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My Basement Window is Leaking, Can It Be Waterproofed?

leaking basement window

If your basement window is leaking, there is undoubtedly a problem that needs to be fixed. If you’re reading this, that means you’re taking the first step to fix the problem: getting informed. Nice job!

Now the next step is to take action to solve the problem. We’re going to walk you through the 3 simple steps to fix a leaking window.

Step 1: Diagnose the Source(s) of the Problem

When a house is experiencing water damage, leaks, or moisture issues, it often goes unnoticed for a very long time. As time passes, one problem starts to create others. It’s vital to do a thorough assessment of possible source-problems to cover all the bases.

Is the foundation near the window cracked or shifted?
Are the windows themselves old and losing their seal? Is the caulking damaged?
Is the window cracked? Are the frames rusted or broken?
Is there mould or condensation on the window or nearby surfaces?

We can even look outside the home for the issue.

Is the yard properly graded? (Sloped downward away from the house to prevent pooling water against the foundation)?
If there are window wells, is the drain clogged? Is the window well itself shifted? Damaged?
Are the nearby downspouts and eavestroughs clogged?

You can begin to see that fixing a window leak isn’t just “fixing a window leak”.

Step 2: Get a Second Opinion

Some of these issues may be difficult to assess, or even get to in the first place. If you have a finished basement, how are you to know if there is a foundation crack behind the drywall? Or, if you aren’t well-versed in-home basement issues, you may not have a point of reference for what looks acceptable versus what could lead to a problem down the road.

Our advice? Get a second opinion. Do you have a family member or friend that knows repairs or construction well? Invite them over, make them lunch, and ask them the favour of taking a look. Or, consider that almost all contractors out there have a free assessment/free quote offering. Give some contractors a call and get their opinion for free. Then move to Step 3.

Step 3: Fix the “Window Leak”

Once the source problem(s) are diagnosed, you can create an action plan to solve the problem. But some problems are much harder to fix than others. Your window leak could be as simple as busting out the caulking and applying a fresh coat. It could be as advanced as repairing a failing foundation wall. Go with your gut. Performing the fix yourself saves money! But may only save you money short term.

When fixing anything in your home, you should only have to fix it once. We’ve seen horror stories on social media of contractors fixing a problem that was “fixed” four times. That’s unacceptable and a waste of money and time. If you think you can fix it the first time, go for it! If not, you know who to call to do the job right the first time.