Install a Dry Well to Prevent Window Well Flooding

Posted on August 14, 2013 | in Thoughts | by

One concern residents in flood-zones have about their basement window wells is that they could leak water into their finished basements. Here’s some advice.

We’ve already blogged about the importance of where you install your basement window well to prevent flooding. But that’s not the only thing you can do to help ensure water stays out of your basement during the rainy season.

Installing a dry wellIf you’re in an area prone to flooding, there’s more you can do too.When installing a window well, it’s very important to backfill it with pea gravel or other rock material to help with drainage – especially under the well, where water tends to accumulate.

Installing a “dry well” is a great way to help reduce potential flooding issues.

When you’re digging the hole for your window well, create an additional 10 feet tough away from your home, making sure it slopes away from your window. Use drainage tile and pea gravel to fill this channel, and at the end of it bury a perforated barrel.

Once covered over with soil and re-turfed, this additional drainage channel will be completely invisible – but will work incredibly effectively to help carry water away from your window well and home. The excess water will be gathered in the buried barrel, and slowly dissipated into the surrounding soil. A plastic barrel holds between 30-50 gallons of water and that should be more than enough to reduce a lot of flooding issues homeowners encounter during the year.

It’s not even that much extra work to install, as most of the materials required (including rental of a back hoe or digger) are already being used to install the basic window well. You’ll need a little more pea gravel or backfill, plus a plastic drum you can perforate yourself with an electric power drill.

But once you’ve installed this extra drainage system, it will more than pay for itself. Although very little can prevent the worst flooding – especially if you live in a flood-prone area – a dry well can substantially reduce the frequency and severity of flooding, or eliminate it entirely.

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Hi, I'm Jeff. I will be using this space to share my thoughts and opinions that I have accumulated over many years in the building industry. My hope is to also teach and inspire.

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Jeff Ommundsen
(229) 234-7377
President of Shop Egress Windows, Inc.