Monthly Archives: June 2015

When Should You Replace Basement Windows?

When Should You Replace Basement Windows?

Do you know when it’s necessary to replace basement windows in order to keep your lower level warm and dry? This guide offers information on identifying the signs of degrading windows, knowing the difference between the various window types, and preventing early deterioration of new windows.

Signs of Aging Windows

The first indication that your basement windows need an upgrade is the number of glass panes used in the window’s construction. Do you currently have outdated single-pane windows as your lower level’s only defense against freezing temperatures? You may be wasting hundreds of dollars a year or more in unnecessary heating costs, especially if the lower level is finished and houses a bedroom or frequently used living area. Modern double-paned windows can cut down on your utility bill.

Secondly, are your current basement windows made of wood? Wood is not the best insulating material. Wooden windows also are more susceptible to damage from moisture. Paint can peel and chip, and rot can set in after a time. Replacing wood-frame windows with vinyl diminishes upkeep obligations in the future and better protects against cold weather.

Lastly, do your basement windows have noticeable gaps around the edges? If so, a deteriorated seal may be putting your basement at risk of water damage during bouts of precipitation. Also, if water leaks into the window itself, the seal may be completely ineffective. If you see condensation forming in between the panels of a double-paned basement window, it’s time to consider replacement to prevent mold growth or water damage.

Types of Basement Windows

The three main types of basement windows include the awning, hopper and sliding styles. The hinges on an awning window are attached to the top of the frame and the window opens outward, forming an awning on the exterior of the home. The screen fits into the inside. This style facilitates lower-level ventilation since it provides a clear opening to outdoor air while protecting the interior room from falling rain and snow.

The hopper style is the inverse of the awning style. The hinges are attached to the bottom of the frame and it opens inward. The screen is installed on the exterior side of the frame.

The sliding style is normally installed in areas where there is insufficient space for a window to swing open, either on the outside or inside. This type of mechanism is utilized for larger, heavier windows, when propping the glass open in an awning or hopper style is unsafe.

Install Window Well Covers to Protect Your Investment

Depending on the number of windows, replacement costs can run high. For homeowners looking to maximize the longevity of each window, it’s important to take basic steps to protect the caulking, seal and window itself from unnecessary weather abuse. If your windows are located inside window wells, purchase custom covers to block rain and snow from draining into the space and settling against the newly replaced glass and frame. Built-up moisture can quickly lead to leaks and rot, requiring additional expenditures for repair and possible repeat replacement of the window.

Talk to the professionals at Windowell Expressions to find out exactly how window well covers can help after you replace basement windows on your property.

 

Prevent Rodent Infestations in Your Lower Level

Prevent Rodent Infestations in Your Lower Level

Knowing how to prevent rodent infestations in your basement can save time and extermination expenses in the future. Mice, rats, squirrels and other creatures attempt to find shelter from harsh weather inside the warm, dark lower level of houses. Here’s why you should be concerned about rodent infestations and some suggestions on what you can do to prevent these unwanted, unclean guests.

Risks of Rodent Infestations

First of all, rodents pose a health risk for humans. Certain types of rats and mice are carriers of a potentially deadly disease, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. When people come into contact with droppings or urine or are bitten by an infected rodent, they begin developing a fever one to five weeks later. Their major muscle groups begin to ache and they may also experience vomiting or diarrhea. The disease may be misdiagnosed as the flu, until the symptoms progress and the individual begins to cough and gasp for breath as fluid rushes into the lungs. This virus has a 38 percent mortality rate.

Other diseases passed from rodent to human include rat-bite fever, salmonella, eosinophilic meningitis and leptospirosis. People can also experience strong allergic reactions to mice and rat hair. Besides spreading disease, rodents may also gnaw through electrical wiring, causing outages or an electrical fire.

Seal Cracks

Rodents can enter a home through a hole the size of a coin, as long as the opening is big enough for their skull to fit through. Walk around the outside and inside of your home’s foundation and seal cracks using dense, sturdy materials like copper wool. Determined rodents can quickly chew through airy, porous materials like caulking. Look for gaps around plumbing lines and cable wires – two locations rodents commonly use to breach the home’s perimeter and enter the basement.

Install Window Well Covers

Impenetrable window well covers deter rodents intent on taking shelter in a window well and gradually chewing their way through the window seal. Invest in fitted, secure covers to prevent small creatures from falling into the well or nesting in the alcove.

Trap Invaders Immediately

If you suspect rodents have taken up residence in your basement, inspect clothes, bags and boxes in the area. If you notice small holes or droppings left behind, it’s time to set up traps to rid your home of the rodent infestation. Speed of removal is important because female mice have the capability of giving birth to up to 10 litters of mice per year, and baby mice reach sexual maturity at six to 10 weeks. Without the threat of outdoor predators to their growing population, mice infestations in a home can quickly escalate to astronomical proportions. If you are unsure whether to use bait-and-release traps or instant-kill traps, call an exterminator for a consultation.

Contact Windowell Expressions for more information on selecting specialized window well covers for your lower level in order to prevent rodent infestations and keep your home safe and clean.