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Question DetailsAsked on 5/12/2014

who do i contact to seal an egress window well that is leaking into my basement? A plumber, home repair??

Noticed the dirt was wearing away from around the egress window and then in the last big storm the well flooded (there is a sump pump in there) but it got clogged from all the dirt leaking around the edges and then leaked into my basement window. Is this a job for a plumber? Water proofer? Handyman? Or, should I have someone examine the huge hole surrounding the well? I'm hoping it's not a big problem.

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OK - if the "hole" around the well is just from dirt washing into the well, then fixing the window well fixes the hole. If the hole is a sinkhole where dirt is washing down into a french drain, say, then that should be fixed at same time as window well, but is a separate issue. Sounds like major part of problem may well be soil leakage into well - take a look at how much dirt came into the well versus how large the hole is - if approximately the same size, you probably just had soil piping around or through the well liner into the window well.


If the well itself is in good shape, then it can just be dug out at the edges to put bitumastic caulk along the interface with the wall - preferably by loosening up the mounting bolts first, then injecting bitumastic caulk between the well flange and the foundation wall, then retightening bolts. Rusty areas that are not badly rusted out but just pinholed can be patched with bitumastic caulk and bituthene sheet, or bitumastic and structural geotextile fabric. These all have to be done from the outside of the well to work well whic means hand excavation, but sometimes you get satisfactory results with bitumastic caulk or expanding foam insulation injected at the well side of the interface, and using self-tapping screws inserted through a glob of bitumastic through pinholes to seal them.


You will probably need a plumber if the sump pump needs replacing, if it was damaged, though some Handymen can handle that job. The well repair itself is a good Handyman job, or small one man dirtwork/excavation contractor. If dirt came at the bottom of the well rather than around the sides, which is likely the case if the sinkhole outside is not right up against the foundation wall or caused by a hole in the well that the dirt ran in through, then the sump pump may be pulling soil into the well when it pumps out the water. In that case, you may need to form a physical sump a foot or two deep in the bottom of the window well area for the sump pump to sit in, and place a 3-4 inch concrete bottom in the window well and sump to stop soil from coming in from the bottom - handyman can do this also.


If your pump is a surface-pumping type that doesnot need a sump and is just installed in the flat bottom of the well, that will help $50 or more $ on the cost by eliminating the sump.


Not including the $150-400 range to a plumber if a new sump pump is needed, a simple patch and seal from the inside of the well would probably cost about $100 unless you do it yourself, including concreting the bottom would take it to probably $200-250 range, and totally replacing a badly rusted through and failing normal sized window well and embedding the bottom in concrete with a sump (if needed) would probably run $400-600.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD




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