Did you know that if you have a living area or a bedroom located in your basement that you are required by law to have some form of emergency exit from that room? While some houses are actually raised a bit so that they have small windows located in the basement near the ground, some basements are completely subterranean. For those types of basements, you will have to install something called a window well.
What are Window Wells?
Window wells are large holes dug into the ground near the foundation that allow a person to quickly and easily leave the basement. Basically, they’re a type of escape tunnel dug near the house that provides a way of getting out of the basement in the event of a fire or other disaster. However, installing a window well near your foundation can cause some issues. While there are several different things you can do to protect your home from the problems a window well can create, the cheapest and often the best solution is to install a window well cover.
Creating a window well does make it easy to get out of your basement, but it also makes it easy for things like water, snow, mulch, and other debris to get in. This can cause a lot of trouble. Rain and melting snow, for example, can cause mildew and mold to grow in the window well or even down in your basement. It can also lead to cracks in your foundation, while debris can clog up drains and cause other damage.
Protecting against all of this is the primary reason why you need to add window well covers to all of your window wells. These well covers should fit snugly down over the exit, keeping everything out while still allowing for an easy exit from the basement.
What to Consider when Installing a Window Well
Of course, you need a window well cover to mark where the well exit is, too. You can’t just create a hole in the ground and leave it unmarked or open. A good window well cover will be able to hold up to several hundred pounds and won’t collapse if someone steps on it. This is very important for safety, especially if you have children. The well cover will also make it very easy to see where the window well exit is located so you can be sure not to accidentally block it.
Finally, most window well covers have a deadlock or a heavy bolt so they can be locked from the inside. If you install a window well cover that does not lock, you will have created a way into your home that in unsecured.
Many burglars look for window wells because they’re often the weakest entry point into the home. Make certain your window well cover is securely fitted into the ground and locked from the inside. This will keep thieves out and will also make sure that the well cover doesn’t gap open. Any gap in the cover could allow insects and animals in, so you want to be certain it’s securely closed.