Knowledge Builders

should i put rocks in my window well

by Mr. Sammy Lebsack DDS Published 10 months ago Updated 3 months ago
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Rocks are added to window wells to help filter dirt and mud that would otherwise contribute to clogging of the weeping tile system. The vertical drain must be filled with rock and be clear of dirt and mud. The window well itself should have a rock cover to improve the appearance.

Although there is no actual minimum level of rocks in a window, the rocks should be appropriately situated given the depth (you'd rather go deep). To ensure an even share of space, the window well, however, shouldn't be too big.It can also cause flooding and windows to break because of the likelihood of flood water.Mar 16, 2022

Full Answer

Why are rocks used at the bottom of window wells?

Weaknesses are common around windows that aren’t entirely above ground, so when this basement feature is installed, the builder should be considering drainage as much as anything else. One material often used to help with drainage at the bottom of window wells is small rocks or crushed gravel. Why Are Rocks Used In Window Wells?

How do you fill a window well with gravel?

Fill the bottom 2–3 in (5.1–7.6 cm) of the window well with gravel. Pour the gravel around the inside and outside of your window well, and pack it down with the bottom of your shovel. Spread the gravel evenly over the area so you have a 2–3 in (5.1–7.6 cm) layer at the bottom of the hole.

What type of soil is best for a window well?

Water entering a clean gravel layer will flow through to the bottom of the layer which is typically clay soil which doesn’t drain well. If little water gets into the window well, a gravel layer will provide sufficient drainage.

What is the minimum level of rocks in a window well?

There isn’t really a minimum level of rocks in your window well, but the levels should be appropriate given the depth of it (and going deep is always better). However, the window well should definitely not be overfilled.

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What kind of rocks do you put in a window well?

Use pea gravel or ¾ inch or smaller free-draining rock, around the well stopping approximately 1 foot down from the top of the window well. Backfilling by hand, start at the farthest area from the foundation, evenly distributing the stone as you fill.

Should window wells be filled with gravel?

The bottom of the well should contain loose gravel, which also helps with drainage. This should not be allowed to become too compacted or it will also cause water to collect in the well. You can either replace gravel periodically or remove it and clean it before putting it back in place.

What should you put in window wells?

1:592:29How to Clean and Maintain a Basement Window Well - YouTubeYouTubeStart of suggested clipEnd of suggested clipPlacing a few inches of gravel at the base of your window. Well can help rain water trickle slowlyMorePlacing a few inches of gravel at the base of your window. Well can help rain water trickle slowly into your drainage. System as opposed to pooling around your foundation.

How much gravel should be at the bottom of a window well?

Fill the Well with Gravel Pour a two to three-inch layer of gravel at the bottom of the window well. Use your shovel to pack the gravel down and shift it around if it isn't properly even. If the gravel reaches your windowsill, it's too high.

How do I improve my window well drainage?

Here's what you can do to keep as much water away from your house as possible:Fix grading to make sure it slopes away from the foundation.Keep your gutters clear of debris and in good working condition. ... Extend downspouts away from the house to keep roof runoff from pouring next to the foundation.

How do you keep water out of window wells?

0:111:28Window well repair - Keep water out of window well and home - YouTubeYouTubeStart of suggested clipEnd of suggested clipWhat I'm finding at this time of year is that the window wells are all full of leaves. And leavesMoreWhat I'm finding at this time of year is that the window wells are all full of leaves. And leaves are the perfect thing to stop water from draining.

Should there be dirt in a window well?

You should regularly check window wells for debris and clean them out accordingly. Materials such as leaves, dirt, and other scraps from the outside can infest window wells. When these objects enter a window well, they have the potential to dirty the gravel and clog up the drain.

How do I keep weeds from growing in my window well?

Cover the soil inside the window well with landscaping fabric, holding it in place with fabric spikes. Lay the fabric so that it rests directly against the soil. The fabric makes the soil inside the window well more stable, prevents the soil from clogging the drain system and blocks weeds from growing.

Why do houses have window wells?

to prevent moisture damage to basement windows that are at or below grade. The window wells keep the soil away from openings in the foundation walls while still allowing proper grading and drainage away from the house; and. to allow sunlight into a below-grade room that would otherwise require artificial lighting.

Do window well covers keep water out?

