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Egress Windows

Egress windows are useful when converting your basement into a den or bedroom. Find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of these windows.

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Egress door

Waterproofing your basement is a great way to ensure this ample space in your home can be used for storage or even as an additional bedroom. It can also add more value to your home since you ensure that the basement and your home’s foundation will be protected even if you endure heavy rain or flooding. 

Residents of the southeast who live along the coast can benefit from the basement waterproofing techniques offered by us here at Mount Valley Foundation Services. We offer a variety of solutions to help you keep your basement in excellent condition. 

If you have recently noticed problems such as a musty smell throughout your home or your HVAC system running longer than necessary, it is time to get in touch with us. We can help you pinpoint exactly what the problem is and inform you of your options for resolving that issue. 

Mount Valley Foundation Services is the ideal place to turn to when you need expert help and advice for waterproofing your basement. Whether you have already noticed signs of water damage or you want to prevent a problem before it starts, we have just the right solution to protect your basement, your home, and your overall investment. 

One of the services we provide to customers wanting to waterproof their basement is installing Egress Windows. 

What are Egress Windows? 

Egress Window

An Egress window is a type of window that can effectively seal out moisture. It is designed to naturally increase the amount of natural light that comes into the room. Since basements are known for being dark places, installing one or more egress windows will allow natural sunlight to come inside. That will help improve your home’s energy efficiency as the light and heat from the sun coming through the windows will naturally warm the room during the winter.  Plus, the fact that these windows seal out moisture helps to guarantee your basement will not endure the destruction of water damage and mold growth. 

How is an Egress Window Different From a Regular Window? 

To be considered an egress window, the window must meet specific size requirements. Codes will vary from one state to the next and even from one city to another. However, the typical egress window must meet all these requirements enforced by the International Residential Code or IRC. Those are: 

  • 20-inch opening width minimum 
  • 24-inch opening height minimum 
  • 5.7 square foot net clearing for opening, minimum 
  • 44-inch sill height, maximum 

The minimum net opening size is significant for egress windows. That’s because it is the actual space existing when the window is completely open. When there is an emergency such as a fire, this is the space where a person can crawl out. To do this, you will need to have a 20-inch window that is at least 42 inches high. 

Egress windows can also improve your home’s value because they bring your basement’s living space up to code. That allows you to legally classify your basement as a bedroom, den, or game room when you list it to resell. And these windows are large enough to be recognized as an emergency entry or exit. If you are interested in converting your basement into a bedroom or den, you should install egress windows. 

What are the Benefits of Installing Egress Windows? 

Egress door basement

There are several benefits homeowners can enjoy when they choose to install egress windows in their basement. 

Added Safety 

Because they are large enough to be used as a fire escape, these windows provide additional escape routes and increase your chances of escaping a house fire safely. If you plan to use your basement as a habitable area in your homes, such as a game room or bedroom, you will need to add a way to escape that doesn’t require going back upstairs through the house. 

Natural Light for Energy Efficiency 

These windows are large enough to bring a large amount of daylight into the room. Daylighting also has many health benefits. For example, it can help promote a healthy sleep schedule and regulate our body’s clocks. 

Adds More Style to Your Home 

Even though it cannot be seen from the curb, there are still many egress window styles for you to choose from that will enhance your home’s overall design. In addition, a variety of materials can be used to install these windows, allowing you to be more creative interiorly and exteriorly.  

Efficient Design That Meets Code Requirements 

The efficient design of egress windows helps seal out moisture and soil thanks to the strong reinforced plastic that will not deteriorate or corrode. And these windows meet all code requirements to be used in a basement bedroom. 

Prevents Leaking Inside of Basements 

Egress windows can be a valuable addition to your basement because they provide a safe exit and additional daylight. The only issue is they tend to leak, and that can become a problem very quickly. In addition, because they are prone to leak, they will allow moisture inside that can do severe damage to your foundation, carpet, and upholstery. 

Fortunately, you can seal your egress windows, which will prevent any excess water from coming inside. Our team can also repair the seals of your current windows or install new replacement windows if your current ones are outdated. In addition, our windows can be waterproofed for added protection from moisture, and they have innovative insulation features.   

Egress Windows


There are many ways for moisture to get inside your basement, and it can be difficult for you to stay on top of everything and monitor the slightest change. However, if you notice any of the following signs of water damage, you should consult with an expert as soon as possible. 

  • Unpleasant or Musty Smells  

If you start to notice a stale or unpleasant odor when you step into your basement, it could  be a sign that you have water damage due to moisture seeping inside. Because most basements are built underground, all the cold and moist soil that surrounds the foundation walls seeps indoors through cracks or around the loose edges of windows.  

There are several things you can do to remove the musty smell from your basement, such as controlling the humidity using a dehumidifier. But your best option would be to contact your basement waterproofing experts at Mount Valley Foundation Services to discuss your repair options.  

  • Doors that Will Not Shut Properly  

If you notice your doors or windows in your basement do not shut properly, especially after a heavy rain, you could have some foundation issues causing moisture to get inside your basement. High humidity mixed with moisture in the air will cause the wood in your basement to swell. This can cause your doors and windows to stick. Whenever the humidity decreases, the wood starts to shrink and the issue goes away temporarily.  

The solution for this would be to have your foundation inspected by professionals. You could have some issues with shifting soil due to fluctuations in the Charleston,SC temperatures. Other causes for foundation issues could be due to plumbing leaks or drainage issues.   

Mold will thrive in any environment that has a source of moisture. So if you have mold growing in the basement of your Columbia,SC home, moisture is finding a way to get inside.  

  • Window Wells and Leaks 

Basement windows are the primary source of water seepage into your home. Water wells are known for gathering water, no matter if the rainfall was heavy or light. So if the seals around your window wells are broken or damaged, you will experience water seepage. And if there is a heavy storm, you could end up with the water entering your home at a rapid pace that you cannot control. 

Basement leaks are caused by hydrostatic pressure generated by all the water gathering outside your home. This pressure has a negative impact on your home’s structure and its foundation. If you don’t take steps to stabilize your structure supports, they will expand and constrict. Over time this movement will cause them to crack, and you will begin to have leaks in your basement. 

  • High Humidity and Foundation Cracks  

Mold will grow where there is 60% humidity in an area. If there is that much humidity in your basement, you are likely unaware of a source of moisture. As long as the moisture is present, the mold and mildew will grow and cause damage to your foundation structure.  

The pressure from the soil that is around and underneath your home can cause issues with your floor and basement walls. The hydrostatic pressure affects the structural strength of your home’s foundation. Therefore, if you start to notice foundation cracks, you will need to have them treated first before waterproofing your basement.

Contact Mount Valley Foundation Services for More Information 

At Mount Valley Foundation Services, our basement waterproofing experts can help protect your basement or foundation using various solutions. All of our technicians have extensive knowledge about waterproofing basements and how to protect your home’s foundation from water damage. 

Your foundation is one of your home’s most essential aspects. It keeps your entire structure safe and stable. Therefore if it becomes damaged somehow, that doesn’t just mean trouble for your basement or crawl space. That means your entire home is in danger. Because the task is so important, you need a team of foundation repair experts to trust to get the job done right the first time. 

Here at Mount Valley Foundation Services, we are known as one of the most trusted foundation service providers in the area. We received the 2018 Elite Service Award from HomeAdvisor and were also a nominee for the Better Business Bureau of South Carolina’s 2017 Torch Award. Our team is dedicated to the communities we serve. We donate to the South Carolina State Park, make yearly donations to the South Carolina Building Officials Association College Scholarship Fund, and donate to the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scouts. 

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Charleston, SC 29407


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