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Drainage Problem

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GravelyGuy, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 2,520

    The customer is having problems with water leaking into the basement window after heavy rain. I went out and looked at the area after a light rain and I didn't notice water collecting anywhere too bad. You can see that the grade should be fixed along the house and the gutters are probably clogged. Does anyone know what the black pipes are down in the window well? I couldn't get down in there and really look at them, too many wolf spiders in the area for my taste. How would you guys go about fixing this problem?

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  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    In an Egress window like that, I would assume that it is a drain pipe for the window well.

    It's looks like there is no grate on it, so I'm guessing it's clogged. If the water is coming in the window then hopefully your clog is somewhere close to the window and not further away. It might be an easy fix of just getting a small pipe snake and rooting out the pipe.

    Try to contact the local builder of the home and see if you can figure out where the pipe goes. That would help you figure out how they did the drainage for the footings.

    Does the basement have a sump pump ???

    You might want to think about going to the property during a big rain to observe how the water drains on the property.
  3. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 2,520

    I've never seen a drain the bottom of a window well. I'll have to see if that's what it is. I need to get more info from the homeowner.

    Thank you.
  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,762

    Check to see if other water sources use the same drainage system as the window well. If other downspouts or surface drains are putting water into that system, there could be a backup that actually puts water into that window well.
  5. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 2,520

    Builder went bankrupt and the homeowner has no idea what the pipes are. I will have to climb in there and investigate.
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Ya, let us know what you find.
  7. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    I'm thinking those pipes were an attempt at a french drain. Likely they are just vertical towards the footing and likely the pipe is slotted. It was an attempt at keeping the window wells from filling up with water. Address all your other issues as well, including the grade and piping the downspounts 15'+ away from the foundation, but you may ahve to address these window wells with proper french drains, pipe to open air(not likely, due to depth), or pumping that water away. You can also attempt some sort of cover over the window well that would keep most of the rainwater out, but not be fastened in a way that would restrict or impede egress.

    Do some test bores with a post hole digger and determine the permeability of the area's soil. That will give you a better understanding for any type of drains you will need. You'll need to get that water away from not only the window, but the foundation as well. It may cause water seepage through the wall at a later date.

  8. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Every egress window, in our area, that I've seen, has a drain in the bottom similar to that one. It looks like it's missing the grate cap though.

    Is there one, or two pipes?

    Looking at the pic, you can see a small branch with leaves sitting on top of the pipe, and I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of debris has been sucked into the drain.

    I would try a simple pipe snake first to see if there is a clog somewhere.

    Also, is there a sump-pump in the basement, or outside in a pit. I wouldn't be surprised if all the footing drains run into it, including the egress window drain.

    The unfortunate thing is that the builder used corrugated black drain pipe, instead of PVP. The PVC is much easier to root out.
  9. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,851

    AHH....I am surprised no one has suggested a "Window Well Cover"
  10. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,762

    What do you expect the cover to do?

    There are gutters.

    It won't make the rim of the well waterproof if surface water pours in. It won't stop seeping of the walls of the well or at the bottom of the walls.

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