Do Egress Windows Leak?

Egress windows are required in order to comply with building codes and allow for escape routes during emergencies. They're also very important if you live in an area threatened by natural disasters, as they provide access for fire crews when exterior doors cannot be opened due to debris or other obstructions on the ground level. One of the most common problems that homeowners experience is water leaks in their basements. This can be caused by a number of factors, including poor-quality windows and doorways, and improperly installed egress windows. Keep reading for tips on how to prevent your egress windows from leaking.

How To Prevent Egress Window Leaks 

A photo of an egress window installed in a basement foundation.

Ensure You Have The Correct Egress Window Size

The first step to prevent leaks is to make sure that you have the correct egress window size. Egress window sizing is important to ensure that your home is properly ventilated and safe in case of an emergency. If you have an existing egress window that doesn't meet the building code or does not look like the correct size for your window opening, then you should repair or replace it. Our Egress Window Calculator will provide you with the specifications needed to determine if your window opening will meet egress requirements and what size window you will need.

Proper Egress Window Installation

Egress windows are designed to be watertight, but the truth is that they can leak if they're not installed properly. Here’s an overview of the steps to properly install an egress window:

  1. Determine the size required as mentioned above.
  2. Hire a professional to cut a hole in the foundation if a size adjustment is required. 
  3. Frame the window opening.
  4. Test fit the egress window into the opening and set the window.
  5. Insert shims between the side jambs and the side of the frame.
  6. Ensure the window is square, using shims to adjust until it is.
  7. Fasten the window to the frame.
  8. Apply a small amount of low-expanding foam in the gap along the top and sides of the window.
  9. Add insulation to the rest of the gaps on the sides and top of the window.
  10. Ensure the window has been completely caulked and sealed around the window's frame. 

If you notice that your sealant is cracked or damaged, or there is debris or dirt in the window tracks, you will need to take action to fix these issues.

A photo of an egress window with window well installed in a basement foundation, with lumber being sent through the window into the house.

Proper Window Well Installation

Window wells are installed around the foundation of a home with a below-ground egress window in order to meet building code requirements. Window wells will allow rainwater and snowmelt to drain away from your basement and into the ground without entering your home. Sometimes the window wells or window well covers are not installed properly. If you’re unsure of how a window well should be installed, check out our blog. If there are cracks in your foundation walls where the window sits, water can seep through those cracks and make its way inside. Make sure to check your window wells regularly for any signs of decay to prevent any basement water damage.

If the time has come for you to replace your old basement windows, click here to shop online for egress windows. If you have any questions about windows for your home, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

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