Window wells keep your basement well-lit, dry, and provide an emergency escape. You must ensure they’re kept in great shape and working at optimal levels. Every season comes with its own challenges, of course, so as you perform maintenance, keep in mind these common problems to watch out for with window wells.
Watch the Water
Window wells are a necessity when it comes to letting sunlight in while keeping water out. At the bottom, underneath the layer of gravel, is a drain that takes away any water that manages to get into the well. The windows should be sealed along the edges to prevent rain and snow from seeping in. These parts must be maintained.
Look for cracking caulk and any other failing seals and replace them immediately. Likewise, ensure the drain remains clear and unblocked; clean out any trash, weeds, leaves, or other detritus that found its way in there. Be sure any nearby drainpipes are directing water away from the wells, too.
Keep Out Critters
Other problems to watch out for with window wells come in all sizes—and some problems might be furry, feathered, or scaled. If your window wells are exposed, you run the risk of animals finding their way in—or even falling in. They could injure themselves when they do this, or they might build nests. Keep your window wells secured with custom basement window well covers. Window well covers can be latched, locked, and have the strength to support the weight of most animals and children. Cover your window wells so plants, animals, and exploring children will be disinclined to go there.
Clean Them Up
Lots of homeowners forget about their window wells—which is all right most of the time because they can do their job without supervision. Still, set aside a time twice a year to see how they’re holding up. Remove any plants, leaves, branches, twigs, weeds, or other organic material. Trash can blow into window wells quite easily. Scrub the window wells with a household cleaner. Keep them clean and they’ll keep working for you.
Clear the View
While it’s not a major problem, don’t neglect the actual windows in your window well. Watch for vines that can creep in, attach themselves to the glass, and obstruct the view and sunlight. Use glass cleaner, a squeegee, and paper towels to remove built-up grime on the panes. Keep bushes and other landscaping at least a foot away from the edge of the well, and don’t allow it to become overgrown. Finally, while you can decorate the well, don’t set up any decorations that might interfere or cause injury during an escape.