What are Egress Windows?
Egress windows are a type of window installed in basements that provide an escape route in case of emergency. These windows are specifically designed to meet the International Residential Code (IRC) standards and are typically larger than traditional basement windows to allow for easy access and egress.
Egress windows are not only important for safety reasons but also add value to your home. If you’re planning to finish your basement, egress windows are a must-have. They increase the natural light in your basement, provide a clear exit path, and improve ventilation. Furthermore, they also improve the overall aesthetics of your basement, making it feel like a livable space.
Why are Egress Windows Important?
Egress windows are important for several reasons. Firstly, they provide an escape route in case of an emergency. In the event of a fire or other emergency situation, egress windows provide a quick and easy exit for you and your loved ones. Without an egress window, you could be trapped in your basement, which is not only dangerous but also potentially life-threatening.
Secondly, egress windows increase the natural light in your basement. A dark and damp basement can be uninviting and unwelcoming, but with egress windows, you can bring in more natural light, making it a more livable space. This is especially important if you’re planning to use your basement as a living space, such as a bedroom or a family room.
Thirdly, egress windows improve ventilation in your basement. Poor ventilation can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can cause health problems for you and your family. Egress windows allow for proper air circulation, which helps to prevent mold growth and improve the overall air quality in your basement.
Finally, egress windows add value to your home. If you’re planning to sell your home in the future, having egress windows installed in your basement will increase its value. Potential buyers will appreciate the added safety and natural light that egress windows provide, making your home more desirable and easier to sell.
What are the IRC Standards for Egress Windows?
The IRC has specific standards for egress windows to ensure that they meet safety requirements. According to the IRC, egress windows must have:
- A minimum opening width of 20 inches
- A minimum opening height of 24 inches
- A minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet
- A maximum sill height of 44 inches above the finished floor
These standards ensure that egress windows provide a large enough opening for easy access and egress. The maximum sill height requirement is also important as it ensures that the window is not too high off the ground, making it difficult to exit in an emergency.
What are the Different Types of Egress Windows?
There are several types of egress windows available, including:
- Casement windows: These windows are hinged on the side and swing outward. They are a popular choice for egress windows as they provide a large opening for easy access and egress.
- Slider windows: These windows slide open from side to side and are another popular choice for egress windows.
- Hopper windows: These windows are hinged at the bottom and open inward. They are a good choice for basements with limited exterior space.
- Awning windows: These windows are hinged at the top and open outward. They are a good choice for areas that need ventilation but also need to be protected from the rain.
The type of egress window you choose will depend on your specific needs and the layout of your basement. A professional basement waterproofing company can help you choose the right type of egress window for your situation.
How are Egress Windows Installed?
Egress windows are typically installed by a professional basement waterproofing company. The installation process involves the following steps:
Cutting an opening in the foundation wall: The first step in installing an egress window is to cut a hole in the foundation wall. The size of the hole will depend on the size of the egress window you choose.
Removing the soil and debris: Once the hole is cut, the soil and debris inside the foundation wall will need to be removed to create a clear opening for the window.
Installing the window well: A window well is a metal or plastic structure that is installed around the egress window to provide support and prevent soil from collapsing into the opening. The window well is secured to the foundation wall and then backfilled with gravel to provide drainage.
Installing the egress window: Once the window well is installed, the egress window is installed into the opening. The window is secured to the foundation wall and sealed with caulk to prevent water from entering the basement.
Adding a cover: A cover is installed over the window well to prevent debris and water from entering. The cover can be made of metal or plastic and can be removed easily in case of an emergency.
How Can Vulcan Basement Waterproofing Help?
As experts in basement waterproofing and egress window installation since 1947, Vulcan Basement Waterproofing can help you with all your egress window needs. Our team of professionals can help you choose the right type and size of egress window for your basement and ensure that it meets all the IRC safety standards.
We also specialize in basement waterproofing, so if you’re concerned about water entering your basement through your egress window, we can install a drainage system to prevent any water damage.
Furthermore, we can also help you with any necessary permits required for egress window installation, so you can rest assured that your egress window is installed safely and legally.