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Leaking Window Wells and What to Do About Them

Basement window well filled with weeds

Weeds, leaves, dirt, and other debris clog window wells, causing them to fill with water. The water then leaks through the window and into the basement.

Are your window wells filling up with water? Take these steps to solve your problem.

Without window wells, your basement windows that are below-ground level would decay much faster. Your basement would also be a lot darker.

Unfortunately, many window wells are full of leaves, dirt, and other debris that can cause them to clog and allow water to leak through the windows and into your basement. What good are the windows - and windows wells - if you have water coming through them?

If your window wells fill up with water and your basement windows leak, keep reading to find out how to solve your problem.

Do I need window wells?

When properly installed and maintained, window wells let much-needed sunlight into basement windows that are below ground level. They also prevent below-grade basement windows from rusting and rotting. Window wells aren’t a requirement, but when used properly, they can help prevent expensive window repairs and water damage.

Why do window wells fill up with water?

When a basement window leaks, many homeowners assume it’s time to replace the window itself. Basement windows aren’t waterproof, so water outside the window will find a way in no matter how tightly it’s sealed. Even brand new windows won’t stop the water from coming in.

Window wells were originally designed to solve this problem, but they do the exact opposite when they are left uncovered. Leaves, dirt, and other debris prevent water from the ground, rainfall, or melting snow from draining. The water fills up in the well and takes the path of least resistance into your basement.

What to do to stop window wells from leaking:

Exterior view of a house with a SunHouse basement window enclosure

A SunHouse window enclosure keeps debris and water out while letting sunlight through.

  1. Cover window wells

    Our SunHouse Basement Window Enclosure has a sturdy, clear cover that keeps out water and debris, and an enclosed bottom prevents weeds from growing inside the well. The specially-designed enclosure also reflects lots of natural light into the basement. The window enclosure will never rot, rust, or corrode, and can extend the life of the window frames. The SunHouse cover also keeps the wind from blowing against the windows, which can provide you with greater comfort and energy efficiency.

    To guarantee no window well flooding, WellDuct should be installed along with the SunHouse window enclosure. WellDuct drains water from the window well before it can leak through the basement window.

  2. Fix drainage problems

    Poor drainage around your home can allow water from rainfall, melting snow, or the ground to fill your window wells and enter into your basement. Here’s what you can do to keep as much water away from your house as possible:

    • Fix grading to make sure it slopes away from the foundation.
    • Keep your gutters clear of debris and in good working condition. Install new gutters if you don’t have any or if they’re in bad shape.
    • Extend downspouts away from the house to keep roof runoff from pouring next to the foundation.

If your windows are old, rusty, or rotted, consider replacing them. Our EverLast Windows for basements are made of vinyl and are insulated, so they are low maintenance, won’t rust or rot, and are energy efficient.

If you want to have your leaky basement window wells inspected by a professional, contact us to schedule your free basement window repair estimate with the Basement Systems contractor in your area.

About the author

Kristina McGovern
Content Specialist
After nearly a decade writing about home improvement, Kristina realizes the importance of having a dry, clean crawl space. Born and raised in Connecticut, she has made it her mission to find good pizza in the South. She enjoys spending time on her 13-acre property with her husband (and high school sweetheart), energetic toddler and rescued Labrador mix.

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