Monday, March 15th
If you're considering finishing your basement, read this guide to determine if it might be time to upgrade your basement windows.
Wood or steel basement windows rot, rust, and deteriorate, which can let water, damp air, cold air, and pests into the home.
Originally, basements were designed for utilities and storage. Today, many homeowners are using their basements for extra living space. With more time being spent indoors because of the Coronavirus, many homeowners are turning their basements into a temporary (or permanent) office, playroom, family room, home gym, or even a classroom. If you're living in a home that's over 20 years old, you might have noticed that your basement windows leak or are drafty. Although these are the most common basement window problems, there are several other issues that can affect home comfort and energy efficiency.
Below we'll discuss some ways that your basement windows could be affecting your home, which can help you decide whether you need to replace your basement windows.
Wood and steel basement windows are typical in older homes, but unfortunately they tend to decay, rust, or rot over time, leading to water intrusion and air leaks. A poorly-graded yard, improper drainage, and hydrostatic pressure all increase the chances of water seeping into the basement. The good news is there are steps you can take, such as installing replacement basement windows and adding window well covers, that can help prevent a wet basement. If water seems to be leaking in through the basement windows, figure out how to best solve your leaky basement window problem.
Leaky basement windows and other sources of moisture, such as appliances and leaky foundations, can cause mold in the basement. Mold needs oxygen, moisture, and organic material to grow, and it's especially keen on damp, humid environments. The basement is typically one of the dampest areas of the home, so it's no surprise that basement mold is a common problem. Finished basements are particularly susceptible to mold problems caused by the combination of excess moisture and mold-supporting materials, including carpet and paper-backed sheetrock (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Whether you have a finished or unfinished basement, mold spores in the air can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms. The key to preventing basement mold is to eliminate sources of moisture, such as replacing outdated basement windows. If you're thinking about finishing or remodeling the basement, it's best to consider mold-resistant basement finishing products.
There are three sources of moisture in a basement: rain and groundwater, interior moisture sources (appliances, clothes dryers, bathrooms, cooking, etc.), and humid outside air from open or leaky basement windows. Moisture is a particularly troublesome problem in finished basements where it not only makes the space uncomfortable, but it can result in mold growth in carpets and behind drywall. Since most basements are connected to the rest of the house through ductwork or other openings, basement moisture can affect upstairs living areas. The first step in solving basement moisture problems is to eliminate the sources of moisture. Check out this infographic explaining the causes of basement humidity and steps to fix basement moisture problems.
EverLast windows help keep out water and outside air and they don't require painting or maintenance.
Cold air can enter the basement through air leaks in the basement walls, ceiling, floor, through basement windows, or around gas, wiring, electrical lines, vents, and ducts. Damp, humid, or cold air in the basement can be sucked into upstairs rooms, causing the heating or air conditioning system to work harder than they should. Sealing air leaks and upgrading single-pane windows in the basement can help prevent cold floors, reduce drafts, and save on energy.
Basements are home to a variety of bugs that thrive in damp, dark areas. Depending on where you live, pests invading your basement could include termites, cockroaches, centipedes, and spiders. Moist soil and excess moisture inside the basement increase the chances of pest problems. Prevent moisture build up by ensuring proper drainage, eliminating interior moisture sources (leaky pipes, appliances, etc.), and keeping outside humid air out by fixing or replacing leaky basement windows.
In most municipalities today, a finished basement must include an egress window or door. These are exits to the outside meant to be used in case of fire or other emergencies. Most building codes not only require an egress, but they also have enforced specifications as to their size and placement. Most places in the United States adopt the standards of the International Code Council (ICC). The first step before finishing your basement or adding an egress is to check local building codes. Basement Systems partners with RockWell Window Wells, offering egress window wells that allow easy escape access during emergencies and enhance the look of the home.
Moisture intrusion is a constant threat in any basement. Therefore, it's important that the basement windows you choose are designed to withstand regular exposure to water and moisture. When choosing replacement windows for your basement, look for products that are made from materials that won't rot or degrade. EverLast Windows from Basement Systems are built with reinforced vinyl frames that won't rust or rot and double-pane glass to help prevent heat loss. Schedule your free consultation and estimate and start your basement window replacement project today.
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