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Not installing a window well can be a serious mistake. Window wells protect your window and window frame from rain, snow, ice, debris and animals. They also allow for easy exiting of the basement in the event of an emergency. It’s important to note that window wells are only used in homes that have a basement window.
Many basement windows are located below grade, fully or half under the top soil, which makes the window prone to damages (wood rotting, insect damage, weather changes etc…) increasing the chances of water penetrating the window. To help resolve this problem a window well is created surrounding the window frame, acting as a solid barrier. The window well is the surrounding area outside a basement window, which both retains the surrounding dirt and drains water away from the home's foundation and basement window. Window wells require drainage otherwise water continues to rise and eventually leaks through the basement window. The barrier may also include a top plastic shield/cover to prevent animals and children from falling into the window well opening, as it can be quite steep.
Most window wells do not have a full draining system, they have three or four inches of gravel at the bottom of the well, draining water downwards against the foundation walls. Some will have a drain pipe that leads to the drain around the base of the foundation walls, which can be problematic as you are directing water close to the foundation walls. Excavating and installing drainage pipes that direct water to a safe area requires a full drainage system.