How to Repair Leaking Basement Window Wells

A window well is the area outside a below-ground-level basement window that both retains the surrounding dirt and drains away rainwater. Sometimes the drainage system breaks down -- or perhaps there's no drainage system to begin with.

If this happens, the window well fills up during heavy rains. And since window wells aren't designed to be waterproof, the water enters the house through the window frame and seals [source: Basement Technologies Inc.].


Before calling an expensive repair company, try repairing it yourself. Here's what you'll need:

  • Brackets
  • Bucket
  • Cement
  • Chisel
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Hand sledge
  • Metal grate
  • Pipe
  • Trowel
  • Well duct
  • Wire brush

Here's what to do:

  1. Inspect all the basement windows closely for any damage, such as cracks and holes.
  2. Make any openings you find slightly larger by chiseling them open and using the hand sledge to break off the sidings. Wear protective goggles to protect your eyes from flying fragments.
  3. Mix five parts cement with one part water. The cement will start to harden about 15 minutes after you've mixed it.
  4. Fill all the openings with cement. Use the trowel to pack the cement in firmly.
  5. Drill a hole at least a few inches (centimeters) below all the window sills that face window wells. Drill through the wall to the outside.
  6. Enlarge the hole so it's the exact outside diameter of your pipe.
  7. Push the pipe into the hole -- it should fit snuggly -- so that half the pipe is inside the wall and half is outside.
  8. Seal any cracks around the pipe with cement.
  9. Fit the metal grate on the outside opening of the pipe. This will prevent anything from entering the duct and causing a blockage.
  10. Connect the well duct between the inside opening of the pipe and the sewage drain system or basement sump pump [source: Do It Yourself].