Many people call us to ask what can be done about a rusted window well. Unfortunately, we always feel like the bearer of bad news.
Let’s begin by discussing why your well is rusting. It is typically one of two things. First, it is either the bolts attaching your wells to the foundation which are touching the rebar in your concrete – or it is that your well is attached (or touching) the metal window well buck. In either case, it is making an electrical connection to your rebar which is tied into your home ground.
When this is occurring, the well is the least noble metal and also generally sitting in moist dirt. It will be the first metal to break down and rust will begin. This process is call electrolysis. By the time your well is rusted through, it is well on it’s way as the back side has taken most of the punishment.
Can this be fixed or painted? The answer is no. If it is touching the window buck, the only solution is to replace it with a slightly larger window well. The worst thing you can do is try to paint it. The rust will come through and it will look worse. Secondly, as the well moves around with temperature fluctuations, the paint will begin to peel.
Your best solution is to replace the well entirely. This is a very labor intensive job and we suggest you hire someone to do it. When we do a well replacement, the old well is completely dug out by hand. If you have a concrete patio or sidewalk within 12-18″ of the well, we may need to cut and remove the concrete so we have enough space to dig out the old window well and install the new one.
We are sorry to deliver this news. We wish there was an easier fix. We do sell beautiful liners but our liners can only be installed in rusting window wells if the rust is VERY minimal and almost nonexistent. Eventually someone will have to deal with a rusted or even a collapsed well.
We only do work in Colorado. If you are located along the Front Range of Colorado, we would be happy to take care of this project for you.