Window well flooding is a common problem.

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When basement window wells flood, water leaks through the window into your basement. Because basement windows are not submarine windows, they will always leak if water builds up inside of the window well. That is why it is essential to prevent water from getting into the window well and provide a way for water to get out of window wells.

In some cases, builders will run a drain from window wells down to an exterior footing drain. This drain runs down the outside of the foundation and is generally installed while the home is being built before the soil is put back around the foundation. 

This is a great idea but is often left off of your new home project. Even when it is done, it is usually connected to a drainage system that will eventually clog.

Proper grading and gutter care will help, and gutters should be extended away from window wells. If concrete runs up to window wells, the concrete must have a positive slope away from the window well, or it will bring excess water right into the window well. Often water runs down on the outside of a window well and then finds its way under the well and onto the other side. This problem is almost impossible to avoid entirely and requires constant maintenance around the window wells. Only by establishing a drain out of the well can you have the best chance of preventing problems. 

WellDuct establishes a drain from your window well to an interior perimeter drain such as our WaterGuard system. Here is how it works:

  1. A hole is drilled through the foundation under the window.
  2. A strainer is installed on the outside of the hole.
  3. The WellDuct is fastened and sealed to the inside of the wall, creating a vertical duct from your perimeter drainage system to the window well.
  4. The WellDuct is connected to your perimeter drain system at the bottom, where the water can drain your sump pump.

New Window Wells

While WellDuct is always recommended to prevent window well flooding, it is also essential to have good window wells that function correctly. A window well should slow water down and minimize the amount of water drained and eventually pumped out. If the window wells are poorly installed, damaged, or not sized correctly, our team will recommend replacing the window wells as a part of your solution.

The following are best practices when installing new window wells:

  • The bottom of the well should extend ten inches below the bottom of the window.
  • The top of the well should extend a minimum of 4 inches above finish grade. Of course, the finish grade should be raised if it doesn’t have a positive slope away from the window well.
  • Soil should be placed on both sides of the well and tamped into place. The soil should be tamped up at least 5 inches on the inside of the well and to finish grade on the outside of the well.
  • Two to four inches of clean drainage stone should be placed inside the well on top of the tamped soil.
  • Make sure all downspouts are directed away from the window well. Consider where the water will flow once it exits the downspout to ensure it will not flow back toward the window well.

WellDuct and Egress Windows

Egress windows pose an even greater risk for flooding due to their size. WellDuct is a good option for draining and egress window, but some additional factors should be considered.

In some cases, installing two WellDucts might be necessary to ensure an appropriate amount of water flow.

When we install an egress window, we always install a drywell under the well to create extra drainage capacity.  

This helps offset the size of the hole that an egress window puts next to the foundation. 

This allows for a sump pump to be installed directly in the dry well in the future should it be necessary.

If there is a concern of gutters getting clogged or overflowing, consider installing a lid on the window well to slow the water down. While it won’t prevent flooding by itself, the lid will slow the water down and allow the WellDuct to keep up.

It would be best to consider upgrading your gutters to prevent clogging with something like our Gutter Shutter system. 

Protect your basement when your window well floods with the help of a window well drain. See how it works to drain water from your window well to an interior perimeter drain so your home stays dry.

 

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