How to Fix Leaking Basement Window Wells

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Home Improvement

A window well is an exterior area around a basement window that holds the surrounding soil and removes rainwater. If the drainage system fails or is non-existent, the window well can fill up with water during heavy rainfalls. Since window wells are not designed to be waterproof, water can seep into the house through the window frame and seals. Instead of hiring costly repair companies, you can try to fix the issue yourself. Here are the materials you’ll need:

  • Brackets
  • Bucket
  • Cement
  • Chisel
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Hand sledge
  • Metal grate
  • Pipe
  • Trowel
  • Well duct
  • Wire brush

Follow these steps:

  1. Thoroughly inspect all basement windows for any damage, like cracks and holes.
  2. Enlarge any openings you find by chiseling them open and using the hand sledge to break off the sidings. Protect your eyes with goggles.
  3. Mix one part water with five parts cement. The cement will begin to solidify after approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Fill all openings with cement, firmly packing it in with the trowel.
  5. Drill a hole a few inches below all window sills that face window wells. Drill through the wall to the exterior.
  6. Expand the hole to the exact exterior diameter of the pipe.
  7. Insert the pipe into the hole, ensuring that it fits tightly, so that half is inside the wall and half is outside.
  8. Seal any cracks near the pipe with cement.
  9. Fit the metal grate over the exterior opening of the pipe to prevent blockages.
  10. Connect the well duct between the inside opening of the pipe and the sewage drain system or basement sump pump.


1. What are basement window wells?

Basement window wells are structures that surround basement windows and extend above ground level to allow natural light into the basement. They are typically made of metal or concrete and are designed to prevent soil and water from entering the basement.

2. What causes basement window wells to leak?

Basement window wells can leak due to several reasons, including poor installation, cracks in the structure, clogged drainage systems, and heavy rain or snowfall. Deterioration of the well material over time can also contribute to leaks.

3. How do I know if my basement window wells are leaking?

You can check for leaks by inspecting the well for signs of water accumulation or dampness. If you notice water stains on the walls or floor near the window, this could also indicate a leak. Mold growth and musty odors are also signs of a leaking window well.

4. Can I repair a leaking basement window well myself?

While some minor repairs can be done by homeowners, it’s best to hire a professional for more extensive repairs. Repairing a leaking basement window well requires specialized tools and expertise to ensure that the problem is fixed correctly.

5. What are some DIY tips for preventing basement window well leaks?

You can prevent basement window well leaks by keeping the area around the well clean and free of debris that can clog drainage systems. Installing a cover over the well can also help prevent water and debris from entering the well.

6. What should I do if I notice a leak in my basement window well?

You should immediately contact a professional to assess the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action. Delaying repairs can lead to further damage and potentially costly repairs down the road.

7. Is it possible to replace a basement window well?

Yes, it is possible to replace a basement window well. A professional can remove the damaged well and install a new one that is designed to prevent leaks and improve drainage.

8. How long does it take to repair a leaking basement window well?

The time it takes to repair a leaking basement window well depends on the extent of the damage. Minor repairs can be done in a few hours, while more extensive repairs may take several days to complete.

9. Can basement window well leaks be prevented?

While it’s not possible to completely prevent basement window well leaks, regular maintenance and inspections can help identify and address potential issues before they become major problems. Keeping the area around the well clean and installing a cover can also help prevent leaks.

10. How much does it cost to repair a leaking basement window well?

The cost of repairing a leaking basement window well depends on several factors, including the extent of the damage and the type of repair needed. Minor repairs can cost a few hundred dollars, while more extensive repairs can cost several thousand dollars.

11. What should I look for in a professional basement window well repair company?

You should look for a company with experience in repairing basement window wells, as well as a good reputation for quality work and customer service. The company should also be licensed and insured to protect you in case of accidents or damages.

12. Can I file an insurance claim for a leaking basement window well?

Whether or not you can file an insurance claim for a leaking basement window well depends on your insurance policy and the cause of the leak. It’s best to contact your insurance company to discuss your options and determine if you are covered.

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