Window Well not draining completely

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Old 07-13-13, 01:46 PM
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Window Well not draining completely

New to the forums, prob gonna be spending a lot of time here. But I have a a real need of help for what I think is a serious issue that I need to resolve now before I reno my basement and before winter comes.

We have 2 window wells on either side of our 2 storey 1400 sg/ft home, the previous owners dugout the gravel in the window wells because apparently they didn't believe that the gravel/loose stone was supposed to as close as it was to the bottom of the window. The good thing is the one window well drains just fine but needs to be tidied up with some more loose gravel, the not so good thing is the east facing window well doesn't drain completely and has pools of standing water in it. This will become a huge problem in the winter if that water freezes and expands and crack the foundation.

Now I dug out where the drain line should have been, but either it was removed or it was never there. But I live in Edmonton, AB and it is my understanding that all houses will have a weeping tile system in place and the window wells will have a drain line.

My question to anyone that may be able to help is, if there was no drain line does that mean I need to dig out until I hit the weeping tile? That is if there is one on that side of the house. Or can I just auger a hole to the gravel footing and install a drain line? Or does it have to connect directly to the weeping tile?
 
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Old 07-13-13, 02:07 PM
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Just a question, what is the source of water. In my experience they are not intended to handle a lot of water, like run off from the edge of the roof.

Bud
 
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Old 07-13-13, 02:18 PM
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Not sure exactly but we have had a lot of rain the last couple of weeks, but there shouldn't be any run off as the gutters are clean and work as they should.

Its not like there is a ton of water but like i said in my previous post, the previous owner dug out almost to the soil itself for whatever reason. Now I have a drainage issue on one side and not the other, then again I can only find the one drain line for one window and not the other.
 
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Old 07-13-13, 02:29 PM
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I don't think you need to worry about the possibility of foundation walls cracking from some ice build-up in any window wells. Even a solid block of ice, 2' deep, is more likely to push up vertically, and out against the more flexible, steel window well material, than it is to push inward against a solid, reinforced concrete foundation wall.

If you feel you must do something, why not consider digging a few holes straight down a few feet near the center of the soggy well (using a post hole digger), and fill them with clean washed rock? Plenty of space for water to collect, and being well below grade, it will never freeze.
 
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Old 07-13-13, 02:41 PM
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Well in Alberta it can get to -50 Celcius, I just dont want any water that may have worked its way into the foundation to freeze and crack it as I know it can do if not taken care of.
 
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Old 07-13-13, 04:16 PM
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If the basement is heated the soil close to the foundation usually does not freeze very deep. But window wells should drain. The question still remains, is this direct rain water or perhaps water around the adjacent foundation that is not able to soak in and thus surfaces in that window well. In other words, there may be water standing against the foundation along a larger section of the wall.

There will most likely be drain tile both inside and outside the footings. The problem is the soil they backfilled with. Some digging is in order to determine how deep your problem goes.

Be sure you know where all electrical and plumbing wires and pipes are located. In the states it is mandatory to contact Gig Safe before digging.

Bud
 
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