3 Ways to Prevent Basement Window Leaks
Windows in your basement can provide some sorely needed natural light into the bottom level of your home, but they can also represent an entranceway for water to enter your basement. This opens up the risk of water damage and mold growth, which can be expensive and difficult to repair. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to help reduce the risk that water and moisture can find their way through your basement's windows.
Caulking and Weatherstripping
It's a good idea to inspect your basement windows every year to ensure that they are in good condition, and that means paying particular attention to the weatherstripping along the bottom of the window pane and the caulking around the frame. Any damage or gaps could allow water to flow into your home, not to mention also making it likely that heat will pass through your window and giving pests potential pathways to your home's interior.
Old weatherstripping can simply be removed by hand or with a putty knife, and then replaced with a new set of weatherstripping by pressing the self-adhesive backing into place. Caulking will also need to be scrapped off, but can then be applied using a squeeze bottle and smoothing the caulk to fill in the entirety of the gaps around your window with the ball of your thumb. Keep in mind that if the window or the frame is damaged in any fundamental structural way, you will want to have the window replaced entirely.
Window wells refer to a stone, metal, or plastic insert that is built around your window to prevent water from draining into the area. They usually are installed a foot or so out from the window, and gravel is added in the area between the well itself and the window to further improve the drainage of water that does manage to fall close to your windows. Window wells are best suited for basement windows that are located at the bottom of a hill, since they can help direct water flows elsewhere.
In dire circumstances, when you've experienced chronic basement flooding and water damage, you may want to consider contacting remodeling contractors and landscapers to have the area around your basement windows regraded. By changing the slope of the soil around the foundation of your home, you can help ensure that water drains away from instead of into your house, greatly reducing the risk of basement window leaks and of foundation damage associated with excessive water exposure.