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How to Prevent Basement Windows from Leaking

 

Many basements have windows installed which can be a nice feature to let some fresh air and sunlight into the basement, however basement windows do heighten the risk of leaks and water intrusion in your basement.  Basements are naturally more prone to water intrusion and flooding simply because they are underground.  Having a window gives the water a potential weak spot in which it can more easily enter.  It is important to have your basement windows repaired quickly, when necessary, as well as having them waterproofed to prevent water damage from occurring in your basement.  If you have a leaking window in the basement there are several solutions to the problem.

Check Window Wells

Old, broken or clogged windows wells or window wells that have been poorly installed are the most common cause of leaking basement windows.  Window wells do require occasional maintenance to help prevent clogging. They need to be kept free of debris.  To make things easier, you can buy window wells covers to keep them clear.  Also, if your window wells are very old it is a good idea to have them inspected, especially if you notice any cracking or rusting.  Over time they also may become loose and push away from the house due to continual freezing and thawing.  If you notice this, the window wells should be replaced.

Check Downspout and Gutters

If your gutters are blocked with debris, it will cause water to overflow and spill right next to your foundation and into window wells.  Many homeowners do not realize the importance of well-maintained gutters and downspouts, until they have a problem with water in their basements.  Clear out the gutters a couple of times a year to stop excessive amounts of water from pouring into the window wells.

Check Basement Windows for Damage

If you have an older home and the windows have never been replaced, then they are most likely wood or steel frames.  If they are leaking you should be able to see corrosion, rot, cracking or other water damage around them.  Wood and steel frames do not have as long of a lifespan as uPVC or aluminum frames which are commonly used in builds today.  If you do notice that the window frames are cracking, you may temporarily fix them with some caulking to prevent further leaking and damage, but you should replace them as soon as possible.

Check Land Grading Around the Foundation

Water can find its way into your basement windows if there is poor grading around the foundation of your home.  The ground should not slope towards the foundation but away from it.  This will allow for a natural way of leading water away from your basement.   You can check your grading by inspecting the area around the foundation after a heavy rain to see if there is water accumulation. Check the grading yearly and top up any low spots with soil.

When to Replace Your Basement Windows?

If you are noticing signs of water damage it is time to have them replaced. Water coming in through the windows can cause serious damage in your basement such as mold and dry wall damage.  Rotting or rusty frames need to be replaced as this is an obvious sign that they are failing.  Steel frames corrode quickly and only have a lifespan of 5-10 years.  Wooden frames can generally last 10 to 20 years but require maintenance to prevent earlier replacement.

If you detect a leak in your basement, you can be sure to rely on Waterpro Master for the best solution.  Have it taken care of professionally to ensure the problem is dealt with effectively and for the long-term!

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