A properly fitted window well cover keeps rain and snow out, protecting your home, inside and out, from pooling water and leaks. Window well covers prevent rain and snow from collecting in window wells, which can cause water to pool against your foundation and make its way into your home's interior.

Should window wells have drains?

Window Well Drain – Every window well should have a drain to allow water to exit the window well and not build to a level that creates a basement seepage problem. Drains can be connected to interior or exterior drain tile or can be run to daylight where a proper slope exists.

How far above grade should a window well be?

The well should be at least 3″ above grade to prevent flooding, more if this is a low spot in your yard. Setting the egress window well on level ground will help keep it from warping.

How do I keep weeds from growing in my window well?

Cover the soil inside the window well with landscaping fabric, holding it in place with fabric spikes. Lay the fabric so that it rests directly against the soil. The fabric makes the soil inside the window well more stable, prevents the soil from clogging the drain system and blocks weeds from growing.

Should window well be attached to foundation?

The answer is yes, your window wells definitely need to be attached to the foundation of your home. This is mostly for safety reasons. Depending on where you live, your window wells can brave some pretty harsh elements.

How do you backfill an egress window?

3:586:01Part 2 - Drainage Tile, Window Wells and Backfilling Dirt - YouTubeYouTubeStart of suggested clipEnd of suggested clipSo they put the paper down the side and then tarred over top of that we've got the dirt pushed backMoreSo they put the paper down the side and then tarred over top of that we've got the dirt pushed back up we have the pipes down underneath there are all buried.

Why do basement windows need to be in front of the window?

Since basement windows often are positioned at or below ground level, a window well is positioned directly in front of the window. This lets in sunlight as well as helps keep water from seeping into the basement through the window.

How to get pea gravel out of a wheelbarrow?

Dig the pea gravel out of the wheelbarrow with a shovel, and put the gravel in the window well. Do not pour the pea gravel into the window well since it could break the basement window.

Window well, gravel vs no gravel installation

We asked our builder to install window wells around the smaller windows of the home. He recommended 6" deep with gravel. He said it would be less expensive than digging 36" deep and serve the same purpose. Is this true?

Comments (10)

Neither way is correct, as there is no provision for drainage at the bottom of the well.

Why do you put gravel in a window well?

The gravel will help improve the window well's drainage so water doesn't pool up or flood into your basement.

What to do before digging a window well?

Contact your utility companies before you start digging to check for any power, gas, or water lines where you plan on putting the window well .

How to get gravel out of window?

Pour the gravel around the inside and outside of your window well, and pack it down with the bottom of your shovel. Spread the gravel evenly over the area so you have a 2–3 in (5.1–7.6 cm) layer at the bottom of the hole. Make sure the layer of gravel is lower than the window sill or else it could leak into your home.

What happens if a steel well is rusted?

If the steel wells are rusted out, it is most likely that the bolts holding it to the wall are rusted into the wall. The best solution is to raise the new well above the old bolt holes, unless the new window well has different hole locations.

How to get rid of a hole in a window?

Dig a hole that's slightly wider and deeper than the well. Start your hole next to your home's foundation about 6 inches (15 cm) from the side of your window. Shovel the dirt into a wheelbarrow or tarp so it's easy to transport away from the hole.

What to do if you can't fit your foot in the hole?

If you can't fit your foot in the hole to pack the dirt in, use a hoe or a tamper to press the dirt down.

How to measure a window for a well?

1. Measure the size of your window so you know how large of a well you need. Measure the height and width of your window with a tape measure so you know the dimensions. Add 8 inches (20 cm) to the height and 6 inches (15 cm) to the width measurement you took so the well can fit around the outside of the window .

Why do you put plants in your window well?

In any case, lots of plants in your window well can prevent your emergency egress from being an easy task. Safety of yourself and your family is the top priority so leave the majority of your garden in the yard.

What to plant in egress window well?

Popular Pinterest egress window well beautification pins included planting cacti or ivy. While cacti is an intriguing attempt to keep intruders out, it’s less conducive to keeping your family safe during an emergency exit. Ivy is beautiful in many respects and it may seem illustrious climbing up the wall of your window well. However, eventually, that beautiful plant will begin to steal your natural light and plays host to all sorts of critters and bugs, which may cause you to think twice about opening the window for fresh air.

What does egress window wells mean?

