Common DIY Problems with Egress Windows
There are many home projects that you can attempt on your own with great ease. These include painting, landscaping and even some plumbing projects. However, there are others that you simply should leave to the professionals and with good reason. These include the installation of basement egress windows.
Pitfalls of the DIY egress window installation
There are many ways that installing egress windows on your own can result in serious problems for your foundation. The most common failures include:
- Moisture penetration
The installation of basement egress windows involves cutting a large hole into the foundation to create an opening for the window. This creates opportunity for water to seep into the basement. If the window is not sealed properly, the risk of seepage is even greater.
Professionals will consider issues such as grading and proper drainage in addition to the sealing of the window to ensure that the risk of seepage is kept to a minimum. They will ensure that groundwater is diverted and drained away from the foundation to keep the foundation safe. These are areas that the inexperienced DIY-er would not consider.
- Weakening of the foundation
The foundation is not designed to be cut open. Cutting an opening into the foundation creates an area of weakness in the foundation. If this is not addressed, you may begin to see cracks and other signs of foundation failure.
A professional will take the integrity of the foundation into account when cutting the opening for the window into the foundation. They will ensure that the opening is cut in an area that will have minimal effect on the foundation. They will also ensure that the opening is large enough to meet the requirements of code while not having an impact on the structural integrity of the foundation.
The contractor will also know what to do to restore structural integrity and provide extra support for the foundation. You can be sure your foundation will last longer when a professional does the installation.
- Not complying with building codes
There are strict building codes that guide the installation of basement egress windows. These codes guide the height of the window from the ground, the size of the window, how escape ladders ought to be placed, the space that the window leaves when open and where it should be installed. Missing the code requirements by as little as an inch can result in the basement space being declared illegal or non-compliant.