Are Window Wells Necessary For Your Basement

Window wells are a crucial part of the basement finishing procedure.  It is an essential sub-project allowing you to transform your basement into an attractive and practical living area.  In this article, we will provide information as to why window wells are significant and how they operate.

The Significance Of Basement Window Wells

Since the year 2006, basement bedrooms in West Michigan are legally required to have an egress window installed.  This window ensures the people in the building are safe by providing them with an emergency entry or exit option.  However, the majority of basements are completely underground in their structure.  This is why it is essential for a basement window well to be installed with the basement window.

The well provides support to the earth in the dig-out preventing any dirt from falling onto window.  It also offers access to the basement window for ventilation and external views.

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What You Need To Know About The Basement Window Well

When installing window wells, it is important to take certain factors into consideration.  Firstly, the window wells must be based at the bottom of the basement window or near ground level.  The window well’s outer edges must also be surrounded by egress windows and placed tightly against the window.

The window well has specific dimensions to be considered compliant with safety standards.  Overall, the window well and egress window need to be large enough for a fireman with a backpack to enter and pass through.

Top Tips On How To Maintain Basement Window Wells

Debris, leaves and snow can pile up along the window well, and if left unattended it can prevent the water from draining away.  Soil can also enter the window well and result in structural issues.  To prevent any problems, it is recommended that you clean the window well regularly.  It is also possible to install egress well covers as a precaution.  The covers protect the well and are often strong enough to walk across.

Window Well Problems

Basically if the house you rent or own has as basement then you almost certainly have a window well. These are designed specifically to let some natural light into the basement. Sometimes that window well during the day will let in enough light to do whatever you need to do (like laundry) but even if it’s not enough – having some natural light just makes it better.

Do Window Wells Have Recurring Problems or Issues?

There are several problems that you need to keep an eye on when taking care of your basement’s window wells. One of the obvious ones is the issue of debris piling up in the drain pipe.

These can come from sticks, twigs, leaves, cut grass and weeds, or other similar outdoor biodegradable debris. They can all pile up to the window, stick on it, and be unappealing in appearance. Add in globs of mud and the residue from dried rain drops from the last storm and it’s easy to see how these can get messed up.

Cleaning that mess can be a bit of a pain as well. You often have to bend down and sometimes even crawl under a porch or deck depending on your home’s design and/or setup.

The Small Animal Issues

Sometimes animals manage to get themselves stuck in a window well. This will usually be smaller animals. Mice, chipmunks, sometimes even sparrows or small birds. They can also be a place where snakes or bugs crawl in, which is extremely unpleasant in about every way you can imagine.

If they’re not cleaned regularly, then you also have the issue of dead animal stink that you are going to have to deal with.

Common Sense Hazards

You want to watch window wells if you have children or grandchildren. An overly curious small child could fall into a window well and get scared, and may even experience some minor injuries. This is something to keep an eye out for with the really young ones.

Bruises, bumps, and a frightening experience would ruin the day for your little one. Keep this in mind or find a way to deal with this potential issue.

Potential Flooding Issues

Without question this is one of the most frequent issues that will come up if you have window wells. Flooding can happen for a variety of reason. Making sure you have proper waterproofing is crucial, as every major flood or over soaked ground can potentially create a little “pond” by the window well and if you’re not set up right that means flooding into the basement.

This is one of the most important issues because both the damage and the cost can be absolutely catastrophic not to mention the cost.

A Little Prevention Goes a Long Way

The good news is that there are plenty of options out there when it comes to window wells and what you can do to prevent the worst of the potential problems.