window well

The term “window well” refers to the area that surrounds a basement window. Window wells retain the surrounding earth and allow rainwater to drain away from basement windows, thereby preventing basement flooding, seepage, and water damage within the home. All windows that sit below or at ground level require window wells. Unfortunately, window wells are easily damaged, which can have disastrous consequences for your home’s interior. In Toronto, where home renovations and improvement projects are commonplace, homeowners often unknowingly risk the integrity of their basement waterproofing and window wells, as any modifications done to a home’s basement windows have the potential to affect their ability to resist water and prevent damage from occurring

video – window well drainage


Waterproofing the Window Wells

Common issues with window wells range from the installation of windows that are not designed to be watertight, improper fastening of window wells to the home’s structure, to poorly compacted soil. Fortunately these common window well complications are easily resolved and repaired by a trained professional. 

Improper fastening of window wells occurs when the window well is not properly securely attached to a home’s exterior wall. In regions such as Toronto, where the ground freezes and swells throughout the seasons, poorly fastened window wells have the potential to become loose and lift away from the window, allowing earth to clog the well and drain and preventing the area from draining properly. A professional from Strong Basements can repair your window well by excavating the area and adding supplementary drainage tiles. They will then fill the area with compact soil before installing and sealing a new window well. 

Similar to poorly fastened window wells, soil compaction can affect your window well’s alignment. Proper soil compaction helps to promote water flow and prevent seepage. Soil that is not properly compacted has the potential to settle under the weight of rainwater, causing sinkholes around your home’s foundation. These sinkholes make it difficult for excess water to drain and can result in clogging if not repaired by a contractor.

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Window Well FAQ’s

Where do window well drains go?

In Ontario the window well drainage pipes are the part of storm system and mostly times are connected to a weeping tile pipe located at the bottom or the foundation.

Window well will not drain, why?

It is two major reasons why the window well would not drain the water: 1) The drainage pipe is partially or completely blocked. 2) The window well does not have the drainage pipe.

How to unclog window well drain?

If the window well drainage pipe got clogged on the top, the just remove the mud clean the pipe and window well, refill with clean gravel. If the pipe clogged downstream, then the foundation wall have to be excavated and the window well drainage pipe have to be replaced lond with the part of foundation drainage pipe (see the video on this page).

How deep window well?

If the distance between the grade and the bottom of the window is 1″ inch (or less) the window well is required to protect the basement from the possible leaks. The window well has to be installed 4″ inches (or more) deeper then the bottom of the window.

How does window well look like?

Window well installation in Toronto

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interior and exterior basement waterproofing works