Have you ever walked into your basement and seen a puddle of water on the floor or water running down the walls? While leaky windows may not seem like a huge problem now, over time leaky windows can cause other issues from drywall damage to mold.
Basement windows leaking can be caused by several issues: improperly sealed windows, rotted and cracked window frames, clogged window wells, poor drainage in and around the window well, and lack of window well cover. Stop leaks today before they become larger problems and damage your belongings. Mitigating leaky basement windows are easy with a few tips, and a little help from us.
Check Your Windows
This one may seem self-explanatory, but it’s an important place to start: inspect the window itself to ensure the window is sealed properly and there is no damage in the window frame. Sometimes fixing leaky windows involves caulking the window to make sure no moisture can enter.
Upon further inspection, however, you may also find that the water is seeping in from damage in the window frame. Damage in the window frame can be from cracks in the frame, rotting, or if the window is older. In many of these situations, you may have to replace the window. Either way, the first step it stopping basement windows leaking is to inspect the window itself.
Regularly Maintain your Window Well
Once you’ve checked your window, it’s time to move outward. The first line of defense is ensuring water doesn’t even get close to the window. Most window wells have some type of drainage system in place, but these can clog over time.
In Utah, you should perform regular maintenance on your window well twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall. To ensure the window well is draining properly, consider the following maintenance strategies:
- Clear soil, leaves, and other debris that have accumulated in the well. If debris is pooling against the window, it’s time to clean it out.
- Gravel in the well can harden like cement: sometimes the gravel in the well mixes with other debris and forms a cement-like surface in the bottom. This does not allow water to drain, but pools water near the window. Be sure to clean your gravel, and if needed, replace it.
- Over time, the well can shift away from the home as it shifts and settle over time, so occasionally the window well has shifted, causing drainage problems and exacerbating leaks. Ensure the window well fits tightly against the home and that water is not coming in from other sources.
- Consider digging a deeper hole below the window. Over time, simply clearing out debris may not be enough, so digging down further and adding gravel could help direct water away from the window. The hole below the window should be about one foot, and gravel should be 3 inches below the window. Adding gravel can even brighten up the space!
If you’ve followed the above steps and your window well is still having leakage problems, it may be time to consider a small pump to move water outside the window. If your basement window leakage is too much, talk to us for further recommendations on where you can turn.
Check the Drainage near the Window Well
Once your window and window well are in working order, look around to make sure water isn’t being directed right into the window well. Keeping water away from the well itself is your best line of defense. With time, the drainage and ground around the window well can shift, so consider your home’s overall drainage patterns:
- Ensure the grade near the window well is sloped outward—and not towards—your window well.
- Nearby landscaping can influence water usage. Are plants, gravel, and grass helping keep water away, or directing water right into your window well?
- Check your gutters and downspouts. This process is twofold. First, check to make sure gutters and downspouts aren’t clogged and, as a result, directing water towards your window wells. Second, ensure your gutters and downspouts drain away from your window wells.
When it comes to window wells, sometimes simple changes like drainage around the well can make a world of a difference.
Install a Window Well Cover
The last way to protect your window well is to install a cover. Safewell provides window well drainage solutions to stop basement window leaking. While one may think installing a plexiglass cover would keep water out better than a metal one, they are not as strong as metal and break easily. Our metal covers serve a dual purpose: they protect kids and pets from falling into unguarded window wells, and they also prevent large debris from entering the window well and clogging up its drainage system.
Tips to Prevent Basement Window Well Leaking Recap
- Check Your Windows
- Regularly Maintain your Window Well
- Check the Drainage near the Window Well
- Install a Window Well Cover
Safewell Window Well Covers provides high-quality, custom window well covers along the Wasatch front, serving Utah, Salt Lake, Davis, and Wasatch counties. Contact us today to see how we can help you!