Do you see a puddle in your basement every time it rains that seems to be coming in near the top of the wall, dripping or pouring down the wall? If you do, your basement windows may be the culprit.
While a leaky window may seem like a minor issue, these types of issues not only become an annoyance, they can actually promote the growth of mold in your basement and damage your belongings.
Most of the older homes here in Toronto weren’t made to have a livable basement. Moisture and some water leaks are considered normal, and often times the basement window is the culprit.
Since real estate in Toronto is at a premium, most homeowners want to turn their basement into a livable space. In order to do this, you first have to remove the water and damp in your basement or else you’ll end up with a damp, moldy basement that nobody would want to use.
The basement window well if often a cause of water leaking into the basement. This is often due to shifting foundation, rotted wood and caulking, and cracks that develop around the frame of the window well.If you find that your basement window is causing that nagging leak in your basement, here are a few things you can do.
If you find that your basement window is causing that nagging leak in your basement, here are a few things you can do.
Caulk Your Basement Window
If water is coming through a basement window, there are a couple different solutions to discover. If you haven’t caulked the window, that it is your first line of defense. Something as simple as caulking the window well could solve your problem. Keep in mind that if your window has already been leaking for some time, the framing around the window could be damaged and rotting resulting in additional repairs being necessary.
Install a Window Well
Consider window wells for your basement windows. A window well is a curved piece of steel insert with corrugated pipe that is used to attempt to block moisture from the window area when it is below grade level and drain away water that enters the area. If you have a window well but there’s no gravel, you may want to consider adding some gravel inside the well. The corrugated insert is designed to route the water away but sometimes the well can be overwhelmed by the amount of rain that it receives and can also clog over time, making it useless.
Over time, window wells can become clogged with leaves, dirt, and even snow. They need to be cleaned out from time to time. Covers can also be purchased to help decrease the amount of water and debris that enter the window well area. Do your research and consult a waterproofing professional to find the right cover for your situation or repairs to current window well covers.
Adjust the Grade Around Your Window
As we mentioned earlier, the grade outside your home can definitely have an effect on leaking windows. Grade sloping towards your home can certainly contribute to leaking basement windows and result in a wet or even flooded basement.
Repairing the window won’t stop the leaking if the grade is sloped towards the home or the grade is too high above the window area. A professional waterproofing company or landscaper can assist you in correcting these issues. Many times water enters your basement in more than one way or location. It’s always a good idea to speak with a waterproofing, licensed professional with expertise in waterproofing your basement when dealing with these issues.
If your gutters are overflowing this could contribute to the leaks. Also, investigate where your downspouts route the water to when it rains. If they are pouring out right against the foundation of your home, this could also contribute to windows leaking This is a common problem and luckily an easy fix.
If your windows are older, they may need to be replaced. As mentioned previously, if the leak has been continuing for awhile, the frame around the window may be damaged or rotted and need to be replaced as well. A shifting foundation can also lead to damage to the window frame and a new window with a proper seal may be needed.
You can also consider an egress window. An egress window is larger than a standard window and is designed to provide an escape route or a way for emergency personnel to enter your home during an emergency. Check your local building codes prior to beginning this type of remodeling as parameters can differ from area to area. Many areas now require egress windows if you have or are building a basement bedroom, as a means of escape.
Consider hiring a professional if you install an egress window to ensure the egress window in your basement is installed correctly. Concrete may need to be cut as well as excavation and this is not a small undertaking. You will want to make sure your contractor knows what they’re doing and has done this sort of work foundation work before. As an experienced waterproofing company in Toronto called out to help homeowners address their basement leaks, we see improperly installed egress windows from time to time that do cause water to enter the basement.
Solve the Problem at the Source
No matter which solution is appropriate for your leaky windows, it’s important to note that these aren’t the type of problems that take care of themselves. Basement leaks do get worse over time and wet, damp, humid environments such as your basement encourage mold growth. Many homeowners have or develop allergies to mold that make using your basement difficult. Remediating the mold could even become necessary. Act now to solve your wet basement by calling your local waterproofing professional company and request
Have questions about a leaking window or would are interested in fixing or installing a window well? If you live in Toronto or the GTA, contact us here for a free in-home inspection and estimate.