Common Problems With Window Wells: A Comprehensive Guide

June 17, 2022

Common Problems With Window Wells: A Comprehensive Guide

As with any home renovation project, installing window wells is a gratifying experience once it’s over. Window wells bring a warm, welcoming atmosphere to any basement and can be a great asset to your home, as long as they’re taken care of. Maintaining nice window wells can be a tougher task than maintaining normal windows, but by doing so, you retain those attributes that convinced you to install them in the first place. If you make yourself aware of the common problems with window wells, you can prepare for the post-installation maintenance and other tasks you’ll have to address over time.

Laborious Cleaning Process

Among the many window well problems is the overall maintenance. Just like any appliance in your home, such as microwaves or refrigerators, window wells require regular cleaning. That way, you can keep them looking and functioning excellently.

As with cleaning other appliances, cleaning out your window well is not a fun job. Getting into the cramped window well and bending down to remove mud, leaves, and other debris is uncomfortable. Even bending over to clean out a shallow window well can be frustrating. Plus, there’s no way to avoid getting your clothes dirty while you’re cleaning the window well.

A window well brings sunshine and fresh air to your basement, but the debris and muck that finds its way inside it over time hinders its beauty. That’s why, although it’s a laborious process, cleaning your window wells is a necessary and fulfilling task.

Cleaning Drains

Drains, in particular, need to be thoroughly cleaned because without proper drainage, the window well can flood. Gravel, leaves, and other debris can become lodged in the drain over time, so if you see any signs of leakage, you should check the drain first. If you clean out the drain and encounter further issues with it, you should contact a professional to figure out a solution, especially if you live in an area with heavy rainfall.

Monitoring Gravel

Window well maintenance requires more than cleaning; it’s also important to pay attention to your window well’s gravel quality. Gravel improves the water draining process, but after an extended period of time, it can become clogged. Objects like mud, sand, and other debris from the outside can render your gravel incapable of good water drainage, which will lead to one of the most substantial egress window problems: flooding. Monitoring and maintaining your gravel can be a hassle, but it’s a worthy use of time to ensure your window well is functioning.

There are two ways you can replace dirty gravel. On one hand, you can buy new gravel and fully replace your old gravel. On the other hand, you can remove your gravel and wash off the muck before putting it back in the window well.

Excessive flooding

As previously mentioned, clogged drains can lead to your window well flooding and damaging your foundation. This is one of the most common issues with window wells, and it can wreak havoc on your property. Not only will you need to drain the water, but you will also have to keep an eye out for water leaking through the window and into your basement. Water leaking into your basement can damage your walls and cause mold to grow around the window.

Aside from clogged drains, flooding can occur if you don’t replace or clean your gravel often enough, or if the window well wasn’t properly installed in the first place. As long as you take the steps to prevent those factors from occurring, you won’t have to worry about excessive flooding causing damage in and around your window well.

Small Animals Falling Inside

Don’t worry—you probably won’t find a wolf or a bear in your window well, but smaller critters can get stuck inside. Birds, mice, and rabbits are just a few of the animals that can sneak into your window well and lead to a stressful, time-consuming removal process. This process requires practicing good safety precautions to avoid you and the animal being hurt. Even worse, if you don’t spot an animal that has fallen into a well quickly enough, it can die and require an even more difficult mess to clean out.

Luckily, this can be easily prevented with the help of a window well cover. There are certain building codes you’ll have to follow for your window well, but if you do so, it’s a great asset for the window. At Window Well Supply, we can provide you with custom basement window well covers that add heavy-duty protection to the window while still allowing natural light to shine through to your basement.

Potentially Dangerous

Window wells may not seem like a danger to you and your family, but they can be if you don’t follow certain safety measures. For instance, if you don’t have a cover on your window well, you or a guest can accidentally fall into the window well and get hurt. This is especially important to remember if there are kids present. Small children can sustain even harsher injuries than an adult if they unsuspectingly step into a window well opening.

As long as you remain aware of the opening at all times and get a strong window well cover, you and your loved ones can stay safe and avoid any accidents.

Fixing broken window wells

Another form of maintenance that can be a hassle is keeping an eye out for any cracks or holes in your window well. If cracks develop in your window well, then you’ll have to fix them as soon as possible. Not fixing a broken window well will only promote excessive flooding, not prevent it like it should.

Ignoring a broken window well can also lead to excessive amounts of debris clogging up the well. Whatever the issue is that causes the crack in the window well, you or a professional will have to figure out a solution and fix it immediately. That way, you can keep your window well beautiful, intact, and functional.

These common problems with window wells may seem nerve-racking, but addressing them is worth your time and effort. Window wells transform the atmosphere of a dark, dank basement into something worth living in. Although not all basements are cozy and welcoming, a well-maintained high-quality window well can deliver those effects admirably. Plus, they provide a means of escape in the event of a fire or other emergencies. It’s for these reasons that window wells are commonplace in residential homes across the United States.