After a long winter, there is nothing more wonderful than a breath of fresh spring air! Homeowners whose basements have properly maintained window wells know the joy of being able to open their basement windows a bit and relax in the atmosphere that a well-ventilated room provides. Here are a few tips to keep your basement window wells well maintained, attractive and working the way they should.
1. Clear debris from the bottom of the window well.
2. If you have basement window wells that are damp at the base or contain standing water, take action to prevent problems later on. Window wells installed in older homes sometimes had no method for draining water. There is more than one way to provide proper drainage.
Some window wells have grates at the well base. Beneath each grate is a holding tank with a pipe that transports water away from the building. In other installations, drainage is provided by a system that takes water down to the basement’s drain tiles to flow to a sump inside the basement where it is pumped out and away from the home. Still other homes with window wells simply rely on landscaping to force water to flow away from the home’s perimeter.
3. If rainfall tends to drift into the well, consider a window well cover of domed plastic that lets light through but sheds rain. Such a cover also helps keep debris and small animals out.
4. Check the sides of the well for damage. If your basement window wells are made of galvanized metal, look for rusted spots. If such areas are small, you may be able to remove the rust and apply a sealant. Because areas that rust all the way through are unsightly and compromise the structural integrity of the window well, you will want to replace any well that is badly rusted.
5. Make sure that the ladder or steps in each window well are unobstructed and functional.
6. Clear clutter from around the outside of each window well. Make sure that anyone needing to walk between the basement window well and your driveway or sidewalk could do so without difficulty.
7. Discuss with your family things that you might do to make the area around the window wells more attractive. For example, low edgings placed outside spring plantings that have been carefully selected for color, texture and seasonal variation draw the eye and add beauty.
When you and your family have taken care of your window wells in the springtime, be sure to wash the basement windows. Then, take time to enjoy the fruits of your work. Open your basement’s windows to change the indoor atmosphere from stuffy or dreary to comfortable and healthy. If you have one or more egress windows, the additional light, air, and safety that they provide make your basement cheerful and serene. This is the perfect atmosphere for your family, one in which everyone can relax.