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.

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.