Does An Egress Window Well Need A Drain?

Egress windows are vitally important for most homes, and window wells are typically required in order to comply with building rules. If you're installing a new egress window well, you will need to consider drainage. Window well drains help to keep water from leaking into your basement and causing damage to your property. They also reduce maintenance costs down the road and prevent mold growth and rot.

Drainage is Critical 

Drainage is one of the most important parts of egress windows and window wells. Window wells are necessary for safety and maintenance, as they help to prevent water damage in your basement and will reduce the amount of upkeep you'll have to do down the road.

Installing proper drainage around your egress window will ensure that water from rain storms and snow melts doesn't sit in your window well and cause damage. All that extra water needs to go somewhere — and you want to make sure that it doesn’t enter your home!

A photo of an egress window with a window well that contains debris and water build up.

Preventing Water Damage 

If you don't have a drainage system for your window well, then you are leaving your window and surrounding foundation walls exposed to prolonged wetness, which can lead to mold, warp, and rot. You could see dampness inside your basement because rainwater has seeped into cracks in the foundation or floor. It is even possible for your basement to flood due to a window well that does not have proper drainage. If your windows aren’t properly drained, they will become less effective at providing ventilation for your home and they will look less aesthetically pleasing as they wear down. 

Reducing Maintenance 

A window well drain will reduce the maintenance you'll have to do down the road, by preventing the possible water damage mentioned above.

A drain will also reduce the need to clean standing water and mess from the bottom of your window well. A dirty window well liner can be cleaned with a pressure washer, but this takes time and can sometimes damage the liner itself. 

We recommend staying ahead of maintenance and other problems by ensuring that drainage is considered during your egress window installation.

Add a Drain to the Center of the Window Well

A photo of a newly installed window well with a drain in the center.

Window well drains are usually located in the center of the gravel put at the bottom of your window well. There are several ways to add a drain system, including connecting it to an interior drain or attaching it to an exterior drain. It's also possible to take advantage of your terrain's natural slope, if it runs away from the base of your house. If you add an interior drain to the well, this will run along the foundation of your home and redirects the water into a sump basin. The sump pump will start once the water in the basin reaches a certain level, and the water will flow through a pipe into a storm sewer system.

Make sure to contact a professional if you’re not sure how to install a window well drain correctly!

If you're installing a window well, it's necessary to consider drainage. Click here to shop our egress-compliant windows, and contact us with any questions you may have! 

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