Benefits of egress windows
Egress windows help ensure the safety of you, your family, and your pets in a fire by providing a means of escape. They are required by law if you add a bedroom or habitable space to your basement. When you install egress windows made from high-quality materials, they will last for many years to come.
Other benefits include the following:
- Increased home value;
- Improved natural lighting;
- Improved ventilation;
- Usable bedroom and sleeping space;
- Added safety;
- More attractive and inviting living space; and/or
- Enhanced visual appearance of your home.
Advantages of egress windows
Egress window’s are windows designed to be big enough for an adult to climb through, in case of an emergency, which also doubles as an access point for emergency personnel. The openable area must be 5.7 square feet – enough for an adult to climb through. Egress windows, typically found in basements, are categorized as windows installed in “every sleeping room” (defined by International Residential Code “IRC”). There are many other useful reasons to have egress windows other than serving as a safety requirement.
- Safety – Egress windows can be used as an escape route and are helpful escaping a house fire. If you are using your basement as a recreational room or bedroom these windows are essential as basement usually don’t have any other points of egress.
- Daylighting – For basements, egress windows allow a generous amount of daylight into any space. Maximizing daylight positively affects health benefits such as healthy amounts of sleep and a regulatory body clock. In addition less energy is used to produce lighting.
- Ventilation – A single egress window producing adequate ventilation is essential as basements have little space for windows. In addition to giving out fresh air mold and mildew growth can also be averted by egress windows.
Egress windows must meet specific requirements, including height and width. At Ideal Basement Waterproofing, our experienced team is familiar with the requirements of installing code-compliant egress windows, including the following:
- Windows must be able to open without obstruction;
- You must be able to open the windows without tools or keys; and/or
- The opening must be wide enough to crawl through.
Stif Back II ® Window Wells from Ideal Basement Waterproofing
Ideal Basement Waterproofing installs Monarch’s Stif Back II ® Window Wells for basement egress windows in the Eastern New Jersey region. The Monarch Materials Group has been producing basement egress solutions since 1960, making them one of the most reputable manufacturers in the industry. Their complete egress systems feature basement windows, window wells, covers, and ladders that help solve a variety of drainage and water issues.
Features and Benefits:
- Durable one piece construction available in galvanized, white, sandalwood, or our NEW Stone View® pre-coated steel.
- Flat, pre-punched flanges allow easy attachment to walls and frames.
- Manufactured with 19 gauge steel and its unique corrugation pattern makes it the strongest steel well in the industry with the testing to prove it.
- Designed to withstand the pressure from heavy clay/soil and an aggressive back filling.
Add a Monarch Premier Vinyl Slider Window to your Basement
Adding a Monarch Premier Vinyl Slider Window as an egress window has quickly become a smart solution for homeowners looking to protect their basement and add value to their property. The professional, experienced team at Ideal Basement Waterproofing has 25 years of experience installing cMonarch Premier Vinyl Slider windows in homes throughout Eastern New Jersey.
Features and Benefits:
- Sloped sill for efficient water removal.
- Frames extend the full wall width for unmatched thermal efficiencies.
- Unique tie slot mounting system built into the frame.
- Great looks and energy efficiency meet ease of installation.
- Both sash are removable and fully weather stripped.
Install a Monarch Thermal Hinge Cover on your Egress Windows!
A Monarch Thermal Hinge Cover is an excellent way to keep your basement warm and dry during the challenging winter months in the Northeast.
Features and Benefits:
- Made from aluminum for easy opening, the frame can withstand loads up to 44 pounds per square foot so it prevents people and pets from falling into window wells.
- The fluted polycarbonate panel increases the thermal performance of any basement window.
- Hinged cover design allows for ventilation and easy escape in emergency situations.
- Sloped for rain, ice, and snow run off.
- Standard sizes fit Monarch Window Wells and custom sizes are available to fit any well.
- Available in White, Bronze, or Mill finish.
Top 3 Reasons Egress Windows Fail:
It’s vital to consider the top 3 reasons why egress windows can fail when considering and finding an installer. Egress windows can be life saving and should not be something you should be cutting corners around when going through the installation process.
While finishing a basement can be a smart move to increase the house’s value, one must not cut corners to do so unless they want to face some expensive issues in the long run. Here are the top 3 reasons why egress windows fail:
- Poor Installation
This is the number one reason why egress windows fail. When considering egress windows, finding a contractor with expertise in both foundations and waterproofing is a must. If the window or seal is placed improperly major water issues can occur. Ensure that there is a window well drain in your installer’s plan as a lack of one can easily end up in a flooded basement. Installing egress windows means cutting through the home’s foundation. It is vital to have someone with experience making these cuts or it could lead to serious problems with your foundation.
- Code Violations
Many people think egress windows are a do-it-yourself project or try to cut costs paying a bargain contractor. Keep in mind a missed measurement could end up costing thousands of dollars in home value. The IRC states for a bedroom to be considered legal, it must have one window to be of sufficient size (usually 5.7 square foot opening) to allow occupants to get in or out as well as a fully dressed firefighter to get in if needed.
When installing an egress window make sure you are using materials that can withstand extreme temperatures and moisture changes. Some common egress windows and window wells have been made from railroad ties, corrugated steel or aluminum, pre-molded plastic or vinyl composites. Even metal window wells can have issues with rust. Making sure the window cover is right is important as well. While it’s not necessarily designed to prevent water from filling the well it’s important that it stops debris and animals from entering and clogging the well and drain.
Egress Window Regulations Summary
Below is a summary of emergency escape and rescue openings. Every sleeping room shall have at least 1 emergency escape and rescue opening. Is your home up to code? Contact our team today for a full review of your egress windows.
- Windows: sill height of window above floor will not to exceed 44”
- Minimum opening area: ≥ 5.7 square feet
- Minimum opening height: ≥ 24 inches
- Minimum opening width: ≥ 20 inches
- Window Well horizontal dimensions: ≥ 9 square feet
- Window Well horizontal projection: ≥ 36 inches
- Ladders: Required on window wells deeper than 44 inches. Must be permanently affixed to the well. Inside width of ladder or rungs ≥ 12 inches & must project at least 3 inches from the wall, but no more than 6 inches. The ladder or rungs cannot be spaced more than 18 inches vertically apart.
- Grates: Shall be removable from the inside of the well without any special tools.
Please note that the description above is a brief summary of the Egress Qualifications and is not all inclusive or intended to be used a substitute for the official International Residential Code™ (IRC 2015).
Egress window installation or replacement services
At Ideal Basement Waterproofing, we can install new egress windows or replace existing ones. One of the most economical ways to improve your basement or lower level of your home is with professionally installed, code-compliant windows. You can add beauty, value, and function to your home by installing egress windows.