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The Best Ways to Make a Drain for an Egress Window

Keith Allen

An egress window allows people to exit a basement. These special windows have excavated areas resembling a deep window well on the exterior of the basement. This area facilitates reaching the ground level from the basement level of the home and may include a ladder or steps. This excavated area can accumulate rain and snow that must drain away to prevent leakage into the home.


Landscape the ground with a slope away from the egress window. Rainwater falling into the egress window well is unavoidable, but the slope can prevent water from running off the lawn and into the egress window. Make sure the proper eave troughs and gutters are in place to prevent runoff from the roof from entering the egress window. Sloping the ground reduces water reaching the egress window well and is an important part of the total window egress drain solution.


The best drain for the egress window involves excavating the ground down to the level of the drainpipe system around the footings or foundation of the building. Connect a vertical pipe from the drain tile system extending up to the base level of the egress window. Fit a grill to the top of the pipe to prevent debris from entering the drain system. This provides a direct path for the water to flow from the egress window well to the drain and is most effective in homes with foundation drain systems.

The Bottom of the Egress Window Well

Excavate the bottom of the window well to the foundation level and fill the excavation with crushed rock. The rock allows water to flow down draining away from the egress window. The crushed rock has an attractive appearance in the base of the egress window well. This system works best in homes without foundation drain systems.

Keeping it Clear

Clear leaves and other debris from the bottom of the egress window well. A compacted solid layer of leaves can prevent water from flowing down the drainpipe or through the crushed rock. If the water accumulates in the egress window well, it can leak through the window and into the basement. The best drain system will not work if it becomes clogged with debris. Debris would also be unattractive when viewed through the egress window.