It’s a good idea to keep the following points in mind when it comes to basement window wells and flooding. The vulnerability of a basement window well to flood water depends on the age and depth of the well. Keep in mind that basement window wells more than 50 years old are more likely to flood. This article discusses the best ways to keep water from filling your window well and potentially leaking into your home and basement.
Did you know: The Appalachian region and the Midwest United States experience the worst floods, though virtually no area in the U.S. is immune to flooding. Precipitation varies widely across the United States, from an ultimate low in California’s Death Valley to more than 460 inches of rainfall per year in Hawaii. Areas with snow and precipitation are more vulnerable to flooding though no area is safe from floodwater. In a worst case scenario, you may find yourself with a window well filled with water—if you’ve got carpeted basement, you’ll be standing on a very wet carpet as water pours over the window sill into your home. Even if your window wells are covered, water can make its way in.
The average cost involved with basement flooding, damage repair, and cleanup fall between $3,000 and $5,000, sometimes more depending on the severity of the incident. Basement flooding can be serious – aside from the inconvenience and mess, wet houses are linked to respiratory problems, possible long-term damage to the building structure, and property value decrease. You’re most likely to have basement flooding during periods of heavy rainfall or when snow is melting rapidly during the spring months.
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Even if your window well doesn’t flood, it may fill with water and ongoing seepage can lead to mold, moisture problems, and bad odors. In the event that debris collects at the bottom of your window well, water becomes unable to channel away and results in a clog, making it difficult for water to drain. This water can build up—and if nowhere else to go, it can make its way into your basement.
Basement window well covers are one of the best ways to help prevent basements from flooding. They ensure protection even if there are pipes, wires, downspouts or other problems nearby. Don’t choose a cheap, flimsy cover—select a basement window well cover made from strong acrylic plastic that’s both durable and backed by a guarantee. A custom basement window can help prevent excess water from pooling in the well after heavy rainfall. Purchase a basement window well cover that will keep water from accumulating—this cover should be securely fastened to your concrete foundation so water does not seep in from the sides. Contact a window well specialist for installation tips.
Another tip: It’s also a good idea to ensure any nearby gutters and downspouts are always clear of debris—should a buildup of leaves, sticks, or other sediment occur, you may find a waterfall pouring from your roof. Should this water pour directly into your window well or cause a ground pool and seep, you’ll encounter flooding problems. If it’s necessary, consider gutter extensions that extend the water from your downspout further away from your house foundation.
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Dilworth Manufacturing Company
P.O. Box 158
Honey Brook, PA 19344-0158