Window well maintenance

Posted Mar 31, 2021 in Waterproofing, Window Wells and Covers

Flooded window well

Win­dow well main­te­nance will pro­long the life of your win­dow well drain and lin­er, and most impor­tant­ly, help pre­vent water dam­age to your base­ment. Do you know where to start when it is time to inspect and clean your win­dow well? Fol­low our five areas to focus on.

Clear debris from drain

Even if the well’s drain is cov­ered with an ade­quate lay­er of grav­el, ero­sion can expose the drain holes so that leaves, dirt, and debris can clog the open­ings. Rou­tine­ly check the inside of the well for block­ages, espe­cial­ly after a rain or wind­storm. Drainage is one of the most impor­tant and cen­tral func­tions of a win­dow well, and prop­er func­tion is nec­es­sary to keep water from pool­ing and rot­ting the base­ment win­dow frame and/​or seep­ing through the foun­da­tion wall. Clear the drain reg­u­lar­ly to help avoid those problems.

Reap­ply caulk to well lin­er’s edge

After many sea­sons of extreme tem­per­a­tures, a win­dow well lin­er may con­tract and begin to pull away from the foun­da­tion wall. When this occurs, water can leak into the sides, and yard debris can enter the well and cause drain block­ages as well. To fix this prob­lem, start by wash­ing away all mud caked to the foundation’s exte­ri­or and allow the area to dry. Firm­ly fix the lin­er in place and apply a suf­fi­cient amount of con­crete or mason­ry caulk along both edges where the lin­er meets the foun­da­tion. This safe­guard ensures the lin­er stays in place and that unwant­ed water and soil are pre­vent­ed from enter­ing the well.

Ensure cov­er meets safe­ty standards

If your win­dow well is out­fit­ted with a cov­er, make sure no heavy objects are placed on top of it to weigh it down. The cov­er must be able to be removed from the inside, in accor­dance with base­ment egress win­dow fire safe­ty stan­dards. No lock­ing mech­a­nisms should be in place on the cover’s exte­ri­or. If a lock­ing mech­a­nism is in place on the inte­ri­or side, ensure it unlatch­es eas­i­ly and quick­ly so your fam­i­ly is pre­pared in the event of a fire. Make sure the cov­er is cus­tom-fit­ted to the lin­er to aid in pro­tec­tion against the ele­ments and that it is not cracked, warped or broken.

Main­tain roof drainage system

Have your gut­ters and down­spouts cleaned on a reg­u­lar basis, and be sure no water is drained from the roof in the direc­tion of any win­dow wells. Exces­sive ground­wa­ter seep­age from roof water deposit­ed adja­cent to a win­dow well can cause well drainage sys­tem prob­lems and soil ero­sion around the liner.

What our customers say

  • We con­tract­ed Fam­i­ly Water­proof­ing Solu­tions for exte­ri­or wall seal­ing and foun­da­tion crack repair ser­vices. Ken was very thor­ough in explain­ing the work that would be done, and his crew did a great job. This busi­ness was a plea­sure to work with.

    Stacie T.
  • You and your crew did a great job in our base­ment and crawl­space. You went the extra mile to insure that all of our water seep­age prob­lems are over. We would rec­om­mend you high­ly to oth­er peo­ple. Your qual­i­ty and time­ly work out­match­es all the others.

    William
  • Work­man­ship and ser­vice were excel­lent. Would rec­om­mend with­out reservation.

    Ed