A basement egress window is as important to the safety of your family is as working smoke detectors. Properly installed egress windows provide a reliable escape route for your family in the event of a basement emergency that blocks other exits. Plus, they offer easy entrance for firefighters (who generally come with air tanks strapped to their backs). Keep these critical functions in mind when weigh various brands and start your renovation.
Five Features to Consider for Your Egress Window
1. Cored and Ground Corners
How the corners of an egress window opening are cut determines the likelihood of cracks appearing in the foundation wall after an egress window is installed. Make sure your installation professional has a plan for how to perform that work and can explain it to you before work begins.
2. Well Liners
When soil gets wet it expands. The expanding soil is so powerful that it can cause cracked foundation walls. This is the reason you’d want a very thick metal window well liner. Your egress window’s well liner may have to endure varying levels of pressure from expanding soil. Thinner liners can bend from this pressure. When they do, the liner get torn away from the house, letting water and dirt wash into the well.
3. Casement Window
The type of window you pick is very important. First, it needs to be easy to open in an emergency. Second, it has to be large enough for an adult or heavily equipped firefighter to easily make their way through it. Third, because they are so large, you want it to be energy efficient. Make sure the glass used doesn’t let in the cold or heat. And last, you want it to be maintenance free.
4. Working Drainage
Egress windows create a large sealed cavity in the ground. On three sides it has metal and the fourth side is glass. If water gets into the well and there is no working drain, the water will fill it like a fish bowl. The problem is, egress windows are not made to sustain the pressure of that much water. The window will break and you will have a cleanup disaster on your hands. Insist on having a working drain at the base of your egress window well to avoid this problem.
5. Durable Privacy Cover
The final thing you want for your basement egress window is a reinforced, polycarbonate cover with quick release clips. The opening to the well is so large that you want to create a barrier to keep animals, pets, children and adults from mistakenly falling into it. A proper cover should hold 500 pounds or more. These translucent covers allow light to enter but keep out prying eyes. And just to keep temptation away from local thieves, clips inside will make it very difficult to open the cover without damaging it. But from the inside these clips can easily be popped off in seconds for a quick escape.
Keep these things in mind when you purchase your basement egress windows! Should a basement emergency make it necessary for you or your loved ones to quickly get to safety, an egress window can save your life. Toledo Basement Repair will be happy to meet with you to discuss your plans and our solutions. Contact Us TODAY! toledobasementrepair.com | (419) 297-6138