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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

Window Wells: What They Are, Why You May Need Them


An important service that we offer our customers that many other plumbing contractors don’t is storm drainage, flood control, and rainwater damage control installations and repairs. Any home in Chicagoland has to deal with large amounts of rainfall during the year, and without proper drainage and flood control, the house can accumulate large amounts of damage. 

Today we’re going to address an important defense when it comes to flood control for your home: window well drains. We’ll give you an overview here, and if you need any more information or wish to schedule service to install or repair window well drains in Glenview, IL, please reach out to us.

Window Wells: The Basics

The name may make it sound like window wells just collect water below your windows, which doesn’t sound that useful. Bur window wells are actually a way to help prevent the worst type of home-flooding people deal with regularly: a flooded basement.

Window wells, also known as window well drains, prevent water from entering a home’s basement through the windows, which typically have a “well” that is below ground level. The window wells collect any water that accumulates around the bottom of the window to siphon it elsewhere. They’re semi-circular and usually built from a solid barrier of material like corrugated galvanized metal, masonry, plastic, or pressure-treated wood. 

There are several different types of window well drains:

  • Gated drains: This is a grated system that sits over the well at the bottom of the window, similar to the drainage grates you see over other types of flood control systems.
  • Channel drains: Linear drains placed along the window perimeter that collects water as it flows down the sides of the well.
  • French drains: A fancy name, but it simply describes drains that are placed underground to redirect the water away from the house foundation.

Why You Need Window Wells

You may already have window well drains installed as part of your home’s construction. If they aren’t there, then you’ll definitely want to have them to help waterproof the basement. The windows are a major weak point in the basement not only because of possible gapping around the sides, but because the lower parts of the window are set into the ground. A solid basement waterproofing system starts with having window well drains. In fact, your local building code may require them.

Having window wells provides some additional benefits aside from flood protection. They increase the thermal barrier for your basement, preventing extra heat loss and gain. They also stop soil and other debris from accumulating against the window.

If you need to have window well drains installed, leave the work to professionals like us. We can ensure the proper type of drains are installed and that they will meet the local code requirements. You can consult us if you have any questions about window wells (such as if you need them) or wish to schedule service to repair or maintain them.

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance!

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