basement window almost at ground level

We have two standard sized basement windows both are only about 1 inch above the ground. Yesterday we had a VERY heavy wind driven rain (over 4 inches in 12 hours). Some water came in the bottom of the window. I checked outside and it looks like a small puddle formed in front of the window and flowed into the window once it rose to the level of the window. The natural grade is slightly AWAY from the window and also run slightly down hill from one side of the window to another. While this has only occurred once, I want to stop it from occurring again. Since the whole window is above ground would I still dig a window well? If not, should a dig maybe 6 inches down in front of the window and simply fill with gravel, or would that set me up for more problems?
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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote:

I would think that digging down would set you up for more trouble. Maybe just a window bubble would help. These guys make nice heavy duty custom ones, maybe they can advise. http://www.windowbubble.com /
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I'd probably put in a std window well. That would give any wind driven rain a place to go.
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What type of 'wall' surface is below your window ? I'm guessing concrete. Most basements (assuming dampproofed concrete walls below grade) have a drain tile running around the foundation to take away any water that 'percs' down thru the soil against the foundation. I don't know if this is what you have but if you do, you might dig out about 6" of soil and put gravel in, say 3" and leave a 3" space below the window. Thats what I'd do but I was there when all 3 of my homes were built and I know that it wouldn't cause a problem.
On the otherhand, it seems many homes these days have 'leaky' foundations for one reason or another and all water should be directed away from the foundation. Leaks can take a long time to manifest themselves inside and once the damage appears inside, its too late.
Ideally, you should regrade your ground level outside the window to make sure the water runs off and doesn't "pool"

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The house was built in the 50's and I believe it does have a drain tile system (I know we have a french drain system inside that empties into a sump pump. The problem has only occurred this one time and I don't want to make it worse. For now I cleared all the mulch from in front of the window bringing the ground level down a little. I also cleared out the mulch downhill form the window. As I noted before, this window is on the side of a slight slope that goes from right to left as you look out the window.
Rudy wrote:

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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote:

Any 1950s drain tile system is long since clogged:( I would install window wells with a drain line at the bottom so it never happens again
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On 8 Jun 2006 17:33:50 -0700, "grodenhiATgmailDOTcom"

Observe the area during a heavy rain. From that information you can determine where to fill in or take away soil to improve the drainage. I doubt you need a window well. Sometimes a small overhang or awning can help.
I had issues with muddy conditions under the deck after a rain so I made a large frame from PT wood and filled it with gravel--no more mud splashed onto the siding, looks good too!
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The system was either installed or upgraded a few years back (befor we bought the house). They had the work done before they had the basement finished. It seems to be working quite well, we've had two really big rain events since we've been here (recording breaking ones) and we've gotten no water in the basement from the walls or floor (just a little from this window once, and fireplace cleanouts (I posted about that here as well)). I could see where that water pooled outside the window (impression in the mulch) and have since cleared things out and resmoothed the area.
Phisherman wrote:

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