Egress Windows | Triad Basement Waterproofing

Egress Windows

When you’re walking along the busy streets of our cosmopolitan D.C metro area and see windows below the sidewalks, those are egress windows. Purposefully designed for easy opening during an emergency, egress windows provide an escape route, but they also allow natural light and airflow into subterranean living spaces. Building codes have evolved to include the requirement of egress windows in all new construction. If you are adding a sleeping space to a basement, you must install an egress window to pass a building code inspection. Living areas also need an egress window to remain code compliant.

Egress Windows in Basements

During our years of basement repair, we have come in contact with all types of windows. The ideal window scene is one where the windows keep out water when closed, but let in air flow when open. Leaky windows or seals around the window panes can allow drafty air and water vapor into the basement. Cracked glass in windows will eventually allow air and water to invade the room, leading to mold formation or structural damage of the supporting walls.

Water that accumulates in window wells will eventually filter down into the basement structural support. Gravity and water are good friends and the enemy of all things porous, like concrete block basement walls. Stains on walls under windows are an obvious sign that water is making its way into the cellar.

Eventually, an untreated window leak will lead to basement flooding, something we have seen countless times in basement repair cases. A portion of our basement evaluation service includes assessing the windows. If they are causing more problems than preventing, we recommend replacing the unit, casing, and glass.

Replacing Existing Windows with Egress Windows

Size is the primary requirement for a window to qualify as egress. If you live in a home built before the code came into effect, do not fear. We will gladly help you transform basement window openings into code-compliant, leak-resistant additions.

We have all the tools and experience necessary to create a basement opening that will fit the new window and casing. During the process, we can also clean out any debris and install sealants to ensure the integrity of the new framework.

These are options for the style of window that qualifies as egress:

Choosing the style that best suits your needs is something we are happy to help with as part of our service. Our team will explain the benefits of each window style to let you make an informed decision.

Advantages of Installing New Egress Windows in Your Basement

Homeowners considering window replacement should take into consideration the numerous benefits of egress windows.

Below are a few of our favorites:

1. Emergency access. As basement repair professionals, we understand that having an egress window can act as a safety feature for your home. Not only is the opening an escape route, but it is also an access point for emergency crews to get into your house. We never want to see an emergency situation at a client’s home, but we want them to have every advantage just in case something unexpected arises.

2. Added value. Homeowners perk up when we mention this one. Yes, egress windows will add value to your home. Unfinished, below-code basements, are valuable as storage units, but the square footage does not qualify as “usable.” So, when calculating the total measurements of the interior of your home, the basement cannot be included.

Installing egress windows will bring the space up to code, and then the basement space can be added to the total square feet of the home. Think about comparable homes in your area. Do four-bedroom homes sell for more than three-bedroom versions? More than likely the answer is yes. If you are considering selling your home in the next few years, adding another bedroom could improve your chances of selling at a higher price.

If you spend $5,000 on the expansion and installation of new windows, then sell your home for an additional $50,000 because of the increased square footage, that’s a 10-fold return on your investment.

3. The remedy for water in your basement. Our business began with water remediation in basements. One way to fix the water intrusion problem basements face is to renovate the windows. While windows allow air, they also provide an easy route for water to trickle into your home.

Our holistic approach to waterproofing includes addressing window issues. If we fill cracks in basement walls but leave leaky windows in place, the repair process is in vain. Water will still find its way inside and damage or reverse the altered concrete in your basement. If your basement renovation project begins with the windows, we will also evaluate any potential structural issues within your below-grade space.

Plus, new windows will allow fresh air into the space. Enjoy fresh air flowing through your new window on those glorious spring days we experience in the metro D.C. area.

4. An opportunity to re-route water away from the home. Because of the size requirements of egress windows, sometimes excavation around the outside of the opening is necessary. If additional space is needed to install the window, we can establish a drainage plan at the same time. If your basement were prone to water intrusion before the window idea came into play, an updated drainage system could help keep your substructure dry.

Let’s Get Started

We understand that tackling a basement renovation project can seem daunting, but we are here to make the transformation as painless as possible. Let our experience work to your advantage, as we are happy to be your guide throughout the undertaking.

We begin every project by listening to our clients and identifying their goals. Once we understand your priorities and what you want to accomplish, we work with you to establish a plan of action. When we are finished, you’ll be amazed at the results. Contact us today.