What is an Egress Window Well and Why Are They Important?

Mar-flex_Window-wells_Rhino_insetWe have received several questions on our Facebook page asking about the benefits of egress window wells. What is an egress window well? Why would you want to install an egress window well, and how to know which one is right for you? Mar-flex is a premier national manufacturer and distributor of all types of window wells. As an industry leader, it is our duty and privilege to help the public by addressing these questions.
Egress window wells perform the same basic functions as a standard window well. They keep backfill, rocks and dirt away from below-grade windows. They also help water drain away to prevent leaks and hydrostatic pressure around the window frame. What makes egress wells unique, however, is that they allow individuals inside the basement to exit through the well. Some wells have ladders, others have stairs. From an installation standpoint, the major difference is the fact that egress wells are usually larger than standard metal window wells. This larger design allows individuals to fit through them.
There are a number of good reasons homeowners choose to install an egress window well. The most obvious is that it can let you get more enjoyment out of your basement. Egress window wells allow more natural light into basements; they can literally brighten your day. Extra illumination is nice, but that isn’t the most important reason for exploring an egress window well for your home or business. A quick escape from the basement saves lives. Below-grade spaces that lack direct routes to the outdoors can be extremely dangerous in the event of a fire. We won’t get into the details of what can happen to individuals trapped downstairs. They are, as you can imagine, grizzly. What matters is that you can prevent such a horrific event. That’s why a growing number of cities and townships are requiring homeowners to purchase egress window wells. Check your local building codes to see if your region is among them.