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Why Your Basement Window Wells Matter And How To Maintain Them

window wells
window wells

Many areas of the home are overlooked, and basement window wells often fall into this category. Even though they play a key role in the health and safety of our home and family, they frequently go unnoticed until problems occur.

Maintaining our window wells is vital to keeping our home safe and up-to-date. It also can alert us to various problems, from issues with water intrusion to things much more serious, including foundation failure.

This article will dig deeper into possible window well benefits and potential problems. We will look into how to maintain them properly and avoid potential problems that could cause significant issues to your home and property.

What Are the Benefits of Window Wells?

Basement window wells must be maintained to prevent damage to the basement and foundation.

With so many things to do around the home, why would you pay attention to the window wells? After all, they are just a small part of the home and a component that may serve a purpose, but the purpose often is unknown to the homeowner.

When you understand just how crucial the proper operation of a window well is to your home, you will never overlook its maintenance again, and it may just make it to the top of your to-do list.

The following are some of the benefits of window wells that you may never have considered before:

Legalities: It is essential to have our home built according to code. What many people don’t realize is the fact that building codes often require the presence of window wells in a residential basement. Insurance companies also require window wells. You could pay higher rates without them.

Safety: The basement window may not be easily accessible, but with a window well in place, it is much easier to get out of the basement in an emergency. Essentially, a window well is an escape route that allows you to exit the home quickly. It can even allow you to enter the home quickly in an emergency.

Ventilation: One thing that many basements often lack is proper ventilation. Poor ventilation is one of the reasons why basements are characteristically a dark and dingy area of the home. Window wells and their corresponding windows allow outside air to enter the basement and help to keep things fresh.

Light: Natural light would not exist in most basements without window wells and basement windows. Some natural light helps to open up the area and makes it a more comfortable place to be.

Window Well Maintenance: What You Need to Do

Basement window wells must be maintained to prevent damage to the basement and foundation.

Maintaining basement window wells should be built into the routine maintenance tasks of the home. These maintenance tasks can be done periodically, but you would benefit from checking the window wells every quarter to ensure that problems have not occurred.

Keeping the Wells Clear: It is easy for debris to build up in the window wells, especially during heavy storms or in the fall. If debris is permitted to clog up the window wells, it can also clog up the drainage system. In turn, this could allow the basement to flood.

For the most part, you can wear leather gloves and clear out the window well without any other tools. If you have a lot of debris in the window well, however, you may want to use a wet/dry vac or even a small garden shovel.

Pay particular attention to the window wells during the winter months. If ice and snow are allowed to build up inside the well, it can clog or damage the drain and cause the basement to flood.

Maintain the Drainage System: The window well drainage system allows water to drain away from the area and keeps it from accumulating in the window well. If you notice that water is in the window well, you likely have a blocked drainage system.

A window well cover should always be used, as they provide additional home security and safety and keep things from falling into the well. Window well covers should be installed professionally to avoid problems.

At the same time, it is also good to check the gutters and ensure that water is not running into the window well directly. The window well drainage system can only handle so much water, and gutter problems would quickly overwhelm it, and the water would likely end up in your basement.

Window Well Liners: Although window well liners are not always necessary, they can be a very convenient part of the basement windows. They can help protect the window wells to a certain extent and also often add some beauty, as the view from the basement window may not always be epic.

If the liner is pulling away, cracked, or otherwise damaged, it could lead to some damage to your home. They should be replaced if necessary.

Window Well Covers: A window well cover should always be used, as they provide additional home security and safety and keep things from falling into the well. Window well covers should be installed professionally to avoid problems.

Common Window Well Problems and How to Fix Them

Window wells may last for many years without any problems, but when issues occur, they can quickly turn into something significant. The following are some of the most common window well problems and how you can fix them.

Debris: A problem with debris buildup will often cause problems with flooding. The drain pipe could also be clogged due to debris, and if it is allowed to build up, it becomes even more challenging to clean.

You can clear the debris regularly through your routine maintenance tasks. You can also avoid the problem altogether with a quality window well cover.

Flooding: If your window well floods regularly, there is something wrong with the drain, or you don’t have a drainage system. A drain pipe should be connected to the window well to redirect the water where it will not be a problem.

Excessive water near the foundation can lead to hydrostatic pressure. That pressure could cause the foundation walls to buckle and crack. You can avoid this issue by channeling the water away from the window well through proper drainage.

Injuries: This is of particular concern to those with animals and small children. If the window wells are not covered properly, it is not out of the question for a young one to fall in and get injured.

In addition, animals could fall into the window well and die, leading to additional problems.

Damage: Any signs of damage to the window well should be cared for immediately. Cracking, holes, peeling, or any other issue could lead to additional problems, including the possibility of foundation damage and water intrusion.

Basement Waterproofing: Taking the Next Step

Most people consider the basement to be nothing more than a damp, dark area of the home that is practically useless. With basement waterproofing, however, it can be a convenient, dry, and usable area of the home. Basement waterproofing can even improve the health of the entire house!

If you are dealing with any problems with your window wells, they should be a priority in any basement waterproofing project. If the problem is not corrected, it will likely result in additional damage that could cost additional money.

The next step is to contact The Real Seal for a foundation inspection and more information about our basement waterproofing services. We can do what it takes to make your basement an area of the home that is both usable and comfortable.


Austin Werner

Austin Werner is the Owner of The Real Seal LLC, a basement waterproofing and foundation repair company. Austin believes that having a highly trained and happy team is the key to success. This is reflected through hundreds of 5 star customer reviews his company has received online.

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