Window well maintenance will prolong the life of your window well drain and liner, and most importantly, help prevent water damage to your basement. Do you know where to start when it is time to inspect and clean your window well? Follow our five areas to focus on.
CLEAR DEBRIS FROM DRAIN
Even if the well’s drain is covered with an adequate layer of gravel, erosion can expose the drain holes so that leaves, dirt, and debris can clog the openings. Routinely check the inside of the well for blockages, especially after a rain or windstorm. Drainage is one of the most important and central functions of a window well, and proper function is necessary to keep water from pooling and rotting the basement window frame and/or seeping through the foundation wall. Clear the drain regularly to help avoid those problems.
REAPPLY CAULK TO WELL LINER’S EDGE
After many seasons of extreme temperatures, a window well liner may contract and begin to pull away from the foundation wall. When this occurs, water can leak into the sides, and yard debris can enter the well and cause drain blockages as well. To fix this problem, start by washing away all mud caked to the foundation’s exterior and allow the area to dry. Firmly fix the liner in place and apply a sufficient amount of concrete or masonry caulk along both edges where the liner meets the foundation. This safeguard ensures the liner stays in place and that unwanted water and soil are prevented from entering the well.
ENSURE COVER MEETS SAFETY STANDARDS
If your window well is outfitted with a cover, make sure no heavy objects are placed on top of it to weigh it down. The cover must be able to be removed from the inside, in accordance with basement egress window fire safety standards. No locking mechanisms should be in place on the cover’s exterior. If a locking mechanism is in place on the interior side, ensure it unlatches easily and quickly so your family is prepared in the event of a fire. Make sure the cover is custom-fitted to the liner to aid in protection against the elements and that it is not cracked, warped or broken.
MAINTAIN ROOF DRAINAGE SYSTEM
Have your gutters and downspouts cleaned on a regular basis, and be sure no water is drained from the roof in the direction of any window wells. Excessive groundwater seepage from roof water deposited adjacent to a window well can cause well drainage system problems and soil erosion around the liner.