Why Do I Have a Leaking Window Well?

This is the first question many people ask when a window well starts to leak. The window well allows for a sunken-in window that gives light to your basement and sometimes allows for safe exit in case of an emergency. Why is it leaking?

There are a few reasons you might have this leaking problem. Here are the most common ones. 

Clogged Basement Window Wells

Most commonly, window wells attempt to avoid water piling up and leaking into the basement by having a gravel or rock bottom to the well. This granite or rock allows the water to sink into the soil, rather than just pushing on the window.

However, you can run into a problem if this drain clogs. For example, if leaves or grass fall into the window well, they can collect at the bottom of the well and make it more difficult for water to sink into the gravel. Instead of draining, it just builds up.

This clog can quickly increase more and more until the water’s pressing against your window. From there, it’s often only a matter of time until it starts to leak in through the window in some form or another. 

Heavy Rain and Flooding

Even if the granite is working as it’s supposed to, heavy rain and flooding can sometimes still cause a problem. Heavy rain is difficult for the ground to absorb; that’s why you experience flooding on the outside when you get a lot of rain all at once, especially after a drought.

This heavy rain causes a very big problem when you have a window well. Especially if you don’t have a window well cover or you have a low-quality cover, that window well welcomes in water. It can add up very quickly.

Flooding in the area causes very significant problems that aren’t limited just to your basement, but the basement is an impacted area. If you live in an area that regularly experiences heavy rain, it’s important to be proactive if you want to avoid your basement window leaking. 

Melting Snow

Snow is a very interesting problem that you might face when you’re dealing with a leaking window well. That’s because snow melting provides a very slow but very constant drip of water, which is sort of the opposite of heavy rain.

Even a well-functioning window well can sometimes have leaking problems in these situations. As the water continues to leak down the well, you might find that it sometimes makes its way into the window seal, starting to leak into the inside of your window.

You may need to take very specific measures once the snow outside starts to melt. Melting snow causes a very peculiar type of water stream that you need to pay close attention to when you’re handling water damage. 


Have you ever considered that your lawn sprinklers may be contributing to water damage in your home? It might not be something you’ve thought about, but if you didn’t think very much about the way the sprinklers spray, it could actually have a measurable impact.

Sprinklers can spray water over your basement window over and over again. Like melting snow, this can cause a very slow but very constant stream of water that’s hard to defend against.

Anyone who has sprinklers near a window well needs to be on constant lookout for window well leaking. You may be able to change the way the sprinklers spray or use additional protective measures to make sure your sprinklers don’t cause basement window leaking

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