How to Spot Leaky Basement Window Wells: Signs to Look For

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Are you experiencing issues with your basement window wells and wondering if they’re to blame for the leaks or flooding issues you’ve been dealing with in your basement?

Having window wells that work is essential to protecting your home’s foundation, your basement, and the value of your home. Read on to learn how to spot leaky basement window wells and what you can do about them:

Basement Window Wells With Water Trickling Down the Walls

If you notice water trickling down the wall shortly after or during a rainstorm, this is a clear sign that you are dealing with leaking window wells. Usually, you’ll be able to see this water coming down underneath the window well itself. If you don’t spot the water itself, you might notice the streaks left behind on the walls which indicate that damage has been done and your window wells are in need of repair. 

With damaged window wells, even a light sprinkling outside can lead to a buildup in the well, and that water needs somewhere to go. The pressure will build and the water will force its way through your windows. Once this initial breach takes place, the leak will continue to get worse until the problem is resolved. 

Stained or Water Damaged Walls

You don’t have to see the water actually leaking out of the window frame to know that there’s a leakage problem. More often than not, a leak will leave evidence in the way of stains, discoloration, or even pockets of water in the wall. 

If you notice any of these issues, you can be sure that the water damage is a sign of malfunctioning window wells. Keep in mind, however, that it’s harder to spot the damage on certain types of walls. If you suspect that your window well is leaking, but you can’t see hard evidence, make an effort to head to the basement during the next rainstorm to see if you can catch the leaks in action. 

Puddles Forming Under the Basement Windows

Another obvious sign that your window wells are leaking is if you notice puddles forming on the ground near the base of your basement windows. Water on the ground can be the result of several types of problems, but if you’re able to rule out the possibility of leaking pipes, chances are your windows are to blame. 

You Notice Mold Growing

A leaky basement is a perfect place for mold to grow and thrive. Not only are basements usually cold and dark, but moisture from any leaky pipes or windows provides the nourishment that mold needs to spread. Mold is unable to grow without sufficient moisture, so a leaky window well can provide a great spot for mold to grow. If you examine your windows in your basement and see mold beginning to grow, there’s a pretty good chance that water is finding its way indoors through some kind of leak. 

As you clean up the mold that you find, keep an eye out for what seems to be the source of the moisture. If you suspect that a faulty window well is allowing water into the basement, it’s time to look into getting a window well repair or replacement. 

So How Can You Waterproof Your Window Well?

Once you’ve noticed that you have a possible leak in one or more of your window wells, its time to do something about it. There are several moves you can make to waterproof your basement window wells:

Have a Drain Installed

If your window wells are collecting more water than they are able to drain, you should check the gravel layer and have a new drain installed. A well-functioning drain will help get rid of the extra water that’s accumulating in your window well and bring it out and away from your home’s foundation. 

If your basement window wells don’t already have drains in place, or if the current drains have become damaged, the best thing to do is call a professional. Trying to install window well drains yourself can be tricky business and if done incorrectly, you could find yourself dealing with a future flood in your basement or serious damage done to your foundation. 

Replace the Gravel

You might be surprised to know that the gravel inside your window wells needs to be replaced regularly. It can become clogged up with dirt and debris over the years which leads to clogs. This makes it hard for water to drain properly and the pressure builds up inside the basement window wells until leaks form. 

By having the gravel replaced, you will, in turn, restore your drain’s ability to do its job well. This will add years to your window well functionality and might put off having to have the drains completely replaced. 

Add Window Well Covers

An open window well allows more dirt, water, and debris inside. Window well covers can protect your wells from gathering too much rain, dirt, leaves, and trash which can lead to damage and leaks. And window well covers come in a variety of choices for style so you can choose the right covers for your home. 

Check Your Grading

If the grading near your home is sloping down toward your basement window wells, then the water and melted snow will make its way down as well. If you live in a climate where it rains frequently, you have a higher chance of basement flooding, particularly with faulty window wells and sloping grading. 

If the grading near your home isn’t directing water away from your house, contact a professional to help you solve the issue. 

These are just some of the efforts you can make to better preserve your basement window wells and their ability to function. 

Contact the Pros

Having your basement window wells repaired or replaced is as easy as giving us a call to help you out. We can also assist you with your window well drains and foundational issues that you’re experiencing due to leaking or floods. 

Give us a call today and we’ll set up an appointment to get your window wells in great condition for the year ahead!