Five Important Window Well Maintenance Tasks
Five Important Window Well Maintenance Tasks

Window wells do a lot for your home, so you should pay them back with some basic upkeep and repairs. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are five important window well maintenance tasks. Mark them down on your calendar and mind them throughout the seasons to keep your home dry and safe.

Keep It Clean

This should be obvious for any part of your home. Because they are essentially holes in the ground, window wells tend to attract and hold dirt, garbage, leaves, lawn clippings, and other detritus. Keep your window wells clean and free from this stuff for several reasons. The first reason is that water can’t exit through the drain below the gravel when a window well becomes filled with trash. When that water backs up, it has to go somewhere, and that somewhere might be your home. Finally, clearing away the trash just looks better, and it can prevent animals from taking up residence in the well.

Prevent Pests

Window wells offer out-of-the-way, below-ground space that provides perfect hiding spaces for any number of animals. Rats and mice are fans of hanging out in widow wells, but so are frogs, turtles, snakes, opossums, rabbits, and others. Some fall in by accident, while others make cozy little homes down there. The best way to keep animals (and trash, for that matter) out is to set up a cover for your window well. Cheaper plastic covers are available, but the best thing to do is contact a window well company and have a polycarbonate cover installed.

Update the Seals

Number three of our five important window well maintenance tasks is this: fill in cracks and holes around the window and well with caulk. When it was installed, your window well should have had a layer of caulk applied to the space where the house meets the window frame. If the caulk is old and crumbly, scrape it out and add a fresh layer. This will help keep out water and pests while keeping heat and air-conditioned air inside. Patch holes in the surrounding wall, as well.

Replace the Window Well Wall (if Necessary)

Window well walls can be made of plastic, metal, fiberglass, or concrete. The latter two tend to last for decades but keep an eye out for cracks and breaks that can let water from the surrounding earth into the well and your home. Patch them up with concrete or epoxy. Plastic and metal last a long time, as well, but eventually break down. Replace them when they crack, chip, or rust.

Clean the Gravel

This is another step that you only need to take once in a great while. If the gravel at the bottom of the well appears to be packing up with dirt and the like, shovel it out, give the gravel a good cleaning with a gentle liquid dish detergent and water solution, then replace it. Do so loosely to ensure a clean and unimpeded drain.

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