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What Causes Basement Windows to Leak and How to Fix Them

basement window repair

Are your basement windows leaky?

Thanks to basement windows, your basement gets its much needed dose of natural daylight. When there is no power, even a tiny hopper window can give enough light to help you locate the litter box, photo albums, or circuit breaker. Having functional and clean windows is always safer and brighter.

Sadly, your basement windows can get dark, dirty, and rusty over time. Once this happens, your basement windows lose their purpose. The worse thing about weakening basement windows is that they can leak, allowing chilly air inside during cold months.

What causes basement windows to leak and how do you fix them?

Decayed and Rotten Windows

If you notice water seeping through the edges or corners of the basement window, obviously, the windows themselves are the problem here. Steel and wood basement windows tend to rot and decay over time and this can lead to water intrusion.

To solve this issue, consider replacing your outdated basement windows with something more resistant to water. There are now waterproof basement windows with seals that don’t decay right away when it gets into contact with the different elements. Once installed properly, these windows can also stop air leaks, improving the energy efficiency of your basement.

Uncovered or Old Window Well

Old-fashioned window wells used to be made to allow the highest amount of daylight to enter basements. If left uncovered, these wells will quickly fill up with leaves, debris, and dirt. Melting water, rainfall, and water from the ground can accumulate in these wells, finding their way into your basement.

Fix this issue by covering your window wells with weatherproof covers. Look for window wells that won’t decay once they get in contact with the elements and wet dirt. You can also use a clear cover that can keep the water and debris out while still allowing light to stream into your basement. There are covers with bright reflective surface designed for bouncing sunlight to the basement. This cover can also serve as a buffer against cold winds during winter, thus making the basement much more energy efficient as a result.

Improper Drainage

Don’t forget that your basement is not a submarine. You cannot completely seal off all the water, particularly when your foundation is surrounded by improper drainage and poorly graded yard. Good thing there are several steps you can take that can help relieve hydrostatic pressure that can naturally occur from water in surrounding soils.

  • Always keep the gutters clean and in proper working condition. If you don’t have them yet, it is time to install them right away.
  • See to it that the terrain has been properly graded and will slope away from your home’s foundation.
  • Make sure that water is indeed coming in through the windows and not another spot in the foundation that would require basement crack repairs.
  • Prevent the downspouts from pouring the water near the foundation walls. Try to extend them as far as you can away from your house.
  • Check that the foundation drainage is still in great condition. An internal perimeter drainage is recommended and combine this with a quality sump pump.

For expert installation of new basement windows contact foundation repairs service in Canton, Ohio.

How to repair a broken window on your own

Ever get so frustrated that you punched a window and broke it in few hundred pieces? Perhaps after the Pats lost the Super Bowl to Giants?

Or those pesky neighbor kids, who are always playing ball and horsing around in the backyard? Have they smashed one of your windows with their antics?

If so, you know that window repair and replacement can be expensive. The good news is you can do it one your own.

In most cases, you’ll have to take the window out of its frame and use a work bench or other area to make the repair.

Here’s what you’ll need:

A piece of glass to replace the broken one (make sure you get the right size)

  • Glazier’s Points
  • Window glazing
  • Propane torch
  • Glazing tool
  • Joint knife
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses

Ready to get started? Watch the video below to become an expert at window repair.

Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable or safe make the repair on your own, call upon an expert near you.

What to look for when buying egress windows

foundation windowEgress windows are emergency windows or openings large enough to allow people to easily exit the space, and for rescue crews to gain access in case of fire or other emergency. Adding an egress window is essential any time you remodel your basement to make a new bedroom, office or other living space.

The crucial factor while buying egress windows is the size or dimensions. An egress window must satisfy all four International Residential Code (IRC) criteria:

  1. Minimum width of opening: 20 in.
  2. Minimum height of opening: 24 in.
  3. Minimum net clear opening: 5.7 sq. ft. (5.0 sq. ft. for ground floor). Net clear opening refers to space that exists when the window is open.

Contact a Syracuse, NY foundation repair contractor for professional assistance when installing egress windows.

There are more important points to remember while setting an egress window.

  • Provide 9 sq. ft. of “floor area,” with a minimum dimension of 36 in. in width and in length.
  • Basement egress windows have special requirements. Since you’re below ground, you have to make sure that the window can still fully open without obstruction.
  • The window should be operational from inside without using any keys.

There are various types of windows which can be used according to your needs. Some of them are:

  • Casement Windows:These are the ideal basement egress windows. These windows take very little space. These are side- hinged windows and can be easily operated in case of any emergency. The hinged sashes swing free and clear of the opening. The disadvantage of using casement windows is that it allows less light into the basement. This can be fixed using double casement windows.
  • Glider Windows: These windows have to be big as even when they are open, the glass on the windows takes substantial amount of space. The size should be at least 4 ft. wide and 4 ft. high. Hence, these windows are suitable if you have enough free space.
  • Awning windows: These are top- hinged windows and the opening sash impedes entrance and exit. These windows are not very encouraged as their opening hardware and hinges are centered in the middle and can block an easy escape.
  • Double hung windows: These windows have two overlapping sashes. They overlap in the middle of the window with the bottom sash sliding upward in order to open the window. The bottom pane must be at least 24 inches and 34 inches side to side. They site vertically on the wall, which might not look as good as a horizontal slider.

On average, homeowners report the cost to install egress windows to be $2,218, with $400 being the lowest and $4,900 being the highest reported cost.

Keeping all these marks in mind, you should choose the best option according to your need and the overall space available.