Window Well Installation
A window well is the area outside a basement window, which both retains the surrounding dirt and drains rainwater away. Window wells are required when any portion of a basement window is below grade. Window wells require drainage (when water gets inside the well it must be able to drain away) otherwise water continues to rise and eventually leaks into your basement in through the window.
Common Window Well Problems
Many homeowners damage their finished basement by enlarging an existing window well or installing a new window where one never existed and they don’t excavate to the weeping tile to insure proper drainage. During a heavy rain the well could overflow causes extensive damage to your finished basement, sliding style windows are not designed to be completely watertight; extensive rain can turn an improperly installed window well into an aquarium!
Another common problem are window wells that were never properly fastened to the wall. As the ground freezes and swells it may over time gradually push the window well up, eventually causing the earth to flow under the well and to the drain, causing the drainage system to fail in that area.
To insure this doesn’t happen again we usually excavate the area to the footing (where the weeping tiles are), and then check and clean out the weeping tile as required. We double up on the required vertical drainage tile from the weeping tile to the base of the window. Next we back fill and compact the area to be just below the window (approximately 6”), we then install a new window well usually deeper than the original one.
To insure the well stays in place and does not allow soil and water to seep in through the sides we fasten it to the wall with concrete anchors and seal it. Finally, we fill the vertical drains and the base of the window well with clear stone that slows water to flow freely to the weeping tile. We continue to back fill and compact the area.
Soil compaction is very important for proper water flow and to prevent leaks. If the soil is not compacted properly it may eventually settle over time from rainwater causing sinkholes around your window well. These sinkholes funnel water and soil from your yard to the window well possibly re-clogging the drain and creating a more severe basement leak. Ask The Basement Waterproofing Guy about your specific situation and how we can help you stop a leaking basement from your window wells.
The Basement Waterproofing Guy at work