Advantages and Disadvantages of Window Wells
Window wells are semi-circular excavations constructed around basement windows. They are usually built from a solid barrier made from masonry, pressure-treated wood, plastic, or corrugated galvanized metal.
Why Are Window Wells Constructed?
Window wells are primarily constructed for the following reasons:
- Natural light: Window wells allow sunlight into basement rooms that would otherwise need artificial lighting
- Prevent moisture damage: Window wells prevent water damage through windows that are positioned at or below grade. They prevent soil from accumulating in openings in the foundation walls, while they allow proper drainage and grading away from the house
- Emergency egress: If the windows serve living areas, emergency escape areas are required in at least two locations. These wells enable windows to be used for escape by the occupants, and as an entry point by emergency crews to enter the house
These wells must be constructed by professionals because, if done incorrectly, they may present greater problems in the future. They have their pros and cons, and here is what you need to know regarding these aspects of window wells.
Advantages of Window Wells
Window wells may seem like a boring subject. However, they have many advantages and they are a crucial structural component of your home. If you have a basement in your home then you need a window well. Here are the advantages of window wells.
It is the Law
Nearly all county and city building codes and insurance policies stipulate that window wells be constructed in residential basements. These laws require you to have window wells in every livable room in your basement. Even if the basement is unfinished, it is still an excellent idea to have them.
Ultimately, you need window wells in your basement to keep you and your loved ones safe. The wells serve as an exit, escape or entry route during emergencies such as fire or burglary.
Basement windows and wells are an excellent way to allow natural light into the home. Natural light transforms your basement from a dark and dreary space to a bright and welcoming area.
Window well materials are available in a variety of gorgeous metal and stone finishes, and they can add an external allure to your home.
Window well covers keep debris and water out of your window wells and far from your windows to prevent water leaks. This protects your home’s foundation and walls and preserves their structural integrity.
Window well covers are available in a broad range of clear and UV resistant varieties that won’t interfere with the entrance of natural light.
Typically, basements are characterized as musty and damp areas. But, window wells allow fresh air to enter the basement to keep the area dry and fresh. This can increase the value of your home and save you a lot of money on utility bills.
Window Well Covers Provide Safety
Although you need window well covers to keep your basement protected, you also need them to keep your loved ones —especially children— and pets safe. Deep window wells can be hazardous to young children and pets.
The well covers prevent accidental falls into the wells, and most of them can support several hundred pounds of weight.
Disadvantages of Window Wells
Although they play a crucial role in the home, window wells also have disadvantages, and here are just a few.
They can become a danger in the home if you have young children or grandchildren. An unattended toddler can fall into the window well during your Easter Egg hunt. Bumps, bruises, and a frightening experience would ruin the day for your young one.
Hard to Clean
Cleaning gutters will seem like a party compared to cleaning the wells, and nothing could be more frustrating. Your arms will hurt in a few minutes of reaching down to remove the debris.
And if you are well advanced in years, the strain on your back can cause you misery. When branches and soggy, rust-colored leaves pile up and stick to your window, it is difficult to clean them out.
The most frequent and challenging window well problem is flooding. By nature, windows don’t stop water. They can stop raindrops, but not three inches of the pond that has just formed in your window well. Water gushing down into your basement can ruin your carpet, furniture, and other precious items. The floods can even snuff out your furnace.
The cost of water damage can be huge, and it is vital to prevent such a disaster before it sets in. Window well flooding can be caused by poor installation. Whether it is from lack of sufficient drainage, gravel layer contamination, or incorrect window well sizing, your window well may not be flood-proof.
Installing wells in your basement give your basement greater appeal and make it safer for you and your loved ones in the home. So remember, when constructing a window well, get it done by a professional to avoid all the hazards and mishaps such as flooding in your basement.