When you picture crawl space or basement windows, what do you see? Do you envision dirty, single-paned, rusting steel openings in the basement wall? Are they drafty, rotting, and badly in need of some paint? Are the window wells rusting or corroding and full of trash, leaves, and weeds? Do they fill with water and snow, which then leaks through them into your basement? Why do we even have basement windows in the first place?
The answer is simple: crawl space and basement windows are meant to add the beauty of natural light in your space. They make the area safer and more appealing. In short, they're the biggest reason your basement or crawl space doesn't look like a dungeon.
The method preferred by many basement contractors to stop water from leaking windows from flooding the basement is to use a special channel to direct this water into your perimeter drainage system.
When this is installed, a drain hole is drilled through the foundation wall just under the windowsill. If the wall is a block wall, the hole is lined with a section of pipe. A grate is then installed on the outside of the hole and surrounded with clean stone to prevent clogs from leaves and debris.
When water rises high enough to leak through the window, it instead goes through the grate, through the wall, into the channel, and inside your perimeter drainage system.
Part of the problem may be the windows themselves. If your crawl space or basement windows are made with steel or wood, then they're likely to rust, rot, and corrode. Even if their seal was strong when they were first installed, it's not likely to hold up to this.
Crawl space and basement windows aren't submarine windows. When there is water pooling outside, they can leak. However, some windows are more resistant to leaking than others. Double-paned vinyl basement windows are a good example. Because the elements do not break them down the way they would for steel or wood, you can be sure to keep the seal you began with for many years to come.
Basement Window Enclosures Also known as basement window wells, these enclosures often do more harm than good. When left open to the sky, they will fill with leaves, dirt, garbage, debris, and, of course, rain and snow. As they rust and corrode over time, the window becomes nothing more than a dreary eyesore.
Installing a covered window well is a great way to avoid all of these problems. Basement window wells made with durable plastic that include a clear covering will keep debris and water out of the window well. As an added benefit, the window well cover will also take the brunt of the cold from winter winds instead of the windows themselves, aiding in your home's energy-efficiency.