Window Well Without Drain (Everything Explained)
Basement windows are essential as they allow fresh air circulation and natural light in the rooms here. There must be a window well in every basement window that acts as an escape route. This is an exterior hole that helps you fix a window for light and air circulation.
The window wells should have a drain. Without a drain, you’ll encounter problems like water filling it, which will leak through the concrete walls and crack your windows. A window well acts as a drainage system to avert the water, especially during the rainy season.
If you’re planning to install a window well, this article is for you. We’ll show you in detail how to do this.
How To Drain Window Well?
There are various ways to better your window well drain and avoid flooding. You can do that by;
Installing A Window Well Drain
If your window well doesn’t drain, you should fix drainage to enable the water to get out and prevent further damage. You can connect the drain to the interior or exterior drain tile. Alternatively, you can let it run to daylight, where there’s a slope.
The internal drain will direct the water to a sump pump, which will safely drain it. On the other hand, the external will send the water to your perimeter drain. Here’s how to do it:
- To make the drain, first grade the window well.
- Then dig the area where you want to fix it.
- After that, fix a drainpipe on the foundation wall.
- You should then connect the drainpipe to the French drain and sump pipe.
- Then cover the window well with enough gravel to protect the surface from moisture damage.
Note that you can’t install a window well drain unless you’re a professional with good building skills. So, it’s best to work with an expert who understands the needed requirements, measures everything right, and does the work well. If the drain is not well done, it will result in flooding during rainy seasons escalating the problems further.
Do Regular Maintenance
Additionally, you need to ensure no debris piles up on the window well to clog the drain. Do regular maintenance by picking out the trash at least twice a year. Manually clean your drainage in fall and spring to stop this problem. Doing this can be a challenge as you’ve got to kneel and use your hands to pick out the dirt. But you can hire a professional cleaner to help you solve this problem.
Also, ensure the bottom of the well has enough loose gravel to help in the drainage. Let the gravel not be too compacted to avoid having water collecting on the window well.
Fix A Window Well Cover
You should also install a window well cover. It will help prevent dirt from falling into the window and keep water out. The cover also reduces damages that can arise from human contact.
You can install it on top of the window well as a mesh. There are several cover designs and materials you can opt for. You can use plexiglass or polycarbonate, or steel. It’s best to use reinforced polycarbonate, which you can customize to cover the well completely.
Sloped covers are a good pick as they will stop water and debris from reaching the window well, enabling you to enjoy staying in the basement. If possible, use a transparent cover to allow enough light into the basement.
Is There Always a Drain in A Window Well?
It’s best for all the window wells to have a drain. The drain will enable water to exit the window well, preventing seeping through the concrete walls. Excess water on the well may cause flooding in your basement and even crack your windows.
However, some people don’t install windows well drain, which is why they face many challenges in this area.
Should I Put Rocks/Gravel in My Window Well?
Yes, Gravel or rocks on the window well will help improve drainage around this area. You should place them at the bottom, covering enough inches. The stone drains water slowly to the weeping tile instead of soaking the soil around the window. The rocks will also help prevent debris from reaching the weeping tile reducing the chances of experiencing clogging.
You should determine the best depth for having the rocks depending on the conditions around there. Also, consider covering below the surface with rocks/gravel to avoid having soil coming in between them.
However, you shouldn’t overfill the window well with rocks as it will increase the chances of your window breaking and flooding. Having the right amount of gravel around this area will prevent your window from unnecessary moisture build-up and seeping into your foundation.
How To Pour Gravel on Your Window Well?
- Identify the correct depth, height, and width you want the gravel to reach. This should depend on your basement window and the local building codes.
- After that, make a drawing writing their dimensions too.
- Then get ready for the work by wearing the right work gear (gloves and boots)
- Using a shovel, dig a hole around the basement window. Dig about 4 inches deeper and 8 inches wide.
- You should then pour enough gravel to cover the 4-inch hole you’ve dug. Ensure you tightly pack the rocks by walking over them and tapping with the shovel.
- Finally, cover the area with gravel up to the desired height. When doing the top layer, tap the rocks with your shovel to compact them further.
A window well without a drain will make water flood around your basement, spoiling your building’s foundation. So, you need to fix it also to help improve water drainage in this area.
When you have a window well drain, ensure you regularly maintain it to prevent clogging and cover it to prevent debris from getting through. But don’t forget to include gravel or rocks as they will reduce moisture build-up on your basement window and foundation.