If you’re a homeowner, you know that there are a lot of things to keep track of in terms of maintenance and improvement. One thing you might not have thought about, however, is your egress windows. What are egress windows? Do you need them? How do you maintain them? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about egress windows.
WHAT IS AN EGRESS WINDOW?
An egress window is installed for the purpose of providing an emergency exit from a home or building. In the event of a fire or other emergency, an egress window can provide a way out when the main entrance is blocked. Egress windows are required by building code in most jurisdictions in the United States.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF EGRESS WINDOWS?
The primary benefit of egress windows, in a word, is safety. When a fire breaks out or some other emergency arises, you need to be able to get out quickly. Standard Water Control Systems will install emergency egress windows in your property so you can escape safely.
In most older homes basement windows do not meet code for egress, therefore, the rooms are not legal living space and have less value than a code compliant room someone can sleep in. They’re typically made of materials that can rust, decompose or become food for bugs; necessitating replacement in the future. Worst of all, they do not give your family a way out in case of fire or other emergency. Basement egress windows, installed by Standard Water Control can transform a dark and uninviting cellar into clean, code-compliant living space.
Adding an egress window to your basement is key to bringing basement bedrooms up to code. It’s also a big boost if you ever sell your home. As of 2019, American homes were worth an average $119 per square foot, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. If you add an egress window to your 120 square foot basement bedroom, that could translate as an additional $7,140 or $9,996 in resale value.
DO I NEED AN EGRESS WINDOW?
If you live in a jurisdiction that requires egress windows, then the answer is yes, you need an egress window. However, even if your jurisdiction does not require egress windows, they can still be a good idea to have. In the event of an emergency, an egress window can provide a way out when the main entrance is blocked. Egress windows can also be used as a primary means of entrance and exit for young children or elderly adults who might have difficulty using stairs.
EGRESS WINDOW INSTALLATION
Our team lays plywood on your lawn to protect high traffic areas. We then carefully excavate by hand to minimize any potential damage to your home.
Excavation for a basement egress window well can be a dangerous job in the wrong hands. Fortunately, our crews have been fully trained and take safety precautions for both your home’s and their own well-being. The crew will dig the hole by hand to minimize any damage to your property, and protect underground utilities.
Sawing a hole through concrete for the installation of an egress window can get messy. We take precautions to minimize dust and preserve your home.
Standard Water’s highly experienced crew uses a specialized diamond-bladed ring saw on the outside of the masonry wall to minimize the mess inside your home. We then score the inside of the wall with a special jackhammer fitted with a chisel bit. The blocks are then pounded out with a good old-fashioned maul and a little sweat.
If your window isn’t secured with the best materials and workmanship, you may find yourself having to redo the job every few years. Water, mold or critters can damage a window that is compromised from the start.
After we cut the egress window hole and remove the debris, we then trim the opening with green treated lumber. The window is then secured and sealed with urethane caulk and special tape to create a high efficiency, insulated seal. We then install a rough-cut cedar trim that can be stained or painted at a later date. We finish by anchoring the window well to the wall and backfilling it with gravel to provide drainage and to help hold it in place.
To ensure your new window protects against moisture, our employees incorporate a drain that ties your window well into your Standard Water Control System basement waterproofing system, if present.
HOW DO I MAINTAIN MY EGRESS WINDOW?
Maintaining your egress window is relatively simple. First, make sure that the window opens and closes easily and that there are no obstructions preventing it from opening fully. Second, check the frame and sealant around the window regularly for any cracks or gaps. These can be sealed with caulk or weatherstripping as needed. Third, if your egress window has a screen, make sure that it is in good condition and free of holes or tears. Fourth, during periods of heavy rains or snowfall, clear any debris away from the base of the window to prevent water damage.
Egress windows are important for both safety and convenience reasons. If you live in a jurisdiction that requires them by law, then you need to make sure that you have at least one egress window installed in your home. Even if your jurisdiction does not require them, however, they can still be a good idea to have. Maintaining your egress window is relatively simple; just make sure that it opens and closes easily, check the frame and sealant regularly for any cracks or gaps, clear away any debris from the base of the window during periods of heavy rains or snowfall, and inspect the screen regularly for any holes or tears. Following these simple tips will help ensure that your egress window is always in tip-top shape!
Contact Standard Water for a free consultation.