Solutions for Leaky Basement Windows

Monday, May 8th


Got leaky basement windows? Ask yourself these three questions to solve the problem.

Basement windows bring much needed natural daylight into the basement. If the power goes out, even a small hopper window can provide enough light so you can find the circuit breaker or the photo albums or the litter box… It's brighter and safer to have windows that are clean and functional.

Unfortunately, many basement windows become rusty, dark and dirty over time. When this happens, it defeats the purpose of having a basement window in the first place. The basement resembles a dungeon that nobody wants to visit (for the photo albums, the laundry or the litter box...). Even worse, deteriorating basement windows often leak and let in chilly air in cold weather.

If you have a leaky basement window, ask these three questions to figure out how best to solve your problem.

1- Is Water Seeping Through the Corners?

Everlast Basement Window

A weather-proof basement window contributes to a dry, energy-efficient basement.

When there is water seeping through the corners or the edges of the window, the problem could, of course, be the windows themselves. Wood and steel basement windows tend to decay and rot over time, causing water intrusion.

We recommend:

  • If your basement windows are outdated consider replacing them with something impervious to water. For example, our double-paned vinyl basement windows are waterproof and the seal doesn't decay easily when in contact with the elements. Properly installed, these windows will also stop air leaks, which will make your basement more energy efficient.
  • Our WellDuct Window Drain is an ingenious method of directing water straight from a leaky window to an interior drainage system. A drain hole is drilled through the foundation wall just under the windowsill; if the wall is a block wall, the hole is lined with a section of pipe. A grate is then installed over the hole and surrounded with clean stone to prevent clogs from leaves and debris. When water rises high enough to leak through the window, it is directed through the grate, through the wall, and channeled into the drainage system.

2- Do You Have an Old or Uncovered Window Well?

SunHouse Basement Window Well

A clean, covered window well works wonders to bring daylight into the basement.

Old-fashioned window wells were originally designed to maximize the amount of daylight that could enter the basement. When they're left uncovered, they quickly fill with dirt, leaves and debris. Water, from the ground, rainfall or melting snow, accumulates in the well and can very easily find its way into the basement.

We recommend:

Cover window wells with a weather-proof cover, like our fiberglass SunHouse Basement Window Wells. SunHouse window wells will not decay when in contact with wet dirt and the elements, and the clear cover keeps debris and water out while allowing light in. The bright reflective surface is designed to bounce sunlight into the basement and the cover is another buffer against cold winter winds, making your basement more energy efficient as well.

3- How's Your Drainage?

Downspout Extension directs water away from the foundation

Divert water away from the foundation.

Basements are not submarines. There is no way to completely seal all water out, especially if you've got a poorly graded yard around the foundation and improper drainage. You can take steps to relieve the hydrostatic pressure that naturally occurs from water in the surrounding soils.

We recommend:

  • Make sure the terrain is properly graded and slopes away from the foundation.
  • Keep your gutters clean and in good working condition or install them if you have none.
  • Keep the downspouts from pouring water close to the foundation walls, by extending them as far as possible from the house.
  • Make sure your foundation drainage is in good condition. We recommend an internal perimeter drainage combined with a good sump pump.

If you'd like a thorough inspection of your basement windows or are struggling with water intrusion in the basement, contact us for a free basement window repair estimate!