Basement windows can be susceptible to more water leaks than other windows in your home, due mostly to placement alone. Sitting right there at ground level, leaks can occur from rainstorms, overwatered lawns, water runoff from nearby hills and flooding in general. Your basement windows don’t stand a chance against all that water pressure if you don’t install and maintain them properly.
So seal up those leaky basement windows with these five easy ideas for making them water tight.
Downspouts And Outdoor Prevention
First of all, one of the easiest ways to protect your basement windows from water leaks is to make sure your home downspouts are in great shape. So go outside and inspect the gutters and downspouts for blockages or repairs they might need.
In fact, while you’re outside, check around all of your basement windows for anything that could be allowing excess water to collect at those points.
Are there muddy patches of dirt near your basement windows where you could plant some grass, preventing erosion and excess water seepage? Is your window well collecting water and need a new drain installed? Could you dig a simple tunnel or add a small pipe drainage system around house that would divert the water that comes down from the hills or mountains above? Keeping excess water away as much as you can would be well worth the effort to keep your basement dry.
Seal The Window Frame
Damaged window frames often cause leaks in basement windows, so this is a common culprit. If you’re not looking to replace a frame that has cracks or has pulled away from the opening a bit, you’ll need to fill any cracks, holes and gaps with insulation.
Use a moisture-resistant sealant in those cracks and gaps, like a urethane sealant known for its strong bonding action. Apply this sealant both inside and outside the window.
Then consider using spray foam insulation on the wall around the basement windows, as well, for added protection.
Caulking And Weather Stripping
If the frames on your basement windows already seem water tight, then it’s possible you simply need to re-caulk around the window frame. Aging and the elements wear away at the caulk, so check this seal around your basement windows regularly.
If the caulk looks fine, how does the weather stripping look? Or maybe your windows don’t have weather stripping and could use some? The more you do to fully seal those basement windows, the less dampness and water leakage issues will harm your basement and empty your wallet for additional repairs later on.
Flashing For Basement Windows
Applying waterproof, self-adhesive flashing tape around a basement window is a very quick solution for much better moisture seal. Flashing can be purchased at many home improvement or hardware stores and installed by the homeowner pretty easily.
You’ll need to make sure to apply flashing to a clean, dry and primed surface. Other than following some manufacturer- suggested tips for preparation and application, the tape is simply pressed against the desired points. Follow the specific instructions for the flashing brand you buy for best results.
Replace The Whole Thing
It might not seem like the easiest way to seal a leaky basement window, but sometimes the window itself has just got to go. Replacement windows in durable vinyl, which stand up great against water rot and damage from the elements, often come with easy-install full frames attached. Replacing those old basement windows can save you a lot of leaks, headaches and money in the long run. So if the whole window is the issue, protect your home investment with a new one.
It’s The Little Things
If you’ve got leaky basement windows, start by checking the small fixes that are the quickest and the most affordable. You might not have to replace the entire window if you can find easy ways to prevent water exposure, create better outdoor drainage and repair cracks or window frame seals.
Make sure the materials you use to repair and seal your basement windows are water proof and built to last.