Clogged Basement Window Wells: Causes, Solutions, and Prevention
If you have a basement, then you likely also have window wells. These are the small square or rectangular depressions in the ground that allow natural light into your basement.
They can also become clogged with debris, which can lead to water infiltration and other problems. In this guide, we will discuss the causes of clogged basement window wells, as well as some solutions and prevention tips.
Why Worry About Clogged Basement Window Wells?
Window wells are an important part of your home’s drainage system. They allow water to drain away from your foundation, and help keep your basement dry.
However, if they become clogged with leaves, dirt, or other debris, they can no longer do their job properly. This can lead to water infiltration, and even flooding in your basement.
Clogged window wells can also create a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can cause health problems for you and your family. In extreme cases, clogged window wells can even collapse, causing damage to your foundation. So, it’s important to keep an eye on your window wells and make sure they are clear of debris.
Causes of Clogged Basement Window Wells
There are a few different things that can cause your window well to become clogged.
The well was improperly installed.
Improperly installed window wells are one of the most common causes of clogging. If the well was not installed properly, it is likely that water will seep in around the edges of the window, and cause the soil to become saturated. This can cause the soil to expand and put pressure on the walls of the well, which can eventually lead to cracks and leaks. If you have this problem, you may need to replace your basement window.
Not enough drainage
Another common cause of clogged window wells is an insufficient drainage system. If the well does not have enough drainage, the water will have nowhere to go and will eventually start to pool at the bottom of the well. The soil then becomes saturated, and leads to the same problems as an improperly installed well.
Debris is also one of the most common causes of clogging. Over time, dirt, leaves, and other organic matter can accumulate in the well, causing it to become clogged. In some cases, the visible debris may be so bad that it completely covers the window, preventing any light from entering the basement.
If you don’t clean your gutters regularly, leaves and debris will fall into the well and start to decompose. This creates a soggy, muddy mess that’s difficult to remove and can lead to serious foundation problems.
The window itself deteriorates
As your windows age, the seals around them can break down and allow water to seep in. This water can then freeze and thaw, causing the window to crack. Once a window cracks, it’s only a matter of time before the water starts seeping through the cracks and into your basement. Some options you have are hopper windows or glass block windows.
Solutions for Clogged Basement Window Wells
Once you have determined that your window well is clogged, there are a few different solutions that you can try in order to clear the well.
Signs That Your Window Well is Clogged
There are a few different signs that you can look for to determine if your window well is clogged.
Water at the bottom of the well
One of the most obvious signs that your window well is clogged is if you see water at the bottom of the well. If there is water pooling in the well, it means that the drainage has become blocked, and the water has nowhere to go.
Water seeping through cracks
Water seeping through cracks in your foundation is a huge sign that you have a problem with your window well. If the water is coming in through the cracks, it means that the well is full, and the pressure has caused the cracks to form.
Mold and mildew
Mold and mildew are another telltale sign of a clogged window well. If you see mold or mildew on your window frames, or near your basement windows, it’s time to take action.
Cracks in the well
Cracks in your window well are another sign that it needs to be cleaned out. Water can seep in through these cracks and cause serious foundation problems.
The window well collapses
If the window well collapses, this is a sign that the well is severely clogged and needs to be repaired or replaced. A collapsed window well can be a serious safety hazard, so it is important to call a professional if you see this sign.
Prevention of Clogged Basement Window Wells
There are a few different things that you can do to prevent your window well from becoming clogged.
Clogged basement window wells are a common problem, but they can be fixed with a little bit of work. By taking some preventative measures and being vigilant, you can keep your window well clear and free of debris.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are disease control measures available for clogged basement window wells?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best disease control measure will vary depending on the specific situation. However, some common measures include removing standing water, repairing leaks, and ensuring proper ventilation.
Will more durable covers for my window well really help?
Yes, using a durable cover can help to prevent leaves, dirt, and other debris from falling into the well and clogging it.
Does the latest basement waterproofing technology really work?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the effectiveness of basement waterproofing technology will vary depending on the specific situation. However, some common measures include installing a drainage system, repairing leaks, and ensuring proper ventilation.
Do I need the mobile telephone number of a window well specialist?
Yes. If you are having trouble with your window well, don’t hesitate to call a professional, as even just a simple conversation with one can be incredibly informative. They will also be able to clean out the well for you, make any necessary repairs, and they will likely give you a free inspection.
Should I place the window wells below ground level?
The correct placement of the window well can vary, as the best location for window wells will depend on the specific situation. However, it is generally advisable to place window wells above ground level to prevent water from seeping into them and causing problems.