Window Well Giving You Problems? Try These Helpful Tips

Construction & Contractors Blog

Although a window well is designed to keep water out of your basement, it can develop problems over time, especially if the well stops draining properly. Rainwater and melted snow can overflow the well and travel into your basement. There are things you can do to prevent problems with your window well, including the ideas below.

Add More Gravel

One of the things you can do first to help your window well drain properly is clean the well out with a small rake. If you tend to leave your window well uncovered, it can fill up with leaves and paper. Small animals can also live inside the well when they seek shelter from the elements. Raking the gravel and picking up the debris by hand helps control these problems.

After you clean out the well, add several layers of gravel to its bottom. Gravel keeps water from soaking into the soil beneath the well. But if heavy winds pick up and carry off the gravel inside the well, it won't drain properly.

You can place several layers of gravel over the bottom of the well, then use the rake to spread it out evenly. However, avoid covering the entrance of the well's drainage pipe unless it has a grated plate over it. You don't want gravel to slip down the pipe and clog it up.

The last thing you can do is place a large cover over the well to reduce the amount of rainwater and snow that falls on it. Well covers can come in numerous designs, but plastic and PVC are popular materials today.

Connect the Well to an Exterior Drain Tile

Connecting your window well to an exterior drain tile can also prevent flooding. An exterior drain tile consists of a deep trench and underground pipelines that direct water away from your basement. The drain tile can easily connect to the window well's drainage line below ground.

One of things you may want to do right away is have a contractor inspect the condition of the soil around your basement and window well. If the soil is too soft to support a drain tile, a contractor may suggest bracing the walls of the basement with concrete and wooden boards to protect the drain tile from failure and to keep the walls from collapsing. Soft soil can collapse over time so it's important to strengthen the construction site before installing the drain tile. 

For more ideas on how to protect your window well or basement, contact a contractor today.

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Those Cold, January Nights

When I was in college, I lived in an old house just south of the university campus with five other girls. When we came back from Christmas break, the heater was broken. The beginning of January was the coldest time of the year, and because it was the weekend, the heating company couldn't come fix it for a few days. My roommates and I pulled our mattresses into the front room and slept all together to keep warm. Two weeks later, our heater broke again! That time we ended up getting a completely new furnace. Needless to say, we got to be good friends with the heating contractor that month, and it was a good experience that led to the creation of this blog.