window well leaking

pcdmannMarch 31, 2006

We have a basement window well that is full of water. In fact the water has risen high enough to start coming into the basement through the window itself. The ground around the window well slopes away from the house and is damp, but there is no surface water anywhere. I'm guessing that the water is getting into the window well because the seal between the house and the window well below grade is not working correctly. The other widows are completely dry so I don't think it's just a high water table. Any other causes you can think of? Also, what would be the best solution to this problem? Could I just get some caulking and try to reseal the window well to the house? What about digging the window well deeper, so that it can hold more gravel/water before getting in through the window? Thanks.

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proudpop

Your window wells should have a drain that leads down to your existing drain tile around the foundation. The drain will carry any water that enters the well down to the foundation tile, which will then take the water to a sump or other means of outlet. If it does have a drain, then it is possible it could be clogged. Has there been a heavy rain in the area lately?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 10:06AM
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pcdmann

There is no drain in the window well. We live in Utah and homes are not usually built with drain tiles around the foundation (unless you are in a flood plain). We have not had any heavy rain, but have had more snow than usual. Any thoughts on the usefullness of caulking between the foundation and the window wells? I'm guessing that this is where the water is getting in, but not sure. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 6:16PM
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maryland_20653

I live in Maryland and I have the same problem with the same questions... We have three basement window wells and two of them when we have heavy rains they get full of water. The water has risen high enough (36") and the water gets into basement through the window itself. The same situation, the area around the wells is wet but no surface water. The windows are on opposite sides and the other window does not have any problems. One of the window well has a broken seal between the foundation and the window well. In addition of fixing the leak, do you have any ideas?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 9:33PM
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homebound

In no particular order:

1) Clogged gutters above can definitely cause this. 2) Also, add gutter extenders so they drain a couple feet away from the foundation. 3) grade (slope) ground away from the house, and not just the foot or two nearest the wall. A gentle grade is all you need. 4) Make sure the gravel in the wells are deep enough (dig out dirt and replace with gravel). 5) cover them 6) if you're so inclined, dig them all the way out and connect to the foundation drain tile...but if you do the above you can probably avoid that.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 7:23AM
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worthy

When I started building homes, one of the bits of advice that the old pros told me was "avoid window wells". Installing window wells with no drainage boggles the mind!

Ditto homebound's advice.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 11:57AM
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bensonjw1

I have the same problem as above with my window well. I have taken the downspouts underground and away from the house 40'. I have re-attached the well with silicone and tap-cons to the concrete wall. I have covered the well with a well cover.
I have two questions. 1 How deep should/can the gravel be at the bottom of the well. 2. My house was built in 1978 and I live in southeastern PA. How can I tell if there is a drain system at the base of my home's foundation. (Is it code?) If I do, I'll connect to it. If I don't what's next?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 8:56AM
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worthy


Source: National Research Council of Canada

Feel free to take the gravel down to the footing. You want gravel that doesn't pack too tightly, so the water can run down. Yet it shouldn't be too loose, so that cold air ends up next to the footings, bringing the danger of frost heave in the spring.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:13PM
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bio-modified

Well guys, I guess the picture describes just how a window well should be installed. Just had an egress window put in and with a drain connecting into the drain tile. I have no problems with water ever comming up from the drain as well. Try calling Egress Solutions and put an egress window in. My wife has two of those window wells at her place of work that many of you describe and they leaked inside causeing over $10,000 worth of damage including black mold big time. Lucky it was the landlords dime and not hers.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 10:36PM
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soggy_basement

Have had two 100 year storms in three years.
Water completely surrounds house, first time over the wells, last time two inches below. I can keep water from entering over the top, but water leaks into well where well flange meets concrete wall. Given time, I will probably dig out two of them and replace with higher ones. In the meantime, I want to know the best type of caulk/sealant I should use to seal between the flange and the wall.
Thanks

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 10:43AM
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odrasalj_aol_com

I have a window well that fills up with water and leaks into my basement.My gutter was overflowing and clogged.The window well flange was pulled away from the concrete wall on both sides.

I have done the following:

Cleaned out the gutter and re-pitched it.

Dug out window well and bolted the flange to the concrete wall.

Sealed the ends of the window well where it meets the wall with flashing material and a tar coating.

Covered the well with a plastic window well cover.

Regraded around the well.

Installed stone inside the well.

Now all I am waiting for is a heavy rain to see what happens. I will let you know how it goes!!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 12:50PM
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artknotly

There is a big problem with the image above.

If the pipe below gets over run with water it will not drain anything. Basic plumbing always requires a vent. This is because if the water down the line of the same tube doesn't drain you cannot add more water to the tube.

Gutter drains and window well drains are explained well in the following link..

Here is a link that might be useful: basement waterproofing information

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:41PM
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brickeyee

"Basic plumbing always requires a vent. This is because if the water down the line of the same tube doesn't drain you cannot add more water to the tube. "

This is not sanitary plumbing with traps that require protection against siphoning.

The lines are normally so large (3 inches and up in many cases) there is no chance of having enough water flowing to fill the lumen of the pipe.

There size allows them to hold water that will soak into the ground over time once the rain stops or the snow finishes melting.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 1:52PM
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