A basement window well is a protective barrier used to protect the basement window primarily from water, but also from debris, dirt, rocks, and sediment. It also helps stop these things from entering the lateral drain inside the window well, which can block ground water from draining through the vertical / lateral drains, causing the water build up in well.
The vertical / lateral drain, moves water from the basement window well area, to the footing, and into the weeping tile drain along the perimeter of the basement. This prevents ground water from building up in the window well area, and leaking into your basement through the basement window.
If your basement window well has filled up with water once before, it will surely happen again with a heavy enough rainfall, in the same direction of your window well location, in relation to it position to your house. We recommend you also water test your window well by letting water run through your hose "wide open" from 4-5 GPM (typical rural well water) and or 8-9 GPM (if your on city water) into the window well for 20 minutes to verify there is a problem or no problem with your basement window well and drain. If at any time the water rises, you should contact us. We also recommend you test all your basement window well and drains on your home, in preparation for heavy rainfall.
The lifespan of your window well and drain can be related to the geographical location of your home, soil conditions in your area, and whether or not the window well and drain was installed properly to begin with. We have done work on newly installed builders / contractors / homeowners basement window wells only 1-5 years old, but most commonly we're dealing with basement window well problems on homes 20-40 years old.