- February 15, 2023
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Who Should Install Egress Windows?
Many different types of construction companies offer Egress Window installation. However, at Value Dry Waterproofing, we believe it is important to contract with a professional basement waterproofing company for proper installation.
Your foundation doesn’t just hold back the earth from entering your home; it doubles as a dam to keep water out during times of heavy precipitation. When you cut a hole in the foundation to install an egress window to comply with building codes enabling occupants to safely escape during a fire or other emergency you are effectively cutting a hole in that dam.
We know this because homeowners often call us with a flooding egress window because the general contractor that installed their basement window missed one or several important steps needed to ensure that the window doesn’t act as a floodgate during times of heavy precipitation.
There are several steps that need to take when installing below-ground egress windows to successfully protect your investment.
Steps to properly install Egress Windows
Egress windows are considered one of the most important components in overall home safety. They provide a clear means of escape in case of an emergency, making them essential for locations such as basements or attics.
To successfully complete this project, we will walk you through the steps for proper installation used by our experienced foundation experts.
- Depth and Height -The window well needs to be installed sufficiently below the opening cut into the foundation (dam). Knowledgeable installers will put a filter fabric at the bottom of the egress window well to keep the gravel base clean. The window well also needs to be installed high enough, so water and earth or mulch don’t run over top.
- Drainage Matters – Installing a functioning and maintainable drain in the bottom of the egress window well is an incredibly important step that ensures that the water raining into the well from above and the hydrostatic ground water rising from below doesn’t build up and flood the basement.
- Sealing Matters – Window wells should be properly fastened and sealed to the foundation, so water and mud don’t infiltrate the seam where the window well attaches to the foundation wall (dam).
- Looks Matter – Aesthetically pleasing options for window wells do exist. Since Value Dry Waterproofing specializes in Basement Egress, we’ve done the research and offer excellent options for you to choose from. You are no longer stuck looking at gray plastic, galvanized, or rusting metal with a rusty ladder. Fiberglass stone-shaped wells with integrated ladders and custom-fit covers exist to make the well more presentable while protecting your basement from the elements.
- Maintenance Matters – Good, professional basement waterproofing companies offer annual maintenance plans where they perform a comprehensive inspection, clean the window well, and test the drain to ensure it is working properly every year.
Smart remodeling companies, home renovators, and flippers turn to trusted basement waterproofing companies for egress installation. They know the windows will be installed properly, working in conjunction with the basement waterproofing system, coupled with warranties and maintenance by a trusted reputable basement waterproofing company like Value Dry.
Types of egress windows
Various egress window options exist as well. There are double-hung casement windows that have a lever to easily open if elderly or young family members need an emergency escape route. This choice also makes window well maintenance a breeze. You can clean the base from inside the basement instead of having to climb in from the outside.
Egress Window FAQ’s
Why does drainage matter?
Egress windows that are prone to flooding can result in severe consequences beyond just a wet basement. Intense rainfall can result in flooding, causing harm to both the interior and foundation of a home. Even a light shower combined with intense winds can direct water toward the basement window, leading to the same damaging effects.
We often see those who aren’t familiar with the best practices of egress well drain installation taking several very unfortunate shortcuts. We are regularly contacted to fix subpar work that was not completed by a professional such as:
- drains that lead to nowhere
- drains that tie into pre-existing clogged pipes
- exterior sump pumps that are:
- prone to freeze
- fail during power outages
- malfunction during severe storms
- drains that are hindered by just a few leaves, grass clippings, ice, snow, or a plastic bag
Basement waterproofing companies help homeowners avoid these recipes for disaster.
What happens if the height and depth aren’t correct?
If window wells are not deep enough, it will result in water and mud coming into the home. If the wells are not installed high enough to allow water to run over the top, the result will be an egress window that resembles a fishbowl, eventually flooding into the home.
Egress window well codes include size requirements in an effort to keep basements dry. If code requirements are not adhered to, you are at risk of needing additional basement waterproofing solutions and repair services.
Do Egress Windows need to be sealed?
Absolutely! If egress basement windows are not sealed properly, be prepared for water issues. Even novice or inexperienced waterproofing technicians have not mastered the art of sealing certain types of egress windows, allowing water to get in. As drainage specialists, experienced waterproofing companies are best equipped to seal with confidence.
Why choose a professional basement waterproofing company for window installation?
The real question you need to ask is… “Why wouldn’t you hire a professional basement waterproofing company to install your egress window and window well?” You could end up paying more in damages, repair, and proper reinstallation down the line if you don’t have it professionally installed the first time.
The damage won’t be covered by homeowners’ insurance! Before you hire a handyman, remodeling company, or another sort of landscaping installer for basement egress window installations, consider a basement waterproofing company.
Schedule a FREE Egress Window Consultation
If you’re interested in adding a basement bedroom to safeguard your family the right way we would welcome the opportunity to help you upgrade your basement and Reclaim Your Territory™.
We offer professional egress window installation, foundation repair, basement waterproofing, and crawl space encapsulation solutions to homeowners throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, the panhandle of West Virginia, and Southern Delaware.
Schedule a free consultation with Value Dry Waterproofing simply by filling out our contact form or calling us at (888) 659-6518.