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In the beginning, having windows in the basement seemed laughable. However, times have changed and now allow for a couple of different designs, such as daylight basements or those that come with window wells. Because window wells are exposed, there will always be a chance that anything outside can reach the window, and in the case of precipitation, leak inside. Though these windows are weather-resistant, adding a well is one way to create a storm door for your basement window—but even wells have problems.

Here are 5 common window well problems to look out for and how to fix them:


The most well-known window well problem is flooding. Windows aren’t meant to stop water from getting in, especially when the well hasn’t been properly designed. Many window wells have issues with incorrect sizing, gravel layer contamination, or lacking drainage. Should any of these be true, your window well is not going to be waterproof by any means. In this case, you should seek to repair the well design.

Filled with Debris

Open window wells collect snow, dead leaves, twigs, mowed grass, and whatever other debris wants to cling to it. Though you won’t be getting sticks and stones in your basement no matter how high they pile up, you should think about what happens when snow gets piled around the well, melts, and eventually makes its way into your basement (as per number 1). In order to prevent this, cover your window well or clean out your well immediately when snow falls.


Nothing is more frustrating than cleaning a dingy window well. Window wells get grimy. As mentioned above, they collect branches, twigs, soggy leaves, and mud, which will eventually block out daylight. Though there really is no way to prevent window wells from getting so dirty, you can get transparent covers or tempered glass with a slight dome to still let in daylight while shielding the well from grime.

Unwanted Pet Door

Sometimes, small animals find themselves trapped into window wells. When this happens you have to get them out, which can be dangerous, expensive, and heartbreaking. If you don’t see the animal in time, it will potentially die in the well; and no one wants to find dead rodents in their well or have the smell in their basement. Again, covers can help with this.


Lastly, if you have small pets, children or grandchildren, a window well can be a hazard. Leave a toddler unattended outside for a couple of minutes and you might wind up having to fish them out of a window well. A specially made domed cover will prevent any accidents from happening.


Whether you have been battling unwanted guests, floods, and other issues, there are indeed solutions for the 5 most common window well problems. Hopefully, the tips presented in this article will help you with dealing with window well issues and prevent them from happening again in the future.