Grading lawn

Published on August 6th, 2013 | by Henri

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Window wells fill with rainwater

Q.    For the past two years, during very heavy rainfalls, one of my window wells has been filling with rainwater which then leaks through the window frame into the basement.  The house is over sixty years old; the window wells are concrete and rectangular-shaped. I have been unable to find the plastic covers in the proper size and shape. Please advise as to what can be done to alleviate this problem.

A.    Is the window well filling with water from the roof, or is it under an overhang, or on a gable side of the house? The first thing to check is the condition of the grade around the well. If there are sink holes or the grade is generally negative (sloping toward the well), you need to repair it by adding soil so it slopes away from the concrete walls.

Well covers are usually only needed if the water from the roof falls into the wells. Otherwise, a well that is constructed properly, with good draining soil, should be able to take even heavy rains. But bear in mind that I haven’t seen your condition so I can only give you a few pointers.

If you do need a well cover, and since you cannot find the right size, you may have to have one built with plexiglass, or with pressure-treated plywood if cutting off the light to the basement is not a problem.

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