Egress window wells were quite literally designed for egress – meaning to exit or leave. Should you ever have an emergency in your basement, such as a fire, those window wells need to be available for you and your family to climb into from your home and then out of to safety.

Why do basement windows need to be open?

Not only do larger basement egress window wells represent an important safety feature of your home but they help basements to feel like a normal extension of your home’s living area. You can open the window for fresh air and reap the benefits of the natural light.

What is an emergency window well ladder?

An Emergency Window Well Escape Ladder is specifically there to help you exit your home in an emergency. Adding an extra step to remove something hanging from the ladder will add time when seconds matter.

How to keep animals from falling in well?

DO: Use railings and fence. While a railing around the well or a fence might not prevent a burglar from using your well as an entry point to your home, it does help to keep people and larger animals from accidentally falling in while also keeping a good amount of light, depending on the railing or fencing material.

Can you paint a rotting well?

DON’T: Cover or paint a rusting or rotting well. If the integrity of your well has been compromised with wood rot or rust, it’s important to get this fixed. Egress window wells are important safety element of your home and many municipal building codes have strict guidelines as to how the well should function.

Why do we need a window well in a basement?

The role of a window well is to prevent rainwater and surface runoff from flowing through a basement window ...

What is a poorly installed window well?

A poorly installed window well is one of the major contributors to inadequate window well drainage and associated water infiltration into a basement. In general, a poorly installed window well is not mounted flush onto the foundation wall; as a result, water and sediment enter the window well from between the foundation and the edge ...

How to increase drainage efficiency in a window well?

Solution: Check the condition of the gravel layer and install a window well drain to increase drainage efficiency .

What is the problem with a galvanized window well?

Problem: The window well is not fastened tightly to the foundation and sediment is entering the window well cavity from between the wall and the galvanized window well. Solution: Re-position the existing window well and fasten it securely to the foundation. Problem: The window well fills up with debris and clogs the drain or obstructs drainage ...

Why are window wells not draining?

By far, most poorly draining window wells are the result of soil and debris contamination of the gravel layer in the window well. When the gravel layer is contaminated by sediment, the excellent drainage qualities of the gravel layer are lost; similarly, leaves, newspaper and plastic bags often prevent water from reaching ...

What are the two drainage provisions for a window well?

For the water that does enter a window well, there are generally two drainage provisions for dealing with accumulated water: a gravel layer and a window well drain.

How big is a window well drain?

Proper window well drains are 4 inches in diameter and drain the water in the window well to the weeping tile system installed underground along the footing of the foundation walls.

How to fix a window well that is filling with water?

So, one way to fix a window well that is filling with water is to find and unclog the drain. Cleaning debris from the opening to the drain is usually a fairly easy task but, if the drain has become clogged below the surface it can be difficult to unclog. The best way, of course to deal with a clogged window well drain is to prevent it ...

What is a window well?

A window well provides space for all that light and air and forms a rigid barrier to hold back soil. On the downside, a basement window does create another opening in a foundation wall that can admit water into the basement. A properly fitted and maintained window will keep out minor seepage and is an essential part of keeping the basement dry.

What happens when a window well fills with water?

When a window well does fill with water, it puts the basement window to the test by creating pressure on the window and by holding water that se eks any small opening to alleviate that pressure by entering the basement space .

Why do we need windows in basement?

Having windows in the basement is great. They admit natural light, can be opened to let in some often badly needed fresh air and, properly configured, can serve as an emergency escape.

Do window well covers keep out water?

Window Well Covers – The most important function of a window well cover is not keeping out water but keeping out the kind of debris – leaves, grass clippings, trash – that will clog the drain. Many homeowners make the understandable mistake of installing flimsy plastic “bubble” covers from the hardware store thinking that they will keep out water.

Can a window well drain?

With a well-constructed and properly maintained drain, a window well should never fill with water. Of course, some home builders will take short cuts with window wells and install them without drains. More commonly, though, the drains are there but, because of lack of maintenance, they clog up.

Do window wells need drains?

Window Well Drain – Every window well should have a drain to allow water to exit the window well and not build to a level that creates a basement seepage problem. Drains can be connected to interior or exterior drain tile or can be run to daylight where a proper slope exists. With a well-constructed and properly maintained drain, a window well should never fill with water.

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