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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    erie, pa

    Default basement window wells

    i have 2 basement window wells that fill with water when i water my flowerbed. the window well fills imediatly so it's not a case of over watering. this is also a problem when it rains very is this problem fixed?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    The Great White North

    Default Re: basement window wells

    Sounds like a definite drainage problem.
    Something is preventing the water to reach the existing drain system whether it's the soil or the drain system is plugged or a combination of both. It all depends as to what is in place currently.

    It may be likely the area of the window wells would have to be dug down to the footings drainage system then possibly filled in with stone. This will allow the water to percolate down to the existing drain system much better than soil. During this it may be a good time to evaluate the water proofing components around the windows and if the existing drain system requires attention.
    Again it depends on what is currently in place.

    A professional who specializes in this area would be able to offer solutions.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: basement window wells

    Canuk is correct.

    When the window wells were constructed, they may well have been provided with adequate drainage rock or even a perforated 4" plastic pipe, designed to carry the water away from the window well itself.

    As time goes by, fine silt & leaves enter the WW and block the water from draining.

    The sites below indicate how these window well drains are usually constructed.

    Notice the diagram in the first site where 1) the soil (grade) around the house is tilted away from the window well & foundation to force the water to drain away, and 2) the crushed rock drainage goes all the way down to the french drain tiles at the base of the foundation to facilitate drainage.

    This may or may not be the setup below YOUR window well; often, digging down is the only way to find out.

    Sometimes it's as simple as scraping the surface of all silt & leaves in order to restore drainage flow.

    Try this first, then add some water to the well with the garden hose & see if it drains.

    Clear plastic window well covers are sold at the home improvement stores (take measurements & bring them along if you want to buy one).

    If you can re-establish SOME drainage this may be the way to go.

    If there is still a problem, there is probably a clogged drainpipe or drywell further down; more extensive digging will have to be done to re-open the drain system.

    Sometimes a low-cost post hole digger (or even a regular shovel) is used to remove dirt from the window well base to try & re-establish drainage (see page 5 of the Popular Mechanics site for this).

    Sometimes an electric chipping hammer fitted with a one foot or two foot shovel bit, can be rented from Home Depot or other tool rental outfit; the tool is used like a lightweight jackhammer to try & open up the soil at the bottom of the window well to re-establish drainage.

    These tools are double-insulated & have plastic handles, but the base of the window well should be relatively dry if this is attempted to prevent the possibility of any shock hazard.

    It's important to address this problem now, before water starts getting thru the window & into the basement.
    Last edited by JacktheShack; 09-25-2007 at 06:34 PM.

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