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Old 08-28-2012, 12:04 PM
PSUhardscaper PSUhardscaper is offline
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Window Well Water Issues

I received a call last week about basement water issues. The homeowner was a very nice guy who asked for a quote for grading and window well replacement. As you can see, the existing galvanized wells are rusted through. My question to you guys is as follows:

Does there need be be a drain installed at the bottom of each of these window wells that would connect to either a dry well or city sewer? We will be raising the grade against the house as well as cutting a swale to direct his uphill neighbor's runoff away from the foundation.


He is going to have the HVAC unit raised so we can bring the grade up to where code allows under the siding.

Note: You can only see 1 downspout in the pictures, but none of them drain below grade.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:44 PM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is offline
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No needs for any drains in the window wells for this particular scenerio.

The problem primarily derives at the rear of the dwelling.

Water is coming down the downspout and flowing back to the foundation.

Put a sentence in the proposal stating that client understands that the dwelling's roof gutters must be cleaned from from debris on a regular basis. We did a grading job and I specifically told the lady that her gutters were full and needed cleaned out or our work would be effective. First big rain and guess who was frantically calling me!
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:49 PM
PSUhardscaper PSUhardscaper is offline
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Thanks Andrew - will do. We have plenty of room to build up soil and still slope away from the foundation - hopefully not allowing any of the roof runoff to flow back towards the house.

How far below the sill do you recommend placing the well?
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:02 PM
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Dirt Boy Dirt Boy is online now
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Looks like the window wells are set to the right height, really probably don't even need to be quite that high.
You should consider the plastic wells instead of galv. when replacing. You can also get a nice cover for them that snaps on if owner desires.
Like you already know, just need to direct the flow away from the foundation rather than too it....duh!
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:05 PM
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Dirt Boy Dirt Boy is online now
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I also, dig a few inches deeper, and place gravel in the bottom, just to keep any water away from bottom of the window if you get a heavy rain.
i.e. bottom of excavation sloped away from foundation, place window well, fasten to foundation, gravel/small rock in base, couple inches of dirt over gravel on outside of well.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:31 PM
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GreenI.A. GreenI.A. is offline
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We usually dig out and do about 12" of stone at the bottom of the well. Others will say that 2-3" is enough. But for such small area it is only an extra 10 minutes and $5 to do a foot of stone. When we can we also try to keep the stone about 6" below the window, this allows room for 6" of snow before it is against the window.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:19 PM
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zedosix zedosix is offline
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The dirt is right up to the bottom of the window, remove some dirt and place clear stone. Up here they put drains in all the window wells and connect them to the weeping tile.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:09 AM
Cuda1 Cuda1 is offline
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One of the most common repairs we do is fix window well / basement water problems, yes gravel will flow water from a window but only because it promotes fast water travel but if there is no drain then it just makes it faster to getting in the basement. Some houses have footing drains and others do not so you can't expect them to take care of the water for you. Downspouts should at a min. be directed 3 feet from the foundation and an actual system for them and the window well is recommended. If in doubt run a garden hose in the area and look inside for moisture.
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