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If your window well is accumulating excessive amounts of debris, then it’s time to clean it out. Don’t worry—it’s a fairly easy process that will be well worth the effort once your window well can get back to providing sunshine and rainfall drainage. This guide will show you how to clean out window wells so you can keep them fully functioning and visually appealing all year round.

Remove Debris by Hand or Shovel

If you’re encountering only minimal amounts of debris such as leaves, rocks, or twigs, then you can easily get them out by hand with some gloves on. Bring a shovel with you as well because that can also come in handy when removing clumps of debris or garbage—especially if you have a deep window well. If there’s too much debris to remove by hand or shovel, then it’s time to get a vacuum.

Bring Out the Vacuum—If Necessary

Don’t be afraid to bring out a shop vac if there’s too much debris in the window well. This won’t always be necessary, but if it’s been a long time since your last inspection, the window well may have accumulated a hefty amount of debris. Instead of spending all that time shoveling or picking it up, consider using a shop vac to do it at a much more efficient rate.

What to do With Dirty Gravel

Gravel plays a key role in allowing water to drain out of the window well. This is why you should keep an eye on how dirty your gravel is getting every time you carry out a routine window well inspection. If you notice that the gravel is accumulating excessive amounts of dirt, mud, sand, and other forms of debris, then it’s time to shovel it out and either replace it or wash it off. Both methods are effective, so the choice you make should come down to what’s more convenient for you.

Following these easy steps for how to clean out window wells can help you prevent gunk and debris from blocking the drain and causing moisture damage. A great way to prevent debris from making its way into your window well is with a high-quality window well cover. With a strong cover over the well, you’ll be able to worry less about frequent maintenance every time you conduct an inspection.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.