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Question DetailsAsked on 2/21/2018

I am experiencing water getting into our window wells when it rains on frozen ground

Once the ground freezes and we heavy ran in late winter we have issues in the window well. I have heard that I can have them removed and put block in, does that seem right. I am looking for solutions and a fix so I don't have to pump out water in the window wells again

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1 Answer


Water gets in directly from above from roof runoff or in heavy storms or high winds, from direct rain/snowfall into the well, or overflow of surface water into the well. Or from leakage around the flanges against the foundation wall, through rust holes or cracked plastic well itself, or sometimes under the metal or plastic well surround into the opening itself.

If from direct water impact into the well, this sort of cover works well (and also keeps toads and such out) -

Since evidently only happening when ground is froen, sounds like you have water backing up around the well or pouring into it from blocked gutters overhead. Gutters - unblock and solve any icing causing them to back up and overflow. Surface water getting in:

1) if coming over top, slope the ground away from the well to a place which will not back up against the foundation (general slope or a swale), or maybe clear gap in any snow berming the water in

2) if coming in underneath, could be because when the ground freezes it is cracking or pulling away from the well, leaving a gap under neath it. To stop underflow you can seal the bottom with bentonite applied from the outside as a layer, or concrete in the bottom for 2-3 inches thick after cleaning the steel. I put a strip of bitumastic waterstop tar on the foundation wall and the inside of the well before concreting, to provide a crack-resistant waterproof seal there. Trowel/putty knife applied roofing fibrous repair bitumastic also works - just messier to work with.

3) if coming in around the flange at the foundation, may be it is not tightened to the wall, or is too flexible. Again I use tar strip to seal that gap - long life caulk or tube roof repair bitumastic can also be used on the outside edge of the flange (on the side the waterr is coming from) - best if you can loosen the well up, treat the surface well, then rebolt but sometimes juyst caulking/smearing the interfacewith foundation will work. For flimsy wells with full flanges looking like this -

I use a cedar or treated 2x2 as a compression strip to bolt through so it has uniform compression all along the interface.

Here are links to a numberof similar questions with answers FYI:

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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