The windows in my basement are close to 12 inches tall, not going below ground level. There is a shallow window well made from old 2x4s framing a depression adjacent to the window. We have been getting heavy rain and I noticed that this window well is pooling with water. I am also experiencing regular flooding in the basement close to the same window well which seems it must be connected.

Do I need the window well if the window does not go below ground level? How do I avoid the water pooling in the window well?

I saw a video on YouTube where they put a drain in the bottom of the window well which drained into the sump pump. This is not an option as the sump pump and window well are on opposite sides of the house.

  • Drain into a dry well, or invest in a transparent "roof" for the well?
    – keshlam
    Aug 8, 2015 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


Your window well should already have a drain that ties into the drain tiles around your foundation. This is likely already tied into your sump. Often over time the drains get clogged up and filled with debris.

The solution is to dig out the window well and unclog the drain. You should have about a foot of crushed gravel that stops 6" below the window level so that water does not pool on the surface.

It's also possible the drain has collapsed or been clogged with roots. You would need to first find the drain (dig it out) and then do a video inspection of it to confirm or deny this.

  • 1
    It is my experience that window well drains are the exception as opposed to to the norm. Presence of drains may very well be a totally regional thing.
    – Michael Karas
    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:38
  • 1
    You're probably right about it being regional. It's the norm around here in houses going back to the 60's
    – Steven
    Jul 9, 2015 at 16:20
  • My house was built in 1940 so maybe it will or maybe it won't. I do know there one pipe coming into the sump from that direction but this is one of three basement windows and there is definitely not one for each window. Jul 9, 2015 at 19:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.