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Window wells flooding and no drainage installed around foundation

Window wells flooding and no drainage installed around foundation

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Old 07-23-17, 11:59 AM
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Window wells flooding and no drainage installed around foundation

Our window wells have always flooded since we bought our house a few years ago. It was built in 2003. If we go and pump the standing water out, they always seem to fill back up a few hours later even without rain. We tried window well covers and that only alleviated a portion of the water. Yesterday I excavated my window wells (had overly saturated soil for a good 3 feet) so I could install a drain to the weeping tiles/drains that run along the foundation, but there was nothing of the sort. I dug a foot below the foundation footer and a few feet out, and still nothing. I talked to my neighbor and he said that the houses were not built with a drainage solution since the colorado springs area is semi-arid. His solution was to dig a couple feet down past the footer of the foundation until he hit sand, and then he installed a perforated pipe with gravel and mesh from the sandy layer to the bottom of the window well. He did this repair a few years ago, and he said he hasn't had any problem since then. My question is, what are the pros and cons to this? I am currently extremely broke and can't really afford to put dry wells and sump pumps in all my window wells, or even hire someone to do this for me. We are trying to get a professional out here to give us an estimate, but everyone is booked up for the next couple weeks and I don't have that long to wait as I want to get my house sold ASAP.
 
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Old 07-23-17, 12:05 PM
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We have no idea how many window wells you have but I dont think it makes a lot of sense to try to tie them all together with a pump assuming the arid condition that you define your house sitting in.

The water will eventually drain down, but you state there is more water in the ground since they refill which could be creating some water problems for the basement by holding it back.

Sounds like a simple solution.
 
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Old 07-23-17, 12:50 PM
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We have 4 window wells to do and on three sides of the house. The window wells are roughly 20' apart from each other, so tying them together would be a lot of work. We also have a finished basement, so leading the water to the interior pumps is a no-go for us. After last nights rainstorm water has returned in all the window wells except the one that I dug down past the foundation footer. Seems like its draining just fine now. If I dug down another foot to the sandy layer, put in a layer of rock or gravel, and then led a perforated drainage pipe (and a permeable sock with gravel surrounding the pipe) from the window well down there, I'm confident it will continue to drain, but will it cause damage to the foundation since its draining down and not away from the foundation like what's ideal?
 
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Old 07-23-17, 01:52 PM
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Do you have gutters on the house? Proper 1:10 sloping grade away from the foundation?
 
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Old 07-23-17, 02:38 PM
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Yes, we have proper sloping grade and we have 5' extensions on our gutter downspouts that run away from the house. The closest downspout to some of our flooding window wells is at least 15' away as well.
 
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Old 07-23-17, 02:59 PM
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IMO a partial solution would be a pretty simple combination of window well covers and a counterflashing or deflector to ensure that water running down the side of the house doesn't wind up running into the window well. Having a cover will obviously keep out more water than if there is no cover.

We can't give very good advice sight unseen, so if you have pictures, post them.

Regarding whether the drainage will affect the basement, hard to say. Hopefully the exterior of your foundation is waterproofed, and it should resist water. The pit drainage system will work but it has limits since your soil can only absorb water so fast. And some soils are better (sand) or worse (clay) at draining than others so sometimes they can be overwhelmed if more water gets in per minute than what can seep away. Over time, silt can also slow the seepage rate per minute, so they often require maintenance... removing the silt, replacing with clean sand/gravel.

Water seeks the easiest path of least resistance, so it may very well want to drain from the soil into the window well. If you believe the soil around the perimeter of your house is so porous that groundwater is finding it's way into the window well from the surrounding soil, you might consider running your downspouts underground and farther away (10 or 20 feet) to daylight or to lawn popups... since a HUGE amount of water comes from the roof it can often be the culprit if it drains near the foundation and that ground becomes saturated.

In new construction, the excavated hole around the house is often softer than the surrounding undisturbed soil... so the backfill around the foundation sometimes more readily absorbs water than the undisturbed soil around it. Imagine your house sitting inside a concrete bathtub, where the undisturbed soil around the house is hard like concrete. That's why there aren't many basements in New Mexico and Arizona. I imagine this is even more pronounced in an arid climate.
 
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Old 07-23-17, 06:06 PM
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I am not quite sure about the window well covers doing much, because my neighbor has installed custom polycarbinate covers for a few hundred bucks and he still has the same issue . I tried uploading pictures on different computers and browsers, but every time I get an upload fail error message. I uploaded the pics to my photobucket so I can directly embed the image by URL, still getting an error message. So here is a link to the photos I took on my photobucket account. I took a picture of what the standing water looks like after it was pumped and vacuumed out, the excavation I did, and the soil type I have.

Dominick_Fraccica's Library | Photobucket

I appreciate all the replies so far, thanks to everyone for their contributions.
 
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Old 11-07-17, 01:17 PM
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Problem I'm trying to prevent

Hello - based on the title and explanations of this article, I'm needing some assistance to make sure I don't have flooding in my new window well! My windows were recently installed, and I started to dig to t into the existing drainage. I ran into an orange pipe that has slits about every foot (one in center of picture). It's kind of a terracotta pot type material... Could this be my exterior drainage (picture). I expected a thicker layer of gravel and it to be black tiling, but it is not.

Anyone seen something like this before or have tips on how to create drainage for my window well? Do I need to cut this open and t into it?

Thank you!
 
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Old 11-07-17, 01:41 PM
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To the OP: 1)..Did you sell the house ? 2)..Does your home have a roof overhang to keep rain from going directly into the wells? 3)..What kind of soil does your home sit on...and how deep until you hit sandy soil.......3 feet ? 4)..So you have a finished basement and no water is getting in there ?
 
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