above this can then flow into the weeping tile and drain into a storm sewer or a sump pump.
Older weeping tiles were made of clay. When weeping tiles are installed new, they can have a life span of about 50 years perhaps. Sometimes homes built before the 1950’s did not have weeping tiles installed. Drainage tiles can become clogged and not function properly if soil / silt enters then and creates a blockage.
Another style of drainage pipe was made from layers of wood fibre that was impregnated with bitumen / coal tar pitch and pressed together. It was known as Orangeburg or Bermico pipe. While it was first used in the mid-1800’s it didn’t take hold really until the 1940’s and continued in use up until the 1970’s. In Canada, from the 1950’s to the 1970’s it was referred to as no-corrode pipe, and that it did. While it too lasted about 50 years, it was subject deformation.
Downspouts connected to weeping tiles may allow unwanted debris to collect in your weeping tiles. Your basement can be wet because of failed weeping tiles or failure of a sump pump used to pump weeping tile water away. Signs of water / moisture penetration into the home along the bottom of the interior foundation wall or erosion / settling of soil along the exterior of home, may be indicators of failing / damaged weeping tiles. If you don’t have any weeping tiles, or they are present but damaged / failing, then water / moisture penetration into the home is possible given the right conditions.