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federer 10-09-2012 02:18 PM

Window well-to dig or not to dig
Hi everyone
the headaches keep piling up. I would advise you guys not to own a house, but since you are here, i think it's too late for that.

anyways so we got a window in the basement that looks like this
except it's a bit deeper, and there is a pump installed at the bottom, with a pvc pipe coming up and out the side. but it's not plugged in, and i don't think its even operational. also on the inside you can see light coming in from the gap between window and block wall.

question is-what do i do with this!
-take window out and block it in
-fill it up and put cover on
-dig it out and reinstall new well
-other option?

Windows on Wash 10-09-2012 02:41 PM

Put a cover on it.

Trucon01 10-09-2012 02:51 PM

I agree. Get a cover for it. If the pre-made covers dont work for you, click on my basement link and go to page 8. I made my own with PVC and plexi.

federer 10-09-2012 03:41 PM

so thats it? we originally put in those plastic covers from home depot but the interior block was still getting damp so we arent sure

oh'mike 10-09-2012 07:14 PM

How old is the house?

Are there perimeter drain tiles that lead to a sump pit?

Is your wildow below grade or above?

Windows on Wash 10-10-2012 07:02 AM

Whats the grading like?

huesmann 10-11-2012 03:10 PM

Also, how good is the seal at the vertical edges, where the well meets the walls?

mae-ling 10-11-2012 11:43 PM


Originally Posted by federer (Post 1027417)
also on the inside you can see light coming in from the gap between window and block wall.

question is-what do i do with this!
-take window out and block it in
-fill it up and put cover on
-dig it out and reinstall new well
-other option?

Where is the Gap? How big?

hand drive 10-13-2012 03:30 PM

have someone check the pump. if the drain field around the bottom of the pump has been there long it is probably clogged up with dirt and it needs a new drain field if the pump works, or a new pump....

wkearney99 10-23-2012 09:31 PM

You've got to find out where the water is coming from first. Solve that first, otherwise anything you do with the window will just keep getting ruined. Seriously. A better picture of the area and a description would help. There are a lot of ways you can deal with water problems, but you WILL have to do something about it. Otherwise the situation will likely get worse. And do it now while the weather's agreeable.

federer 10-30-2012 01:22 AM

well so my basement is flooding from sandy! from this window!

so mad:(

there is a sump pump in the well but its broken. so i have been spending the last 6hrs sucking up water via vacum and dumping it. the well is under ground level. i will upload some pics tomorrow if i am not too tired from sandy.

hope everyone else made it safe!

federer 10-30-2012 01:23 AM


Originally Posted by mae-ling (Post 1029231)
Where is the Gap? How big?

the gap is about 1inch below framing

federer 10-30-2012 01:25 AM

so question: instead of doing grading,gutters etc etc ( we already put in new gutters) would it be better to just basically install a patio out back so all surface water will just run off? my brother insists all we need is a sump pump and battery back up, but thats not fail proof to me. battery dies, sump pump valve breaks, sump pump not pumping fast enough, etc etc. am i right?

wkearney99 10-30-2012 08:33 AM

Grading would, in theory, be a 'do it once and be done with it' scenario. Especially if you arranged a drain underground as part of the process to divert whatever might collect further away from the house. A french drain sort of setup doesn't have to take all the water away, just provide a wider area for it to seep naturally into the surrounding soil.

Might seem like a lot of work/expense, but certainly less than the hassle of dealing with water leaking in over and over.

AllanJ 10-30-2012 09:31 AM

There should not be an open gap between the window frame and the rough opening (foundation concrete, etc.). Fill the gap using appropriate materials, I think a strip of thin Plexiglas and perhaps some wood shims (not on the side against the concrete) together with caulk will do. Or caulk only if the gap is extremely thin with the window frame making contact with the concrete here and there.

The "bottom" of the window well must be below the edge of the concrete so any water that may collect there won't arbitrarily run up against the caulked joint (or into the gap if you haven't filled it yet).

No significant amount of water should ever collect in the well. Otherwise the land outside the well needs regrading and at any rate the earth should be packed tightly against the metal window well shell.

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