An exterior drain tile protects your basement from flooding and other weather hazards. But if it rains relentlessly, until water floods your property and washes away most of the gravel, sod and soil that cover your drain tile, the drain tile can deteriorate or break down over time from exposure. The soil surrounding your exterior drain can also recede or turn to mud from the rain, which can block the drainage openings and stop working properly. You can protect your exterior drain tile and basement from flooding rainwater with fill dirt and gravel.

Why Should You Use Fill Dirt?

Fill dirt is ideal for your repairs, because it's thicker or denser in texture than topsoil, which is the soil found on the surface of your property. Rainwater can erode or wash away topsoil easily, because the soil is very soft and thin. 

However, fill dirt contains heavy and hard minerals, rocks and other materials that block the excessive rainwater that flows over your exposed exterior drain tile. The contents in fill dirt make it heavy enough to withstand the flooding waters on your property.

Use fill dirt to replace the soil, sod and gravel you lost from over your exterior drain tile, as well as construct a fort between the basement and your drain tile. 

How Do You Cover the Exterior Drain Tile With Fill Dirt and Gravel?

To accomplish your goals, buy three large bags of gravel and four large bags of fill dirt from a local home and gardening store. Also, obtain a shovel or rake.

You want to wait until the rain slows down before you begin, to make your repairs easier. Now, follow the five steps below:

  1. Use a small shovel to place the first bag of fill dirt around the foundation of the basement that lies closest to the drain tile. You want to create a fort that's at least 4 inches high to keep water from spilling into the basement. 
  2. Use your shovel or rake to carefully remove paper, leaves and other debris that washed into the exposed exterior drain tile. 
  3. Spread one bag of gravel over the drain tile at a time. You want to create three even layers over the drain tile to block the flooding rainwater.
  4. Cover the gravel with the second bag of fill dirt. Use your shovel to pat down the dirt until it appears even and smooth.
  5. Place the last two bags of fill dirt along the side of the drain tile that faces away from the basement. You want to build up the dirt until it stands about 5-6 inches high to keep the water from pushing or flowing over it.

After the weather clears up, cover the fill dirt with plants, such as flowers and small shrubs, to improve the appearance of the dirt.

If you have other concerns about your exterior drain tile, or if the steps above don't work successfully, contact a contractor for information.