Because basement window wells are enclosed on all four sides--either by dirt, concrete or metal--it is imperative that you install drain tile in order to remove excess water from the well. The average do-it-yourself homeowner can install drain tile under the window well in one to two days. If you are planning on installing your own drain tile, then you should know about the materials and techniques available for a successful project completion.
Drain tile is six or eight inch round plastic pipe that has holes in the top side. The holes allow water to seep into the pipe from the surrounding dirt and drain out the end. The pipe is usually covered with a cloth sock to prevent dirt from clogging the drain holes, and it comes in ten feet sections that can be added together to extend the pipe. You may need several sections of the drain tile in order to drain the water a good distance away from the window well. You will also need gravel to fill in around the drain tile.
Remove the dirt from the bottom of the window well, 12 or 16 inches. Dig a trench 20 yards away from the window well so that you can lay the drain tile in the trench. Dig the trench the same depth as the floor of the window well. Curl one ten feet section of the drain tile in the floor of the window well. Make sure that the holes are facing up. Add an end cap on one end of the tile in order to prevent dirt from falling into the pipe. Add a section of pipe on the end of the curled up section and direct it into the trench that leads away from the window well. Cover the pipe with gravel, about two inches over the top. Refill the hole with dirt, and continue to add the drain tile in the trench. Cover the pipe with gravel and then dirt.
- Foundations and Concrete Work; Fine Homebuilding; 2003.
- Remodeling a Basement: Expert Advice from Start to Finish; Roger German ; 2004.
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