Basement Window Leaking and Water Drainage – 3 of the Best Solutions

With all the recent storms, it would be a good idea to talk about basement window leaks and drainage issues for egress window wells. I have an egress window in my bedroom and Saturday night I could hear the rain pounding on the gravel at the bottom of the window well. I woke up a few times wondering if Niagara Falls was going to come roaring over the windowsill and wake me up. However, in the morning I looked out and the well was already dry. I am betting with all the rain we are getting, many of you were worried about the same problem. Well, if you are like most homeowners and you are left scratching your heads wondering what do about the water pooling in the bottom of your egress window well, I am about to give you some great tips.

Egress Window Guy has a few easy solutions for keeping that water draining away from the foundation, instead of filling up the window well. I will take you through some of the best solutions to keep your home safe from these storms. However, if you are looking for a new egress window installation, you will want to go here.

3 Simple solutions to fix water drainage and basement window leaks

1. Drainage reservoirs

Adding drainage reservoirs to the bottom of the basement window well is a great way to help water move away from the home. This is a very simple solution. In a typical window well, we usually add a reservoir in the middle of the well sloping away from the house. The reservoir is approximately 12 inches in diameter, 12 inches deep, and 3 feet long. Once the corrugated metal, or whichever well style you have, is in place, we fill the reservoirs with washed rock. After filling the reservoir, we fill the bottom of the window well with more gravel (approx 6 – 8”). If you are adding gravel to the bottom of your well make sure not to fill it too high. You still need ample space between the bottom of the well and the windowsill or exterior trim.

2. Drain-tile system

Tying your egress or basement window well into an existing drain-tile system is the best solution if you already have drain-tile installed. In this option, we drill a hole into the hollow core of the block foundation. Then we add a small pipe with a screened cap on the end. This is for the water to drain right into the hollow core of the block and into the drain-tile. After that, your sump pump will do the rest of the work!

3. Sump Basket

This is a good solution too, but probably one of our least favorites. We can install a small sump basket directly in the bottom of the egress or basement window well or inside the basement. Exterior pumps are great in the summertime, but you will need to remove the pipes for the winter. If you don’t remove them in the winter, they could become much larger problems.

A few more tips for basement window well drainage:

1. Gutters and Downspouts

Before making any big decisions, check your gutters and downspouts. Maintenance is a simple and cheap way to help keep your basement dry, yet so many people neglect to maintain their gutter system. If your basement is experiencing some dampness and you notice that a downspout is emptying within a few feet of your foundation, try getting an extension for it and make sure the gutters are not clogged with leaves and debris. This will definitely help and not be too difficult in most cases.

2. Grading

Another common problem of basement leakage is the grading of your yard. Egress window or not, you can experience significant water drainage problems if the slope of your yard flows towards your house. If you believe this is a problem, contact a landscaper to get a quote and fix your yard. Sometimes landscaping and planting shrubs around the foundation of the house can also help soak up some of the water before it soaks into your basement. Plants and shrubs will also look pretty sharp too!

3. Soil content

Heavy clay soil can cause water to pool longer versus sandy soil where water can dissipate quickly. If you have clay soil, consider installing drain-tile or a sump basket. The same goes if you are experiencing groundwater.


Believe us, you will want to deal with any basement leakage problems soon. Lots of problems stem out of leaking and damp basements. These are some of the best solutions we know of and use, but if you have more questions, shoot us a message by clicking here. If you are looking to read about more solutions, check out this link. We hope this was a great start to solving your problems, and we are here to help you!

As always, if you need help with your basement window problems, shoot us a message! We work extensively with egress window installations and basement window problems.