Basement Waterproofing: Common Window Well Problems And Solutions

Posted on: 18 March 2016


Having windows on your foundation can help let in natural light to the basement and allow for proper ventilation, helping to eliminate musty smells in the basement area. Unfortunately, basement windows can also let in huge amounts of water during a storm, resulting in basement flooding issues.

Window wells are designed to prevent water from collecting near the foundation and are often installed if a basement windowsill is at or below the level of soil adjacent to the window. Read on for common issues that could lead to window well failure and solutions that can help prevent water from seeping into your basement.

Clogged window well drain

Window wells are typically constructed of galvanized steel and are designed to create a barrier that prevents rainwater and surface runoff from infiltrating your basement windows and flooding the basement.

Any water that seeps through the window well must not be allowed to accumulate near the window. That is why a gravel layer and a window well drain are usually installed to drain water in the water well cavity. The gravel layer allows water to quickly seep into the drainage system below, which diverts the water to a drain tile system or a line that runs to a storm water drain.

Clogging can occur when soil, leaves and other debris accumulate in the gravel layer, obstructing the infiltration of water into the underlying window well drain. This causes water to collect near the foundation and seep into the basement window.

To prevent this, talk to a basement waterproofing contractor about installing a custom-fit window well cover, which typically prevents debris from accumulating inside the window well and deters pests from nesting in the window well. The cover can also prevent rain and snow from falling directly next to the basement window and can inhibit weed growth in the window well.

If the existing drain isn't capable of draining water inside the window well cavity in a fast and effective way, then you should have professionals design and install a new drain system.

Rusted or deformed window well liner

Over time, the liner securing the window well to the foundation wall can get detached, mostly due to corroded fasteners. This can cause sediment and water to enter the window well from gaps between the wall and loose liner. To fix this problem, have a basement waterproofing contractor fasten the liner tightly to the wall using new fasteners.

If water and sediment are entering the window well cavity from below, then the existing steel barrier should be replaced with a new one of sufficient depth.

If water leaks into your basement through a window well and causes damage, contact a company like Home Star LLC water damage restoration company for help.