WDC recommends that all window wells be covered to prevent animals from falling inside and ultimately dying. Window wells over 4 inches deep are essentially traps waiting to catch some unsuspecting animal that falls in. In our experience the most common animal found in window wells is skunks.
Skunks have poor eyesight and when walking at night regularly fall into these wells as they walk alongside your home. Covering your window well in advance will prevent this unfortunate occurrence from ever happening.
There are essentially two ways to properly cover window wells. The easiest uses pre- made plastic window well covers, like the one in the photo (photo by Stephen Vantassel)
These covers are easy to install. But make sure that they fit flush to the wall and foundation and completely cover the well. Animals can squeeze between the cover and the foundation if the gap is over one inch.
In situations where you have exhaust venting into the well, such as dryer etc. you will need to cover the well with hardware cloth. I would recommend nothing finer than 1/2 inch mesh. Again make sure that there are no gaps for an animal to get to and thereby fall into the well. Use two by fours as a frame and then staple the mesh to the wood. The resulting structure should be strong enough to hold at least ten pounds, which is about the weight of a mature skunk.
Remember, to regularly check the mesh and clean it. You don't want lint build up to prevent airflow and cause overheating and possibly a fire.
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