Windows that are below ground level can be problematic. Without window wells, they can decay quickly while also allowing water into your basement. Even with window wells, moisture can sometimes seep into your home. If you see signs of moisture, like a puddle in the basement when it rains or water dripping down the wall, you might think it’s just a minor issue. Over time, though, these little leaks can become major problems.
Leaky basement windows can damage property stored in the basement, but that may not be the only problem they cause. Over time, these leaks can promote the growth of mold in your basement, which brings a host of additional issues. Mold can damage your belongings, contaminate the air in your home, and even impact your health.
The solution? Fix those leaky basement windows before they become a major problem. Solving your problem could be as simple as installing window wells. Window wells are curved inserts used to block moisture from inside your window area, and they’re typically made of a solid barrier like corrugated metal, masonry, plastic, or pressure-treated wood. The purpose of a window well is to block moisture from the window area and drain away water that enters that area, and when they’re properly installed, window wells let sunlight into the basement. Window wells are not required, but they’re a good idea, because they can help prevent water damage and expensive window repairs.
If you’ve got window wells and you’re still having problems with water, it could mean any of several things.
- Your window wells may be clogging and filling with water. Sometimes, your window wells can become clogged with leaves, dirt, and debris, and this can impair their ability to keep water out of the basement. Often, putting gravel inside the window well can help, particularly if the problem is that the amount of rain coming in is overwhelming the well’s ability to divert water away.
- You may need to install window well covers. Some window wells come with clear covers that allow light in while keeping water and debris at bay. For extra protection, your window well covers can be hinged to your foundation.
- Your windows may need to be caulked. This is a simple solution to what could otherwise be a costly problem. If you haven’t caulked your basement windows and your window wells, doing so may resolve your issues.
- In some cases, your windows may need to be replaced. If the windows have been leaking for a long time, the framing around them could be damaged and rotting. Windows can also be damaged by shifting of the foundation, which can cause cracks in the window frames, damage the caulking, and interfere with the windows’ ability to seal. Of course, some windows are just old, and that could mean that upgrading to a newer, more efficient window is a good idea. If you don’t already have egress windows, this might be the time to consider them. Egress windows are larger than standard windows, and they provide an escape route out of the basement. In some situations, egress windows are required, so if you’re doing any kind of remodeling project in your basement, you’ll want to look into this. If you’re building a basement bedroom, for example, many areas require this kind of window. Check your local building codes to make sure. You should also plan to hire a professional company to install your egress windows, as the process can be complicated.
- The problem may be with your drainage. When the drainage around your home is subpar, water from rainfall, melting snow, or even the ground can fill your water wells and cause water to seep into your basement. The grading around your home may need to be adjusted, because if the grade slopes toward the foundation instead of away from it, that can contribute to a flooded basement. Problems can also occur if the grade is too high above the window, and repairing the window and window wells won’t fix these issues. A professional landscaper or waterproofing company can help you fix your grading to keep water away from your windows, so it’s smart to consult with a professional with experience in waterproofing basements.
- Your gutters and downspouts may be causing the problem. If your gutters are clogged with debris or are in disrepair, they could be contributing to your leaking basement windows. Check your gutters for clogs and consider installing gutter guards or even new gutters if yours are in bad shape. Then look to the downspouts, determining where they carry water when it rains. If they’re emptying against the foundation, this could be causing leaks; fortunately, it’s an easy fix. Just extend your downspouts away from the house, and you’ll keep roof runoff from ending up in your basement.
At Budget Waterproofing, we have more than 55 years of experience servicing both commercial and residential customers throughout Maryland. We’re proud of our craftsmanship and confident in our skills, and all of our technicians are fully licensed and insured. Whether you need basement waterproofing, a drainage system, crawl space waterproofing, or egress window installation, we’ve got you covered, with the experience and skills necessary to improve your basement and protect your family. For more information, contact us today.