Water Leak from Window Well


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Old 07-12-14, 12:52 PM
J
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Water Leak from Window Well

I hope I'm at the proper place for this post.
We recently noticed a damp carpet in an interior closet that is next to a window well. It is only damp from one corner of the window well. After checking in that corner of the window well I have discovered after digging through the gravel about 4 inches that it is only wet in the left corner of the well, the rest of the window well is dry.
We window well is covered with a hard plastic cover but it is not tight fitting.
There is a drain in the center of the window well. I've removed about 3 inches of dirt from around the exterior of the well, That didn't seem to help.
Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Thanks
 
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Old 07-12-14, 01:42 PM
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Removing dirt around the exterior of the well would make the situation WORSE, not better.

The soil surrounding the window well needs to slope away from the window well. If it doesn't, excessive amounts of runoff will run to the lowest point by following the easiest route possible. So that's one thing you can check. If the outside of the window well was backfilled with gravel... perhaps more so on one side than the other, that will also provide an easy route for water to take.

Also, ensure that any runoff from the roof is being directed far away from your window well. Are your gutters clean? Or plugged up and overflowing near that spot? (plugged gutters can be a big factor) Is the end of a downspout located nearby that wet side? If so, could it be extended farther away from the house so that all that water is carried away from the perimeter of the house?
 
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Old 07-12-14, 03:28 PM
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Thank you for your response XSleeper. I looked at my neighbors window well, is the reason I moved some of the dirt away. The dirt there was about 4" below the rim of the window well. I guess I dont understand the part about slooping the dirt away ? The window well is metal so how could water get in other that through the top ?
I know water comes in through there, but there is a drain in the middle of the well. The total well (on the inside) is full of gravel down to the foundation. We have now completely covered the window well opening. We expect more rain tonight so we will see what happens.
 
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Old 07-12-14, 03:46 PM
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Window wells can leak along the entire length where it meets the wall.
 
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Old 07-14-14, 11:33 AM
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A bed of gravel against the foundation can make the problem worse, not better. A pocket of water can accumulate in the gravel and this water can seep into a thin crack in the wall faster than it will seep down through the soil below to get down past the foundation footings.
 
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Old 07-14-14, 03:04 PM
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If the outside of the window well was backfilled with gravel... perhaps more so on one side than the other, that will also provide an easy route for water to take.
I agree AllenJ, that was the point of my comment above. Water will go right down that gravel since it's the easiest route. Gravel inside the window well is fine, since you want any water that gets inside to get to the drain or the perforated pipe, but outside the window well it ought to be backfilled with dirt, and should sloped away from the house AND from the window well itself.
 
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Old 07-15-14, 07:56 AM
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Window well water leak

Thanks for your replies.
I have done what has been suggested ie slopping away from the house & well. I've also tightened and put on weather seal on the inside because we most always had water on that window after a good rain.
I think we may have solved the seepage problem we will know after the next good rain. I still do not know however how the water got into that closet.
Thanks!!
 
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Old 07-15-14, 02:46 PM
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I'll tell you a story Jawbreaker- I had a customer who I had installed a basement window for, and I built them a nice window well out of landscaping timbers, something I don't normally do. Well every so often I would overhear them lamenting that the window was leaking water and that their wall and carpet inside would get wet now and then. Family friends, they aren't the type to call me and complain.

Well one day we were getting torrential rain and I thought that I would drop by and see if I could find out what was happening. As I get out of my truck in the torrential rain, I see their gutters are plugged and they're overflowing- like a pitcher pouring water right down into the window well, and there is water halfway up on the window! Um... well, no wonder it's leaking!

Got on a ladder, reached into the gutter, pulled the bunch of debris out of the downspout outlet, and you should have seen the water shoot out that downspout! End of flooded window well problem.
 
 

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