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What is an Egress Window and How It Could Save Your Life

egress window M Taylor ConstructionImagine sitting in your basement, watching TV or playing with your children on the floor and, suddenly, it catches on fire. Do you have an emergency exit so you and your children can escape quickly? If not, your family’s safety is in peril.

However, there is a solution for that: an Egress Window.

An “Egress Window” is defined by www.HomeAdvisor.com as:

“a path out” or “to emerge,” and these terms directly apply to the design principles behind egress windows. In case of an emergency, windows installed in any sleeping room must pass strict codes so that occupants can exit and rescue specialists can enter the bedroom.

But, these windows cannot just be any size. The requirements for an Egress Window are the following:

  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./ground floor)
  4. Maximum sill height above floor: 44 in.

If you need to install them, please do it. Your family’s safety is at stake, so don’t delay. It can be done without busting your budget, too. In fact, an Egress window can be substantially less, as mush as 1/4 the cost of a standard window.

Along with safety, these windows can also allow for more light in your basement. Many basements that we work in are dark and kind of creepy. Egress windows allow sunlight to break through and that changes the entire atmosphere of the basement making it more useful for activities and more inviting for family and guests. 

There are three types of Egress Window installations you can do:

  1. Glider or Double-Hung Windows: These are larger windows than a typical Egress. They will pass code but they have a lot of glass when opened. These are not always recommended but can be installed as they will certainly allow for escape.
  2. Casement Windows: These are the most common and most recommended Egress windows to install. It is typically attached to the frame by several hinges. They are opened by using a crank, a lever or a cam handle. They open from the inside so one can exit through it quickly and without harm.
  3. Awning Windows: These windows swing out from the bottom thus making escape awkward and even impossible to achieve because the hinges are centered in the middle. They are not recommended by most contractors.

All of these windows should open easily and not have any obstructions. Give yourself plenty of room to escape. Clear all of the space around it of clutter and keep a ladder or stepladder next to it.

So, if you love your basement and spend a lot of time there, make sure you, your family and visitors have a way to escape should a disaster occur in it. Have your local contractor come over for a consultation and determine your safety needs.

M Taylor Enterprise has installed many Egress windows in the Montgomery County, Maryland area. We can install them efficiently and quickly.  

Contact us at (301) 649-3406 or  at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com for a free consultation.

 

    

Ten Items That Cause Basement Flooding

basement flooding 3 M Taylor EnterpriseA house  with a basement can be a blessing and a curse.

They are great for massive storage, laundry rooms, man caves, rec rooms, kids’ bedrooms and even to house the in-laws. The extra room they provide is invaluable.

However, basements can also be a huge financial and physical drain. When it rains as often and as heavy as it does in the DMV-Washington, D.C. Beltway area, basements can flood causing property damage and even bodily injury while incurring large insurance claims and deductible payments.

In other words, basement flooding is a real issue for your largest property investment: Your home. Basement flooding, however, is not something to be automatically accepted. It can be prevented. You just have to know how to examine your foundation before it occurs and then make some structural repairs and changes.

 To prevent basement flooding and property damage, look for these signs of trouble:

  1. poor grading around the house foundation and window wells
  2. clogged and/or broken downspouts
  3. cracks in the foundation walls
  4. a high water table during rains
  5. missing or blocked foundation drains
  6. hydro static pressure which is forcing water into the basement
  7. missing or damaged parging outside
  8. overgrown shrubs and landscaping preventing water to runoff
  9. basement steps/walls/area drains creating rain water entry points.
  10. settlement of back fill causing voids under slabs

If you see any or all of the above issues concerning your basement, your house will be flooded in the near future. It is a guarantee. This insidious type of structure deterioration can lead to flooding and serious damage to a home.

As you can see, basement flooding is a serious issue in more ways than just your home. Your family health is also at risk.

The good news is: M Taylor Enterprise, Silver Spring, Maryland, can re-grade around the outside of homes, install interior drainage systems and do full foundation excavations. We alleviate the chances of having basement flooding thus preserving your home and, possibly, your health. Call us at (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorent.wpengine.com.