Are you asking yourself, “do I need basement window wells in my Michigan home?” Whether you’re looking to learn more about these important components of your home, add new window wells to your basement, or refinish existing window wells, WMGB is here to help ensure that your window wells look beautiful and function safely.
WMGB Home Improvement is the leading basement egress window well expert in the Grand Rapids, Holland, Grand Haven, Kalamazoo, and Wyoming, MI areas. Read on for Window Wells 101, and a few of our favorite tips and tricks for finishing your basement window wells.
Why Are Basement Window Wells Important?
Since 2006, finished basements in Michigan have been required to have at least one egress window to provide an entrance or exit in case of emergency, such as a house fire.
An accompanying window well is also essential, because most basements in Holland, MI are completely underground, offering no possibility for normal windows to be installed in basement walls, let alone provide a useful means of escape. Consequently, it is important to create space away from the ground on the outside of your basement walls with the help of a window well.
What Does a Basement Window Well Do?
A window well supports the earth in the dig-out and prevents dirt from collapsing onto your windows. Window wells also enable your windows to provide light and ventilation, an often appreciated bonus! Egress windows must be able to fit an outfitted firefighter wearing a full backpack, so your window well will have to accommodate the same.
A Summary of Key Considerations for Your Basement Window Wells
When you own a home with window wells (or a home that needs new window wells), there are a few very important things to know:
– You need window wells when the bottom of a basement window is at or near ground level.
– The outer edges of the window well need to surround the sides of the egress windows and be snug against the basement or foundation wall to ensure proper function and safety.
– Every window well needs to meet specific dimensions to be up to code.
How to Maintain Your Basement Window Wells
Window wells are often out of sight and (understandably) out of mind. Like so many parts of your home though, it’s crucial to keep window wells in good shape to ensure that in case of emergency, they can serve their purpose and keep your loved ones safe.
Here’s a checklist of things to look out for in your window wells. We recommend inspecting them every season to ensure your safety:
- Ensure proper long-term function from your windows and keep water from seeping into your home by clearing snow, leaves, and any other debris from piling up in your window wells. These obstructions can also make firefighters’ jobs more difficult and hazardous, so if you notice a problem, remedy it ASAP.
- Check that your yard isn’t eroding into your window well. If it is, call the WMGB pros to help fix the problem before it gets worse!
- Clean the walls of your window wells. The shade-covered walls of window wells can sometimes create happy homes for mold growth. Using a biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning solution like vinegar and water, wipe down the walls of your window wells to keep mold out of your home and the air you breathe.
- Consider egress well covers to protect you and your well. If you have children, pets, or are just a bit clumsy yourself, these can help prevent injury or well damage without slowing down emergency personnel. Many covers are strong enough for an adult to walk over.
WMGB Is Grand Rapids’ Home Improvement Expert
Whether you’re new to homeownership, or a seasoned professional, WMGB is here to help. Our team of experts can help you add egress windows, basement window well installation, insulation, and more to your Holland, MI house!
At WMGB, we believe that everyone deserves to enjoy a safe, comfortable, and efficient home. We also know that many homeowners don’t know where to start when it comes to home improvement. Our expert team is here to help by performing a home energy audit. This will help determine where you could gain efficiency and save money on heating and cooling costs.
With our decades of experience, WMGB Home Improvement has helped hundreds of Michigan families. We are proud recipients of awards including the Angi Super Service Award for the quality of our work.