Not exactly what they taught us in Home Economics class, is it? Window Wells are like mini retaining walls. They come in two shapes: Half Moon (Round) and Egress (Rectangular). You will often find them around basement windows (or should). These Window Wells help to keep your basement from flooding through the windows.
Just like anything else in your home, the windows in the basement experience the Ravages of Time. Exposure to the elements can cause the mortar joints and seals around the window to wear away, allowing a path for water to come into the basement. This seepage will be seen around the window frame and pooling on the floor below (often times you will come home after the wall has dried and all is left is the puddle on the floor).
Why Do I Need To Replace My Window Well?
You might ask yourself, “Why would I ever need to replace my window well?” It seems simple enough, the well is in the ground and secured to the wall. What could go wrong? Famous last words.
The biggest issue we see with window wells is buckling of the well itself. This is caused by pressure from the dirt and water pushing in on the well over time. This leads to a few issues:
- Water/debris intrusion in the window well
– Buckling of the well will allow gaps so large amounts of water and debris can get into the well. This can clog your drain and flood your basement.
- Basement window frame deterioration
– When the well buckles in, the frame of the window is no longer protected, allowing for water to get between the frame of the window and the foundation, seeping into the basement. This will cause the need to replace the window.
- Cover no longer fits
– As the window well buckles, the top will change shape and the cover will no longer fit. Without a decent cover, critters, debris, and water will get into the well very easily, causing all sorts of problems.
Read more about – Tips for Controlling Basement Dust Mites
How Is A Window Well Replaced?
We’re glad you asked! We actually have TONS of info, photos, and videos on the subject. Below is a link to another part of our website that has this service, it’s pricing, and a video showcasing how it is done (for all you Do It Yourselfers out there). Check it out!
When Do I Replace My Window Well?
Now that you know the issues that arise from a bad window well, as well as how to fix it, we need to cover when is the right time to have it done. Again, we never learned this growing up, but we did learn Bohr Models, thank the lord.
There are going to be a number of signs that tell you when it is time to replace your window well. Some are obvious, and some take a little investigating:
1. You have flooding in your basement under your window well.
a. While this is not a death sentence, it does point to the larger problem. Time to inspect your window well.
2. Your Window Well overlaps the frame of the window outside.
a. As stated above, this can cause the window frame to leak inside and the eventual need to replace the window.
3. The Window Well is bowing in.
a. The bulge, pregnant lady look is not suited for your Window Well. This signifies a potential collapse, which can break windows and put dirt, water, and a path for animals inside (especially if you are out of town, eek!)
4. An Inspector calls it out.
a. So you’re selling your home and an inspector tells you it’s an issue. Done deal, time to get your window well inspected by a professional.
Pretty easy, right? Now recite to me the makeup of a Hydrogen Atom. Yeah, me neither.
Be sure to give us a call with any questions!
Thanks for reading, and as always:
“Not Everything’s Better When Wet”
Hi there, I purchased a house and on one of the windows there is 2 Galvanized Window well the original one and then behind it, another one and I don’t know why, and also when I checked the drainage pipe underneath the window it is full of mud and no filter cover, should I remove the mud and put a filter cover or its ok like this?
You should absolutely remove the mud and put a filter cover. The problem is, the pipe beneath may already be clogged. It’s a good idea to have a plumber scope it out to make sure. Otherwise, that drain will need to be replaced.
If the window well is large enough, it will be comprised of 2 wells welded together. This may be what you area seeing. Feel free to submit pictures through the website! If you’re out of our service area, we can still take a look!
[…] seals around the window to wear away, allowing a path for water to come into the basement. These Window Wells help to keep your basement from flooding through the windows that can definitely add more value to […]
It’s great that you mentioned how you need to replace the widow well when you have flooding in your basement under the window well. I was cleaning our basement the other day and I noticed some flooding near the window well. I don’t think we could just leave it be, so we should probably call for window well replacement services.
Hi Luke, thanks for the comment! We always recommend checking out window wells, as they are an easy source of water seepage in the basement.