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How Window Wells Can Contribute To A Flooded Basement

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One of the greatest fears among homeowners is a flooded basement--and for good cause, since water can be both highly damaging and costly to repair. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to understand all of the ways that such water manages to penetrate the walls of your home. If you would like to learn more about how to prevent the need for water damage restoration, here is how water can get in through your basement window wells.

Basement Window Wells

Window wells are, for the most part, a welcome feature in the basement. That's because they allow a degree of natural light to penetrate what would otherwise be a gloomy space. Problems arise, however, as a result of the excavated area around such windows. Here water often pools up, remaining in place long enough for it to find its way through networks of cracks into your basement. The good news is that there are three effective ways to prevent such water intrusion.

Clean Clogged Gutters

A well constructed window well should be able to accommodate normal amounts of rainwater without serious repercussions. Yet if excessive amounts of water manage to find their way into the well, flooding becomes more and more inevitable. Clogged gutters are perhaps the most common source of such water overload. Backed up debris will cause the water to spill over the edge of the gutter; if the position is right, that water may end up cascading straight down into the window well. Ensuring that your gutters remain clean and unobstructed is thus the first way to ensure a dry basement.

Add A Window Drain

In some cases, a gutter cleaning will not be enough to successfully eliminate the problem, especially for those who live in areas with heavy annual rainfall . In that case, adding a window drain may be the best bet. This system involves the installation of a drain tile below the window well. As water percolates down through the ground, it enters a perforated PVC pipe, which carries it safely away from your foundation. Window drain systems are an especially effective solution for those whose homes are situated on a natural slope.

Install A Well Cover

For various reasons, it is not always feasible--or economical--to install a below-ground window drain system. In that case, your best bet is to keep water from entering the window well at all. This can be done through the installation of a well cover. Such a cover consists of a clear plastic shell that sits above the well. It blocks rainwater from accessing your window well, while still permitting sunlight to filter down into your basement.

For assistance cleaning up the mess, talk to a water damage professional.