Any home with basement windows at or below ground-level will more than likely have window wells. The purpose of a window well is to create a supported space between your window and the ground around it, this space allows for light to enter your basement through the below grade window without interference by the earth around it.
A window well is created by digging a hole that goes roughly one foot below your windows bottom edge and extends several inches to each side of the window. A half-circle or rectangular shaped metal or plastic barrier is fitted around the window to hold back the surrounding dirt that creates the supported space for the light to enter your basement windows. As expected, a hole dug out around your windows, and below ground level is a good place for water and snow to accumulate. To ensure this excess water drains properly an external drainage system is used to divert the accumulated water away from your home. That extra foot of earth removed from under your window is then filled with gravel or crushed stone to assist with water drainage.
Whenever moisture is near your foundation, there is always a potential for water seepage into your basement, this is why it is very important that your window well installation was completed correctly, by an experienced professional. Issues that can arise from improper installation include:
- Water drainage issues, if the water is not able to dissipate from your window well, the water will eventually leak through your wall, windows frames, or the window itself.
- Damage to your foundation, as this structure is secured to the outside of your foundation there is always potential for damage if not secured properly.
- Soil entering the well, is the barrier is not fastened securely soil will enter the window well and eventually clog up the drainage system, leading to drainage issues.
A well installed window well can eventually have issues if not maintained properly. Maintenance is not difficult or very time consuming, but if not completed on a regular basis can lead to bigger issues. Regular maintenance includes:
- Clear any leaves or debris from inside the window well, these objects can clog the drainage system leading to issues.
- Push against the metal or plastic structure to ensure it is secured to the wall and that that the soil is tight against the back. If it is loose, fill the space behind the structure with soil to create a tighter fit and tighten any screws that have come free.
- Over time gravel can get clogged with dirt and harden, if this happens water will have a difficult time seeping through. Use a rake to move around the top layer.
If you have completed the above maintenance, and you are noticing water still building up in your window wells, and perhaps water seeping into your base or if you have a basement window that does not have a window well, call Aquamaster Plumbing today at 416-939-6379 to schedule an appointment with one of our trained professionals.