Window well drainage (or lack thereof)


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Old 11-18-15, 10:21 PM
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Window well drainage (or lack thereof)

We have one window well for one of the windows in the basement that fills up with water when the ground is saturation and it rains a decent amount and then just starts coming in to the basement. The window where this happens is right by the sump pump so the water never goes far, but I would like to address it.

So I decided to dig a bit to see if maybe there was a clogged drain or something and as I started to do some work I noticed a few things:
  • the well itself wasn't secure to the foundation
  • the grading can be much better because it is basically completely flat or maybe even sloped slight towards the house
  • I took out the layer of rock hoping to find a drain but found nothing

So after doing all of that, I kept digging further and further and still found no drain, so apparently they did not tie this do any sort of drainage system. So my question is, what is my best course of action for how to fill the well back in? What materials, etc?

I dug down probably 18-24 inches below the base of the window so far. Should I dig down further? Should I secure the window well to the foundation? The current window well is not a very deep one (maybe 12-18 inches deep), should I put something that goes down further?

For re-grading near the area, do I have to apply some sort of water proofing tar or something to the foundation before I just start adding more dirt along the foundation? What is the proper way to regrade? What type of material?

Sorry for all of the questions. I was hoping to address as much as possible soon because I won't be able to dig anymore pretty soon because of winter and the ground freezing.

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-19-15, 05:03 AM
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Since you did all that digging, install a surface collector & a dry well. Expose as much of the foundation too. Apparently, someone installed a sump pump when they should have done the outside work.
 
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Old 11-19-15, 09:43 AM
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This is my first time doing something line this so I am not familiar with what a surface collector and drywall is. Anything you can point me to? How much further do I have to dig? Right now there it's admit 18-24 inches of the fountain exposed below the bottom of the window and probably about 24-30 inches wide.

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-19-15, 11:17 AM
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Not dry wall, dry well A surface collector is basically a drain & a dry well is a barrel with holes in it. Flo-well is the Home Depot brand.
 
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Old 11-19-15, 11:49 AM
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Haha, stupid autocorrect. Yea I meant drywell. So I assume I would also have to trench away from the foundation for the surface collector and bury the drywell somewhere else? How far away should the drywell be? What are the slope requirements for the drainage pipe? Perforated or solid piping? Does the top of the drain inside the window well need to be above ground?

Sorry for all of the questions!
 
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Old 11-19-15, 09:07 PM
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Another thing potentially worth noting is that right around the corner of the house (less than probably 8 feet away) is one of those drains for the gutter downspout and the pipe for the sump pump. Would it potentially be a good ideal to try and tie in to either of those somehow?
 
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Old 11-20-15, 04:22 AM
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Don't tie the drains together. 5 or 6 feet away from the foundation will work. The drain in the window well should be at the level, of the well. Use flexible pipe, no holes. The typical 1/4"per foot slope, is fine. Put gravel under & around the dry well. I would seal as much of the foundation as possible with a membrane. Finally, disable auto correct.
 
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Old 11-20-15, 11:09 AM
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I figured I would add some pictures to help visualize what I am trying to say.





 
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Old 11-20-15, 05:39 PM
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Didn't you say that you dug all around there? I don't see any digging.
 
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Old 11-20-15, 05:59 PM
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No, I just dug down inside the window well, not all around the area.
 
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Old 11-20-15, 06:31 PM
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IMO, you should expose the foundation, from the railing, to the corner. Seal the foundation & install the dry well the way we already discussed. That should solve the problem & eliminate the need, for a sump pump.
 
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Old 11-20-15, 07:34 PM
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How much of the foundation should be exposed? What type of sealant should be used? I assume it has to be cleaned once I expose it before sealing it. I don't think I can tackle something that big with the weather we will be getting shortly so that may have to wait til spring.

Is there something I could do short term to help until then? Should I fill the window well with pea gravel? Dig deeper? How long should it normally take for the water to naturally drain (meaning how long should that water in the picture be sitting there for)?

Thanks for all of the input so far!
 
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Old 11-21-15, 06:54 AM
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It's only a 1 day job, if you hire 3 or 4 guys to dig. The entire foundation gets exposed a few inches, below the footing. Scrape it clean, dry it with a torch & take lunch. Buy some rolls of membrane. They come with a bottle of what looks like milk. We called it La Leche. Squirt it on the wall, remove the backing from the membrane & apply it to the wall, so that covers the footing. Use some roofing cement, along the top of the membrane. Throw some #8 gravel, along the bottom. Then back fill. Don't get any dirt between the membrane & the wall. There are some other tricks, if you are interested.
 
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Old 11-21-15, 08:19 AM
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I think there might already be some sort of membrane there because when I was digging down I ended up hitting something that started to peel away with the shovel. So if that was the membrane, obviously in that small area around the well it might be damaged by my digging, but would I have to redo the rest of the foundation? I really wanted to avoid having to dig down 6 feet (or whatever it would take to get to the footing) along that whole run of foundation.

I am not sure if I will be able to get enough people together for long enough, on a nice day, to be able to try and tackle this. Especially with the holidays coming up. Out of curiosity, how much would it normally cost if I were to pay someone to do that job? I assume it would be pretty expensive because of the digging and whatnot.

I am just concerned that I won't have the time before winter and it may have to wait until spring before I take on anything too big.

But yea, I would certainly be interested in any sort of tricks that you might know of.
 
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Old 11-21-15, 08:38 AM
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Maybe someone attempted it before & didn't do the job right so they installed a sump pump. You may not need to do the entire length of the foundation but it would still be a good idea. Then you never have to think about it again. When I said hire a few guys, I didn't mean to ask your friends to give up a Saturday. I meant hire some day workers. About 10 years ago my boss charged $120 per linear foot. I guess that it would be about $200 today. If I were doing the job, I would give a labor price & let the customer pay for the materials.

I don't know, if there is a quick fix. The weather has been great down here. I'm still wearing shorts, on some days. In what part of NY is the house?
 
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Old 11-21-15, 11:43 AM
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I am in the Southern Tier in the Binghamton area. The weather is pretty nice here too, but it looks like the cold is coming this week and the ground will start freezing. Would I just look at craigslist for some people? Or do landscapers do it? I am not even sure the right people to look for.

i just took out the brush there today so it is wide open now. Ideally I would like to only fix this once, but i don't want it to cost an arm and a leg either.

Thanks again for all of the input!
 
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Old 11-21-15, 12:16 PM
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I don't trust Craigslist. Some landscapers might take the job. Isn't there a Dunkin' Donuts or a Home Depot where the day workers wait for jobs? Some of those guys are great with a shovel. When I was a day worker, I couldn't keep up with one of the guys from El Salvador. As a crew, we could dig 8' down to the footing, in 3 or 4 hours. If you have everything ready, you can finish in a day. Only once we had to finish the job, on the following day.
 
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Old 11-21-15, 12:43 PM
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No we don't have people waiting outside any of the local stores looking for day jobs so it isn't that easy to find someone that way.
 
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Old 11-21-15, 03:35 PM
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Hmmm, that's really strange. I guess that we're from two different worlds. I thought that they were everywhere. Landscapers would be the next choice.
 
 

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