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LostInColorado
Jan 8, 2009, 12:31 AM
I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. My house is only 7 years old and one of the basement window wells has developed small holes that have rusted through. The window well is a thick metal and appears to be zinc coated and is not suppose to rust through in only 7 years. Small amouts of water leak through and leave rust stains as the water drips. I have used Epoxy Steel Putty as a temporary fix to stop the leaking. Can this be repaired by some sort of brazing or will I have to replace the whole window well? I did contact a local company that makes the window wells and they sent 2 guys out to look at it and they said it would have to be replaced. They may have just said that to sell me a new one. I do not know who to call.

21boat
Jan 8, 2009, 12:49 AM
Hi I visted your town once Im from Pa.
Replace it and don't waste time patching it. Its rusting from the dirt side in. The dirt side is way worse and will continue to get worse until nothing is left Its not hard job to do. Just dig the dirt out and remove it. You can get plastic ones that don't rust out at any big box stores. Attach new with Tap Cons concrete screws Does the company you called make the plastic ones. If not and its basscially a standard size buy plastic. Check out the big box stores.

Signed 21 Boat

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mmoree
Apr 21, 2009, 01:00 PM
This is what could be happening; If your window well is attached to you window frame and they both are made of metal then you could be grounding your house through your window frame/well. In today's building code the builders are required to ground your house to the foundation through the rebar (not sure on spelling). If this rebar has fallen against your window frame during the pouring of the concrete walls of your basement, your house is now grounded to your window frame. Then if you attached your metal window well to the frame you then ground your house to the window well. With the moisture in the ground and the window well acting as the ground... Bam you will rust out your window well.
How to correct: that's easy, dig the rusted well out, buy a well wider than your window frame and attach the new well to the contrete and not the metal frame. Make sure if you attach to the concrete that if you drill into rebar that you disregard that hole and drill another hole to attach your well to.

ballengerb1
Apr 23, 2009, 02:41 PM
"In today's building code the builders are required to ground your house to the foundation through the rebar" can you direct me to this part of the IBC? I have not been able to locate it.

21boat
Apr 23, 2009, 03:13 PM
If this rebar has fallen against your window frame during the pouring of the concrete walls of your basement, your house is now grounded to your window frame. Then if you attached your metal window well to the frame you then ground your house to the window well.

We have very few poured concrete walls here. The ones we have a pre cast Not understand the grounding of the rebar for electrolysis . Just jack hammered out a floor today. The rebar there was 20 years old and looked new. Never heard of grounding a house to rebar in the foundation.

Most all our walls here are concrete block and the window wells still rust out form moisture on the outside that's buried. If electrolysis was an issue then the actual contact from the foundation to the frame would be the worst and its usually not. If code here started to make me ground our window wells. I'm running to hardware and getting rubber washers to put between the window well and foundation.

KennyD
Apr 27, 2010, 10:26 AM
I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. My house is only 7 years old and one of the basement window wells has developed small holes that have rusted through. The window well is a thick metal and appears to be zinc coated and is not suppose to rust through in only 7 years. Small amouts of water leak through and leave rust stains as the water drips. I have used Epoxy Steel Putty as a temporary fix to stop the leaking. Can this be repaired by some sort of brazing or will I have to replace the whole window well? I did contact a local company that makes the window wells and they sent 2 guys out to look at it and they said it would have to be replaced. They may have just said that to sell me a new one. I do not know who to call.

************************************************** *****

I do not know when you placed your question, but I can give you some advice on the problem you have.

First, you are correct as far as the window well being galvanized (zinc coating). It should not have leaked through in no 7 years, so it must have been a cheapy. I just replaced the ones on the front of my house, and I live in Widefield (you will know where that is). These were in there for 37 years. As far as brazing or welding, the answer is NO. I have been a welder for 45 years, and you are Not going to fix it that way. Yes, the people you contacted want to put a new one in, and sorry to say, you have no other viable choice. The only choice you have is whether to have them do it, or do it yourself.

There is a lot of digging involved, and a new galvanized well will cost you about $65.00. If you have a kid available that wants to dog and earn some money, have them do it. My 17 yo grandson helped me. Once dug down, take a shovel and break away the well from the house. You may not even need to do that. Anyway, remove the well, clean the cement wall, and make sure the new one will fit where you want it to. Next hold the well in place and mark two spot on the sides to drill for the screws. You can use either expansion nails or the blue concrete screws (these are what I used). When you buy the 1-1/4 inch blue screws, get a 3/16 inch concrete drill at the same place. After you mark the holes, drill them and then put a 5/16 inch socket in the drill and screw the well to the wall. Before you do that though, buy a tube of Black Jack roofing cement and run a good sized bead on the wall where the well will set. This will form a nice seal and you are done, except to fill the dirt back in. As a suggestion, get some crushed rock and place around the sides of the well where it meets the wall. This allows water to drain easier.

The whole procedure is not hard at all. Just labor intensive. If the well you are using is an egress well, then you do not want to do it yourself. Let the big boys do it. There are many good fibreglass and resin type wells that you can view at Barton Supply on Steel Drive. Good luck, and if you want to attempt it yourself, contact me and I will show you what you need to know. dandur805@yahoo.com

CCWW
Jun 18, 2012, 04:15 PM
If you live in Colorado, we can help you. We have developed a sacrficial anode system to redirect the current to an anode. This works up to two wells but hasn't been perfect for 3 or more rusted wells. We do a full soils to structure test to verify results. We can be reached at (303) 682-9500. Our company is Colorado Custom Window Wells - customwindowwells.com

ellen2509
Jul 18, 2012, 01:42 PM
I have a wooden window well surronding my egress window and the top two layers of lumber has rotted away how do I fix it and with what?

CCWW
Jul 18, 2012, 03:25 PM
You can either replace the rotting timbers or remove all timbers and replace with a steel corrigated well - or a fiberglas well.

ajbasante
May 6, 2013, 07:38 PM
A few boards near the bottom of our window well have broken open letting some dirt out into the well itself. What can we do at this point to repair the well? What would be the worst case scenario in terms of cost?