How To Unclog A Window Well Drain

Window Well Drain Unclogging ToolsIn the homes of our times, it was really common practice for there to be plastic drains installed inside the soil which is inside of any window wells. In those cases, these plastic pipes would normally just empty out over the weeping tile, close to the bottom of the foundation footings and wall. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but they might also create problems if they were installed improperly or blocked over the course of time.

In many cases, the soil that’s in window wells will settle or even get excavated too far under the grade before getting filled up with crushed limestone or some other kind of drainage stone. Vertical drain pipes that get put inside these areas typically get filled with stone too. Any combination of these factors might be the culprit behind your problems. Read one of our most popular articles if your window well is leaking water into basement.

Going Forward

Any time we have our own clay soil excavated, dug up for a trench, or otherwise depressed, then the lower area that gets created is an ideal place to collect any water resulting from rain and snowmelt runoff. This is largely due to the very nature of clay soil, which absorbs water slowly, allowing any excess to just run towards the lowest point. This is why we commonly see standing water only in the very lowest parts of yards.

It’s also why good grading around a foundation is crucial for the maintenance of a dry basement. With stone or sandy soils, like what’s in your window well, that might not happen. This kind of stone might be great for moisture absorption in any spaces in between the granular material. That’s why window well drains typically get filled with stone, so that they can have good drainage towards the weeping tile. This stone normally only gets installed in the window well’s top section, and there is normal clay backfilling in the below area.

Problems To Look Out For

The problems that can happen in this kind of system do so many years after the soil erodes before it settles around the home’s foundation, leaving the drains to get blocked with debris like leaves and soil. The drainage stone that is previously only filled up to the window well top might have settled underneath the metal window well bottom, which creates an ideal space for water to actually settle from any surrounding clay soil as well as runoff. This layer of gravel often lets water to actually seep inside the window well, doing exactly the entirely opposite function compared to what it’s supposed to.

This kind of water would normally just exit the area prior to filling through the drainage pipe. When this pipe gets blocked with debris, soil, or other material, it’s not going to drain and the well is going to fill with water, which creates the problem that you’re experiencing. This also might happy quicker when the metal well barrier gets installed too deeply or even has pulled away from the home’s foundation.

Unclogging Your Window Well Drain

The answer to your situation initially is going to be cleaning out that drain, although that might not wind up being a permanent fix. The pipe bottom might be inaccessible without there being major excavation, and it might be totally blocked and even not draining right anymore to the below weeping tile.

In circumstances like these, it might be necessary to remove the pipe, the whole metal window well barrier, and even some of the stone and soil around the area. Once this is finished, then a whole new metal well barrier might be installed as well as secured to the home’s foundation. If possible a new drainage pipe should go in with the refill of the clay soil.

Leaking Basement Window Below Grade

The window well on the basement frequently causes water leaks in the basement. That is frequently due to rotted caulking and wood, a shifting foundation, and cracks developing around the window well frame. If you discover that a leak is being caused in your basement by your basement window, there are a couple of things that can be done.

Caulk The Basement Window

When water comes through the basement window, here are a few solutions for you. If the window is not caulked, that is the first line of defense. You may be able to solve your problem by just simply caulking your window well. Remember that if the window has been leaking for a while already, the framing around your window might be rotting and damaged and could result in additional repairs needing to be done.

Install a New Window Well

You might want to get new window wells for the basement windows. Window wells are curved pieces of steel inserts that have corrugated pipe used to block moisture from windows when they are below grade level and to drain water away that has entered the area. If you have window wells but no gravel, then you might want to add some gravel inside of the window wells. Their corrugated inserts have been designed for routing water away but at times the well might become overwhelmed by how much rain they get and over time might clog as well, which makes them useless.

Window Well Covers

Window wells, over time, can get clogged up with dirt, leaves, or even snow. Every once in a while they must be cleaned out. You can purchase covers to help to decrease how much debris and water enters into the window wells. Make sure you do your research and also consult with a waterproofing professional to get the best covers for your window or repair the window well covers that you currently have.

Adjust the Grade Surrounding The Window

As previously mentioned, the grade on the exterior of your house can definitely effect leaking windows. A grade that slopes towards your house definitely can contribute to getting leaking basement windows and may result in a flooded or wet basement.

If the grade is sloped toward your house or if you have a grade that is too high over the window area, then repairing your windows will not stop the leaking. A professional landscaper or waterproofing company can help you correct the problems. Water will often enter into your basement in multiple locations or ways. It always is a great way to talk to a licensing, waterproofing professional who has expertise and experience in waterproofing basements when you are dealing with these problems.

Install New Windows

If you have older windows, they might have to be replaced. As previously mentioned, if it is a leak that has been around for a while, then the frame surrounding the window might be rotted or damaged and have to also be replaced. A shifting foundation may also result in damage to your window frame and you might need a new window that has a proper seal. Here are more solutions for window well leaking water into the basement

Window Well Leaking Water Into Basement

A basement window well that’s leaking can be all it takes to have your basement flooded. Flooding and dampness are perhaps the most significant risks of damage that basements in most homes face. Not many homeowners may think much about their basements, but these are important rooms in homes.

More often than not, the repairs done in homes include a bit of fixing of the basement. Such projects are often attributed to poor maintenance and repair efforts for the basement. Speak to a qualified Waterproofing Rep at

If your basement is flooded, then the problem may be due to water seeping through a crack in the walls or foundation or the basement window well. If your dilemma is attributed to a leaking window well, below are the steps to take to repair the window well:

Repair window well

  • Step 1: Examine the Windows

    • Assess the window for damages. Be keen so that you do not miss any holes or cracks around the window. Dig into the holes or the cracks you find opening them up so that they are fully exposed. You can do this using a chisel and hammer. Do not forget to wear protective gear for your eyes to prevent stray chips of cement from poking your eyes.
  • Step 2: Fill the Cracks

    • Fill the enlarged holes and cracks with wet cement which should be in the ration of 5:1 (5-parts cement to 1-part water. Use a trowel to push in the cement and ensure all the holes and cracks are tightly filled and level. Allow the cement to set, give it around 15 minutes.
  • Step 3: Install the Drainage Duct

    • For large window wells, drill a hole underneath the window sill leaving a few inches between it and the holes or cracks you opened up. Drill the hole making sure it opens outside the house. The objective is to allow you to drain all the flood water from the basement.
    • Insert a metal or plastic pipe into the hole to help with draining the water. Ensure that the hole you drill will allow the pipe to be a snug fit with no room for water to sip between the two. Use a pipe that is long enough to rest halfway between the outside and inside. Put a grate over the outer end of the pipe to keep debris from blocking the outlet. Finish with placing a well duct over the pipe.