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?
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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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
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"
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.
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
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!
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.
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