Any window leak is bound to be bad news, especially if your region experiences its fair share of inclement weather conditions throughout the year. However, leaks in basement windows can be particularly heinous. Often, damage is predicated by poorly graded land surrounding your home, such that water runs toward your foundation instead of flowing away from it.
Whether your yard is properly graded or not, however, you want to do all you can to prevent leaking windows that could allow water into your basement. Here are just a few preventive strategies you can put into play to keep your basement dry and free of water damage.
Inspect Gutters and Downspouts
I know what you’re thinking. What does this have to do with my windows? The answer is, more than you might imagine. Your gutters and downspouts are the primary means of funneling downpour away from your foundations. If they are damaged, dilapidated, or clogged with debris, they can’t do their job, and this will likely leave water pooling around your foundations and finding ways in through the basement windows.
Even windows that are in good shape and water-resistant can deteriorate over time when water is allowed to sit and eat away at the seams of your home. Funneling water away with appropriate gutters and downspouts is an essential preventive measure, so you need to inspect, clean, and repair gutters at least annually. If you still have issues with pooling around the perimeter of your home, it might be time to check the grading of your yard.
Add Window Wells
If dirt or sod basically butts up against basement windows and you’re worried about soil saturation and leakage, one preventive step you can take is installing window wells. This requires digging out semicircular pits around windows and installing curved, corrugated inserts against the soil to hold moisture at bay.
You’ll also want to add gravel to the bottom of the window well to pull any rainfall down and away from windows so it doesn’t pool. The other great thing about window wells is that they allow you to install larger windows if you want and let in a lot more light.
If you don’t have the dough to dig out window wells, there is a cheaper solution to possible window woes. You can simply add sealant around seams with caulking. This inexpensive option isn’t necessarily foolproof, especially if a deluge leaves your windows underwater. But it is a quick fix until you can afford more permanent measures.
Eventually you may have to concede that your outdated windows simply aren’t up to the task of keeping leaks at bay. In this case, a consultation and Renewal by Andersen window replacement could be in the cards. Upgrading windows can be costly, but undoing the damage caused by a leak in your basement is likely to be a lot worse. Not only will you have water damage to contend with, but you could also end up with ongoing issues like rot and mold. Preventive measures are definitely preferable to this turn of events.