Window well drainage can quickly become a nightmare for any homeowner. It is one of the most common waterproofing problems that contribute to basement flooding. Your window well protects your home by providing adequate drainage of rainwater and/or snow melt.

Typically, window well issues fall into one of these four categories:

  1. Poor Installation
  2. Wrong Window Well Sizing
  3. Contamination of the Gravel Layer
  4. Lack of Sufficient Drainage

If you notice any water in your basement whatsoever that is coming from your window well, time is of the essence. If left uncorrected, you could experience very severe water damage that can lead to mold growth, structural damage and more. We’ve got 5 techniques that may help restore your window well drainage:

1. Try a Window Well Cover

A window well cover can help take some of the pressure off your drainage system. It will help drain out large amounts of water, preventing it from seeping into the tiles. You can use these as needed, especially if you’re expecting heavy rainfall.

2. Clean the Gravel

Poorly built window wells or those which haven’t been properly maintained don’t drain properly because of soil and debris accumulation and contamination in the gravel layer of the window well. The gravel layer of the window well loses its draining abilities when it is contaminated by soil and sediment from outside.

Take some time to dig out the contaminated rocks and replace them with new, clean rocks. This will help the water run smoothly to drain.

3. Dig the Hole Down

Sometimes a window well is not dug deep enough in the first place and there is additional depth you can add to the well.  More depth means your well can accommodate more water before it starts to reach the window itself.

4. Replace the Window

A window well must be built to suit the basement window it will be servicing specifically. If measurements weren’t taken properly or a standard window well size was installed instead of a custom window well size, there is a good chance the fit is off.

One way to correct this would be to re-frame a new basement window that better suits the size of the window well. Or, you may consider replacing the window well itself.

5. Have Your Window Well Replaced

If you’ve tried all of our techniques and still continue to see water in your basement, you might consider replacing the window well itself. The fit, the window, the drain – there are many elements that help your window well function smoothly. Consider calling an expert basement waterproofing contractor to help you fix and/or install a new window well.

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Blog Contributor Amy Ingram
Amy Casey
Social Media & Communications Coordinator
Amy joined Rockford Mutual in January of 2017 with an Associates Degree in Marketing. Amy has a great understanding of insurance in general as she is currently working towards an Associate in General Insurance designation.