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Question DetailsAsked on 10/4/2013

What type of contractors would replace window wells around basement windows? The ones I have are rusted.

The current wells appear to be bolted into the cement. Not sure how easily they can be removed.

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1 Answer


Some types of bolts can be removed, some just broken or cut off.

Handyman can do this repair - about $100 for the window well, $50-100 labor to replace one.

Another alternative - unless they are falling apart or have big holes, there is a quick fix that will hold for many years. Whether you dig out the outside to rustproof it also is up to you in terms of effort - the spray undercoating will stop small leaks even from the inside. (I am assuming here they are galvanized metal semi-circles).

1) dig out and wash off
2) treat metal with a rusty metal primer like Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer
3) after dry (takes several days) paint with two coats of an exterior spray or brush on galvanizing paint for metal like Rustoleum Cold Galvanizing Compound - one spray can should do one coat inside and outside, maybe both coats if you clean nozzle after first use
4) then, on outside (inside too if you want), spray with spray-on automotive rubberized undercoating - comes in a spray can for about $5 at auto parts store (generally, you only get one use - cannot spray again after hardens in nozzle), and one can should cover the outside of one window well, maybe more.

If you are looking for a less extensive repair that might work for 3-5 years (and could be redone after that), use just the undercoat spray on the inside.

Be VERY careful with the spray - use newspaper to mask house and window around the well, because you get this on the house it WILL stain, even if you use paint thinner to remove it quickly - is rubberized asphalt.

If you don't mind gettinga bit messy (or use latex gloves) you can used fibrous roof repair cement also - the same as you would use for an emergency roof flashing repair, smeared on with a wide putty knife.

Make sure if you replace the window wells or dig around them to paint them, that you tamp the dirt down HARD in a moist (not WET) conditions as you backfill - use hard heels with 100% coverage minimum, preferably a tamper or sledge hammer used as a tamper, especially around the bottom edge inside and out and against the wall to surface level, as these are the spots where it will leak first. The interface with the house I would caulk with an asphaltic or bitumastic caulk.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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