Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
Consider yourself very lucky if your home has window wells. Without them, you would not be able to let daylight into your basement, making it a darker and less inviting space.
So why do many homeowners with window wells not consider themselves lucky? Window wells sometimes fill with water, which can flood basements. Even if it does not flood, ongoing seepage can lead to moisture problems like mold and bad odours.
What’s the Problem?
For most of the past 50 years, window wells were made with a galvanized steel barrier that keeps the surrounding earth away from the window. The barrier is open at the top to let daylight in and open at the bottom to let water out. Debris can collect at the bottom of the window well, or the weeping tile that channels water away can become clogged, making it difficult for water to drain. During rains or snow melt, the water can build up in the window well and it has nowhere to go, except into your basement.
Grass and weeds can grow at the bottom of window wells. Not only do they make it more difficult for water to drain, they block out daylight and are difficult to remove. The galvanized steel that most window wells are made of can rust and become dark, which not only looks bad, but lets even less light into your basement.
You can test the drainage ability of your window wells with a simple flood test. Put your garden hose nozzle on the bottom of your window well, making sure it is not pointed directly at the window. Turn the water on full for about 5 seconds. If the water drains quickly (in a few seconds), your drainage is good – if not, you could have a problem.
What’s the Solution?
If water does not drain quickly following your flood test, you need to address the problem immediately, before your basement floods. You can call Clarke Basement Systems at 1-844-225-6185 for fast, professional advice.
Many new window well systems will prevent problems from starting. The Sunhouse™ basement window enclosure, manufactured by Basement Systems, prevents problems caused by traditional window wells through the following advancements:
• Clear, durable cover to let light in and keep dirt and debris out
• Durable poly-carbonate construction that will not rust
• Fully enclosed, including the bottom, so no grass or weeds will grow
• Specially designed walls and bottom will reflect as much daylight as possible into your basement
Other new window well systems include the stakWEL window well, which is adjustable to fit any depth of window, and the scapeWEL window well, which meets building code specifications for safe emergency exit from your basement. Bilco has specially designed both of these systems to let more light into your basement.
Clearly there are new solutions for your window well problems. The professional staff at Clarke Basement Systems will not only understand your problem, they will help you find the best solution. Call them now to learn more about window wells before you have a real problem on your hands – or in your basement.