Reduce the risk of basement flooding...

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Option 19: Window wells and window well covers

Window wells can help improve drainage around your basement windows. Improved drainage can help to prevent water from entering your basement, and can also reduce dampness in your home. Window wells can also help to prevent rotting of window sills, which may compromise the ability of your windows to hold back flood water.

Window wells should be installed around all windows that are close to or below the lot's surface. The outer edges of the window well should fit snugly against the foundation wall, and the bottom of the well should be a least 15 cm below the underside of the window. A mixture of coarse material such as gravel and soil should be placed in the well. Below ground window wells must be drained, otherwise they will fill up like a tub and pour through the seal of the window into the basement. Therefore, window wells normally drain into the weeping tile under the home.

The direct linkage from the surface to the foundation drain can cause overloading of the weeping tiles and increase the chances that water will enter the basement. Therefore, proper lot grading to shed overland water away from window wells and building walls is essential (see Option 13). Additionally, if there is the potential for a large volume of roof water to overflow the eavestroughs and spill directly into the window well, or if large amounts of rain can fall in the well, a window well cover should be installed to divert this rainwater away from the window and house. In this way, the window well cover can reduce the chances that water will enter the basement through the window, and will reduce the amount of water that enters the foundation drainage system.