Why do you need a window well cover? Answered.

Flat window well cover

Window Well Cover Basics For Your Home

Dear homeowner,

We cannot stress enough that this article covers all basics of picking a window well cover. In addition, we answered some of the most common questions and the benefits of each concerning the need for window well covers. One of the frequently asked questions addressed is Are window well covers necessary?

Benefits of window well covers

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Safety: A cover protects against falls and injuries for children and pets, and prevents accidental breakage of basement windows. Leaving your basement window wells uncovered can be dangerous. 

Pest control: By keeping animals out of your well, they can’t get into your home. Covered window wells keep out wildlife that could pose a danger to you and your home, including rats, mice, birds, snakes, skunks, and insects. And salamanders!

window well covers keep your basement from animals

Aesthetic appeal: A quality cover will keep your basement window cleaner. It will prevent dirt and debris from accumulating in your well while still allowing natural light into your basement.

Protection against water, snow, and ice damage: Uncovered window wells usually lead to costly problems such as flooded basements, extensive repairs, and insect/mold/mildew growth.

Emergency preparedness: A correctly installed cover and egress well can provide an exit in case of fire or other emergencies while allowing rescue personnel to enter the house.

What to consider before choosing a window well cover?

Before we continue, let’s stop and answer if it is legally required for everyone to cover their basement wells. 

In many cases, it is not legally required to have a window well cover. However, some insurance companies, local building codes, and regulations may require installing window well covers, especially for egress windows. 

Visit our Egress Codes library to check your state requirements!

On the East Coast, where there is typically more precipitation and extreme weather conditions, choosing a cover that can withstand heavy rainfall and snow loads is important. Covers made from durable materials like polycarbonate or steel are typically the best choice.

On the West Coast, where there is generally less precipitation, covers that provide good ventilation and allow plenty of natural light into the basement are often preferred. Covers made from clear polycarbonate are typically the best choice, as they provide a good balance of durability and light transmission.

Ultimately, the best window well cover for your home will depend on various factors, including your climate, the size and shape of your window wells, and your personal preferences. Do your research and choose a cover that meets your specific needs and budget.

Remember, you can contact our Experts for free at 1-888-650-9355 and ask away. We are happy to share our knowledge as a manufacturer from 1975!

How to choose the right type of basement cover?

There are several types of window well covers available, each with its own advantages. Some of the most popular types of window well covers include:

Polycarbonate covers

These covers are made of tough, clear polycarbonate plastic and are designed to withstand impact and support heavy weight. They allow light to pass through, making your basement feel brighter and more inviting. If you need consistent ventilation, a grate would be a better choice.

Metal grates

These covers are made of rust-resistant metal and provide excellent ventilation to your basement. They are sturdy and can support heavy weights, but they keep out less debris and animals than other types of covers.

Bubble covers

These “unbreakable” covers are made of a transparent, lightweight material with a domed shape that provides extra coverage for your basement window. They are easy to install.

Watch this video to learn why we consider our bubble covers unbreakable:

The type of window well cover that is best for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Choosing a cover that is strong enough to support a person’s weight and provides adequate ventilation and protection from debris and animals is essential.

Contact WWE for Free Estimate, experience since 1975

Recap: Why are window well covers needed at all?

Most of all, basement window well covers are important for home safety.

They Can Prevent Falls and Injuries: One of the primary reasons to install basement window well covers is to prevent falls and injuries. An open window well can be a serious hazard without a cover, especially for small children or pets.

  • To prevent such a tragedy, window well covers should be strong enough to hold a person’s weight and installed securely to prevent them from sliding off.
  • The US National Fire Protection Association recommends that window well covers be at least 16 inches above the well’s floor. Additionally, they should be able to hold at least 200 pounds and be made of corrosion-resistant material.
  • Lastly, the cover should be fastened to the window well so that the cover can easily be removed for emergency escape or have a hinge for easy access. With all these safety measures in place, you can rest assured that your window well cover is up to code and can protect your home in an emergency.

Covers Keep Out Wildlife: Window well covers can prevent animals and pests from entering your basement. Open window wells can attract a variety of critters, such as mice, rats, snakes, raccoons, and skunks, which can cause damage and pose a health risk.

Protect Your Home: Uncovered window wells can also lead to water and debris accumulation, which can cause damage to your home’s foundation, walls, and basement. Properly designed and installed window well covers can protect your home from water damage and prevent debris from clogging up the drainage system.

Emergency Exit: In case of an emergency, window wells can be used as an escape route. However, they can become a safety hazard are blocked with debris, ice or snow. A properly installed cover will make it easy for you to exit your basement and/or allow rescue personnel to enter your home if needed.

There have been many reported cases of injuries and animals falling into basement wells in the US. Here are a few examples:

  • In 2015, a woman in Colorado fell into a window well and became trapped, suffering from hypothermia and frostbite before being rescued by emergency responders.
  • In 2017, a 2-year-old boy in Ohio fell into a window well and suffered from serious injuries, including a broken femur.
  • In 2019, a woman in Utah was bitten by a venomous snake that had fallen into her basement window well.
  • In 2020, a family in Illinois found a deer trapped in their basement window well and had to call animal control to remove it safely.

These are just a few examples, but they illustrate the importance of having a cover on your basement window well to prevent such accidents from happening.

Overall, installing window well covers is an important investment for your home’s safety and can prevent potential hazards and damages.

Additionally, some insurance companies may require the installation of window well covers as a safety measure, and failure to comply may result in increased premiums or denial of coverage in case of damages or accidents. It’s important to check with local building codes and regulations, as well as with your insurance company, to determine if there are any specific requirements regarding the installation of window well covers in your area.

In general, egress window wells must meet specific minimum size requirements to ensure that they provide a safe means of escape in the event of an emergency. According to the International Residential Code (IRC), egress window wells must meet the following requirements:

  • The window well must have a horizontal area of at least 9 square feet (0.84 square meters), with a minimum dimension of 36 inches (91.4 centimeters) in width.
  • The window well must have a permanent ladder or steps if the depth of the well is more than 44 inches (111.8 centimeters).
  • The window well must be clear of any obstructions that could impede escape, such as large rocks or landscaping materials. Gravel for drainage is excluded.
  • The window well cover must be easily removable from the inside without the use of any special tools or keys.

Don’t take any chances when it comes to the safety of your home and family. Contact Window Well Experts today to learn more about our egress wells and covers. And in case of emergencies, our quick-release locks allow for easy escape while keeping intruders out. Trust us to keep your home safe and protected for years to come. 

Choose Window Well Experts and enjoy the benefits of window well covers today!

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