As an established Waterproofing Contractor, we offer the full range of foundation waterproofing solutions for all foundation types, throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We offer excellent, low cost solutions for overflowing window wells: drain installation and window well replacement.

How do you know if you need a new window well or a window well drain?
What is a window well drain?
How is a window well drain installed?

Window well not draining and full of mud?

A window well with a clogged drain – A very common problem

How do you know if you need a window well or a drain?
A window well must always be installed when the bottom of a basement window frame is at or below grade. By installing a window well you are effectively lowering the grade in front of the window, thus preventing water from leaking into your basement from around the window frame.

A classical example of why a window well should have been installed. Rainwater pours through the window!

When you need a new window well
You know you need a window well if you do not meet the conditions above or if your existing window well is allowing sediment to accumulate within it. When your window well is not doing the job, either a deeper window well is required or your old window well needs to be reinstalled.

While a properly installed window should not fill up with water, it is nonetheless a common occurrence; this is because window wells often fill-up with sediment which interferes with proper drainage. The presence of sediment in a window well is usually due to the window well being “too short”; this is due to the use of stock window well sizes when a custom size is required. New homes today will normally have a drain installed in the window well to ensure that the window well can drain efficiently.

When you need a window well drain installed
When a window well is not full of sediment there are times when it is advisable to add a provision for improved drainage of the water that accumulates within a window well. If alot of water falls into the window well and it is accumulating, you need a drain installed. A window well drain provides excellent drainage especially when you have clay soil, commonly found throughout the GTA, that has poor drainage qualities.

What is a window well drain?
A window well drain is, in reality, a simple water management technique, in that the installed drain is essentially the same as the drain in your kitchen sink. Both of these drains are used to drain water that has accumulated within a basin. Both drain applications involve a drain pipe to channel the accumulated basin water to a designated drainage point; in the case of window wells, the water is drained to the weeping tile system at the base of your foundation wall.

How is a window well drain installed?
A window well drain is installed in 4 steps as detailed below. Note: we have omitted certain installation details that our company uses in order to avoid educating our competitors on the most reliable way to install window wells and drains.

Here are the steps involved in installing a window well drain:

  1. Excavation of the foundation wall down to the footing and connecting a drain to the weeping tile; or, using our modern window well drainage solution: augering a hole in the window well down to the gravel layer on top of the weeping tile;
  2. Installation of a drain pipe with a drain cover to prevent debris from entering the pipe;
  3. Filling of the window well with gravel; and
  4. Testing the drain to ensure that the window well drains efficiently.

This is what a typical window well drain installation looks like this:

Augered window well drain

Augered window well drain


graphic of a lightbulbIf you notice water on the basement floor beneath a window in your basement you can check the efficiency of your window well drainage simply by running your hose in the window well and observing how quickly the water disperses. Some buildup of water is normal; however, it should not rise as high as the bottom of the window sill. If it does, there is a problem.

If the water drains efficiently, but water is getting into your basement, it is likely that you have a leaking foundation crack originating at one of the window corners.

Considering the purchase of a plastic window well cover? Consider getting a hinged polycarbonate cover instead. Call us today!

Custom made window well cover that is as tough as nails!

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