Looking for information about waterproofing basement windows? If so, don’t hit that back button because you’ve landed on the right page. In this article, we’ll review how basement windows can allow water to enter a basement, signs your basement windows have a problem, repair solutions, and more.
How Basement Windows Can Allow Water To Enter A Basement
There are various ways water can get into your basement through the windows, including the following:
- Your basement windows are old – Old windows made from wood or steel may not be watertight.
- You have uncovered window wells – If your window wells are uncovered and there’s poor drainage in the well, water could accumulate in the well and, from there, enter the basement if the windows aren’t completely watertight.
- The window seals have deteriorated – Over time, the seal around a basement window can weaken and deteriorate, allowing water to seep into the basement. This can be exacerbated by seasonal freezing and thawing.
- The basement windows weren’t installed correctly – Windows that aren’t properly installed can allow water to enter the basement.
- There’s poor drainage around the foundation – Poor drainage around the foundation itself can increase the likelihood of water entering the basement through the windows.
Signs The Water In Your Basement Is Coming In Through The Windows
When water starts seeping into your basement through a window, there are a few discernible signs:
- There’s a visible dampness around the window frame.
- There’s mold around the window.
- There are water stains or discoloration around the window.
- The paint is peeling around the window.
- The drywall around the window is damaged.
- Water is pooling on the floor under the window.
- Water is running down the wall under the window.
- The basement smells musty.
If you see any of the above, go outside and look around. How do the windows and the window wells look? Are they in good condition? What about the foundation? Are there any visible cracks in it?
If you suspect water is entering the basement through a window, it’s essential to act quickly to identify the source of the problem and resolve it to prevent further damage. Contact an experienced foundation repair contractor right away and ask for an inspection.
How To Waterproof Basement Windows
Here are some effective ways to waterproof basement windows:
- Install window well covers – Window well covers will prevent rainwater and debris from entering the space around the window. They’re available in various materials, including tempered glass and acrylic, and can be custom-fitted to your window size and shape.
- Install new windows – If your basement windows are old or damaged, replacing them with new ones can prevent water seepage and improve your home’s energy efficiency and overall aesthetic appeal.
- Ensure good drainage around window wells – Good window well drainage is an essential aspect of basement maintenance. Window wells should have a drainage system and the window wells should be free of debris, such as leaves and dirt, that could clog the drainage system.
Other Ways To Keep Water Out Of Your Basement
While waterproofing basement windows is essential for maintaining a dry basement, there are other things homeowners should do to ensure effective basement waterproofing. These include the following:
- Regrade the yard around your home – If the ground around your home slopes toward the foundation, groundwater will easily flow toward the foundation, increasing the risk of water penetration into the basement. If the yard slopes away from the foundation, water will be directed away from the basement, reducing the likelihood of moisture issues.
- Clean gutters regularly – Gutters play a crucial role in channeling water away from the roof, walls, and foundation. If they become clogged with debris, such as leaves and twigs, they won’t be able to perform their task effectively. Water will overflow the gutters, spill over the side of the house, soak the ground around the foundation and find its way into the basement.
- Use downspout extensions – Downspouts are designed to funnel water from the gutters and direct it away from the foundation. However, if downspouts are too short, water can quickly soak into the ground around the foundation, increasing the likelihood of water intrusion into the basement. Downspout extensions solve this problem by lengthening the downspouts so water is directed away from the foundation before release. We recommend releasing water no less than 15 feet from the foundation.
- Consider moving water-hungry plants – Homeowners should be wary of planting water-hungry vegetation next to the house. You don’t want to give yourself a reason to add water to the ground around the foundation.
- Install a drain tile system – There is no better way to ensure the ground around a foundation remains dry. A drain tile system uses a network of buried, perforated drainage pipes to channel excess soil moisture toward a sump pit. Once the pit fills with water, a sump pump turns on and expels the water a safe distance from the foundation.
Waterproofing a basement will almost always involve more than simply installing high-quality, watertight basement windows. While installing the correct windows is essential, we also strongly recommend the steps mentioned above. All of these together will go a long way toward ensuring your home’s basement remains dry year-round.
If you have questions about waterproofing basement windows in your Chicagoland home, contact The Real Seal today to schedule an evaluation.