Every homeowner wants to keep out water that’s not coming into your home through a faucet. To help you prevent damage to your home, the experts at K Kuypers Construction examine the sources of basement leaks in a new series of blog posts. In this article, we’re looking into leaking basement windows and window wells.
Window wells are an important feature in your basement, letting in natural light to a dark space and protecting your basement windows from rust and rot. The signs of a leaky window well typically start small after damage initially occurs. As the moisture builds up, the damage will only increase. Read on to identify when you may have a leak and how to stop it.
Identifying leaking window wells
To protect your home’s foundation and value, keep an eye out for the following signs that you may have a leaky basement window well:
- Leaks or water streaks: After a rainfall, water leaking from the bottom of your window indicates a leaky and damaged window well. Often this water will dry and leave water streaks, so you can identify it even after the precipitation. In colder climates like Edmonton, keep an eye out for leaks or water streaks after warm winter days where snow melt may leak through.
- Discolored or stained walls: Even if you can’t spot the water leaking into your home, stains, discoloration or even pockets of water in your wall are indicative of a leaky window well.
- Puddles: Puddles may be a sign of a number of issues or leaks, but puddles forming near your window wells are a cause for concern. If you can’t identify another source of the puddled water, the likely culprit is your window well.
- Mold: Although unpleasant to find, mold is an excellent indicator of moisture build-up. If you find mold around the edges of your basement windows, you know that your window well is leaking into your home.
Stopping leaky basement window wells
If you’ve identified a leaky basement window well, it’s time to do something about it. Fall is the second best time to fix window wells, so problems aren’t worsened by snow and spring thaw. However, the best time to fix window wells is always as soon as you notice any problems.
If you identify a small leak, you may be able to waterproof your windows with a simple fix:
- Cleaning and maintenance: Regularly cleaning out your gutters, downspouts and window wells keeps them free of debris and helps them regulate the proper flow and drainage of water away from your home. Debris build-up can also cause pressure against your window, leading to stress and damage.
- Window well covers: Durable window well covers can protect your window well from rainfall, debris and organic growth by providing an additional layer of protection.
- Re-caulking: If you’re dealing with a small leak, re-caulking your windows may fix your water woes by strengthening the seal in areas of damage and repairing small gaps.
- Replace gravel: The gravel in your window well plays an important role in draining water, and over time may become clogged with debris.
Other issues may indicate a need for more complex repairs:
- Grading: The ground should slope away from your window wells at a rate of 1 inch for every foot that you move away from the house for the first 5 to 10 feet around the house.
- Drainage: If the window well is pooling water, there may be a need to fix or install a drain.
- Egress windows: Offering many benefits like improved air circulation and providing an emergency exit, egress windows that are improperly fitted, sized or sealed can result in leaks.
To protect the value of the home, consider consulting with an expert. Professionals like K Kuypers Construction have extensive experience sealing basements, and can efficiently locate and address the root cause of the leak to limit further damage. Solutions like the K Kuypers hand-excavation method offer minimal intrusion and provide long-term value.
Protect your home from basement leaks
Dealing with a basement leak can be stressful, but the trusted experts at K Kuypers Construction are here to help. Protect your home and enjoy peace of mind, even during heavy rainfalls, with a 25-year warranty on exterior waterproofing. Contact us today for a free estimate and to learn more about waterproofing your home.