Why is water pouring through my basement window?

- Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Adam sent over a video showing water pouring through a basement window around the edges. How can something like that happen? Adam explains how water can start pouring through a basement window and what you can do about it. Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Daddy himself, Adam Tracy. Adam and The Crack Man Rich have over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry. Rich as over two5 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcast provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: Why is water pouring through my basement window?

Narrator: So, Adam, we're getting some nice downpours this time of year. You sent over a video where water was pouring through several basement windows around the edges. How can something like that happen?

Adam: So, this has been a unique summer where we have had a march of storms just about every other day, seems like, and it hasn't been just light rain. It's been pounding rain and a lot of rain accumulation in a very short period. And when this happens and the ground is super saturated, just simply can't take any more water on. And so we have a heavy amount of pooling.

We've had a number of calls and a number of questions, videos, and email, photos sent to us over the last few weeks on these torrential rain storms where water is flooding a basement, and they immediately think it's a foundation issue. And what we tend to find in some of these areas is water is accumulating up and against basement windows. Now basement windows are, they should be sealed against water coming in. However, they're not shipped port holes and they're not meant to be up against standing water. And a lot of the issue is increased by window wells that are never cleaned out or don't have adequate drainage or enough room between the bottom of the window and the concrete.

In those situations, what we see is if we're getting a rainstorm with 3, 4, 5 inches of rain in a very short period, which has happened several times this summer. That window well fills up, and the water line might be 3, 4, 5 inches up the window where water just pours in. A lot of these windows are installed. They are nice and tight and adequately sized, and then they're sealed with usually a silicone type sealant on the exterior. And it usually works well for driving rain and maybe a little bit of water up against it but having that much water up against it for that period, vinyl windows that are newer and older windows that might be metal in case just simply can't handle that kind of water pressure.

What do you do? What can you do? Is this something where a foundation contractor like us gets involved, or do you need to call a window guy? What's the right step? Well, the first thing is identifying that the issue is that water is accumulating in a window well or up against a window. So, sometimes it's grading where you must bring the grade away from the foundation. So, it flows down into the soil away from the house. In other cases where you have a window well, a lot of these times they haven't been cleaned out in a long time. It's not a base scenario that you go to a lot, so you don't look out the window often, and you'll have leaves and debris and sticks that have accumulated for years, and it gives you no margin for error for any sort of accumulation of water.

Obviously, cleaning out the window wells is a very easy first step and should take minutes to do. Beyond that, you wanna check the seal around the window on the exterior. Overtime with sun exposure and weather exposure, the sealants will break down. Simply going to a hardware store getting a high-grade silicone sealant or a polyurethane sealant and sealing around the windows on the exterior will help enhance the ability to keep water from coming through. The other thing that should be looked at, especially with window wells, is having a window well covered. While they're not watertight and airtight, it helps deflect the water away and keep the water from accumulating in these window wells as best as possible. There's a variety of different types and sizes, and they can, sometimes they're even different aesthetics.

You can search around, find one that you like, find them that fit in there, and install those over the window well so that it doesn’t allow water to accumulate in there. And then the final thing that you could do, this tends to be a much larger project. In some cases, on newer homes, they're already installed. Is having drainage around the foundation in and around the window wells. So, this would be something where somebody would have to dig down around the foundation, install a PVC drain line that goes to a dry well area.

When water does accumulate here, it will fall into the pipe system and then go to a safe area for discharge away from the house. These are obviously much more costly endeavors, and it costs much more involved with disruption to the house, much more involved in terms of getting contractors involved here. The other areas are much easier to do for a homeowner, but if everything else fails, it might be something that you have to look at changing the grading at the house or potentially adding in drainage on the exterior. Once that's all done, then it will isolate any sort of issues on the interior foundation and that you may have water issues. So, sometimes there's corner cracks that come off the corner of the windows, and those will still leak because that's part of the foundation and water accumulates in the foundation itself. That's something where a foundation contractor like A1 Foundation Crack Repair will come in and inject or resolve for you. But first, you must take care of those windows. Remember that they're not port holes and that they cannot take water on, like you would expect to have on a normal day. When it does accumulate like that, you just must get the water away from the foundation.

Narrator: Well, thanks, Adam, for explaining how water can start pouring through a basement window and what you can do about it.

Narrator: If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.

Contact Us Now!

A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, Inc. is a fully registered home improvement contractor. Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable, master waterproofing professional.

E-mail: info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com
Toll Free: 866-929-3171

Call Us Today at 866-929-3171

A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, Inc. is a fully registered home improvement contractor. Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable, master waterproofing professional.