The basement is an area of the home that means different things to different people. For some, it’s an extra living space or storage space. For others, it is just an area under the home that is often overlooked.
Although many homeowners don’t realize it, basement windows provide several very useful benefits. They are more than just a window to the outside world. When basement windows are installed properly, they can improve energy efficiency and make the basement and the entire home more comfortable.
The problem is that basement windows are also one of the more common areas where issues occur. A basement window that is not operating properly will do more than allow a draft in. It can actually impact the foundation, and the damage may not be noticed for quite some time.
That is why it is important to understand the basics of basement window replacement, as well as the issues involved and the benefits of replacing those windows.
Basement Window Issues: A Problem or a Symptom?
Regarding issues affecting the home, none tend to be as serious as foundation problems. Foundation problems will continue to get worse. Eventually, they may even affect your ability to live in the home safely.
Basement windows may not seem like a large part of the picture, but they can tell a tale if you listen. Basement window problems may be a problem in and of themselves and a symptom of larger problems.
When you see any issues with the basement windows, such as being the source of a leak or perhaps cracked, old windows, you need to consider the overall problems that may be taking place. This can include allowing water to enter the basement, leading to a host of issues, along with foundation failure.
At the same time, when you see problems with the basement windows, it may be due to a larger issue in the background. If the foundation is shifting and sinking, it will put pressure on the house’s frame and some of the weaker points, such as basement windows.
The issues you may be seeing with the basement windows, including water leaking, broken glass, or sticking windows when they open and close, may be a symptom of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.
What do you do if you have problems with your basement windows and wonder if they should be replaced? The best thing to do is to call The Real Seal and request an inspection. We will look at the issue behind the problem you are experiencing and offer solutions that will work for the long term, not just a temporary solution that will eventually be a problem again.
Benefits of Basement Window Replacement
What benefits do you look forward to with new basement windows? Are you thinking about aesthetics, security, and increased property value? You would be on point in each of those benefits, as window replacement can certainly add to the home.
More specifically, certain benefits should be considered when a window replacement is in the works. These are the benefits you may overlook, but they can convince you of the need to do the job.
Security: If there is one thing that all homeowners are concerned about these days, it is home security. We like to feel secure in our home, but the windows are not doing their job if they offer easy access to the inside.
New basement windows are more than just a convenient addition to the home. They can offer a variety of security measures that will help to keep you and your family safe.
Energy Efficiency: A tremendous amount of energy exchanges from the inside to the outside through old basement windows. In some cases, they may be leaking windows, or they just are not insulated. In either case, it is costing you money.
You might be wondering why it is necessary to consider energy efficiency for the basement when you are not heating or cooling it. It is because of the stack effect and how the basement may affect the entire house.
Approximately 50% of the air in your living space originates in the basement. Due to the stack effect, warm air rises and escapes through the roof, pulling the air from the basement into your living space. If the basement is cold and damp, you will pay more to heat and cool the air in your home.
Cold air in the basement can also make the floors in your home cold. If you enjoy walking around barefoot, you probably already understand the sensation.
Prevent Water Intrusion: Even though small basement window leaks may seem like a minor problem, they could become a big headache at some point in the future. If the problem continues, it could lead to damaged walls, mold growth, and higher humidity levels throughout the home.
Replacing a basement window with a high-quality, high-efficiency window is an excellent way to avoid those problems. When you stop the water from intruding, you stop many issues from occurring.
Common Basement Window Problems and How to Fix Them
Replacing the basement window is often the best way to fix many of the issues that could occur in this area of the home. However, there may be other options to consider, including the following:
Drafty Basements: Perhaps nothing is more uncomfortable than having a cold draft seeping in through the basement window and making your time in the basement miserable. It can also chill the basement, resulting in colder temperatures upstairs.
You can often seal many drafts in the old basement window using some quality caulking and weatherstripping. If the draft occurs because the window is damaged, upgrade it to a more energy-efficient model.
Condensation: Typically, basements that are not insulated properly will experience basement window condensation. This issue can sometimes be addressed by installing a dehumidifier.
Rotting Wood: Wooden framed basement windows are likely to rot at some point, especially if the basement is damp. Small areas of wood rot can be replaced and patched with epoxy, and the frame can be repainted. If the damage is extensive, the window should be replaced.
Broken Glass: It may be possible to replace a broken pane of glass in a basement window. At the same time, however, you are not upgrading the window when doing so, but you are fixing the immediate problem.
Should You Replace the Windows as a DIY Project?
Some homeowners may feel equipped to handle a larger project, such as replacing the basement windows. That may be true for those who have the experience, but most homeowners would do better to contact a contractor and have the work done.
The benefits you receive from replacement windows will far outweigh the cost of installing them. At the same time, installing them incorrectly using DIY repair methods you are not qualified for can end up costing you in the long run.
You may find other issues in the background, including foundation problems leading to window problems or caused by the old windows. In either case, the contractor can also offer a foundation inspection so you can take care of the more significant issue.
Your basement is an essential part of the home. Much of the air you breathe and live in daily originates in the basement, and unless you are using it properly, the basement is simply wasted space.
With new windows and a basement waterproofing job, you can begin using the basement to its full potential. Storing your items is only one option, as you could also use the area for living space if desired.
If you’re in Chicagoland, contact The Real Seal today for more information on how to get started. We can provide you with a free foundation inspection and an estimate on any work needed, including replacing those old basement windows.