egress IRC code-compliant metal basement well

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  • Metal, Plastic, Fiberglass Egress Wells

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FAQ

What is an egress window well?

Originally the term egress means “a place or means of going out.” For example, a basement window qualifies as an egress when it serves as an emergency exit in case of a fire, flooding, or another type of emergency. Egress windows are larger, so they require stairs or a ladder added to the side of the basement well. Having steps are making the escape of any adult or a child from the basement quick and easy. 

The egress window well is also a way into the property. The well, along with the basement window opening, should be big enough to fit a fully equipped firefighter. 

How deep should an egress window well be?

To meet the IRC code requirements, the egress window well depth must be 8″ -12″ below the lower sill of the basement window.

How big does an egress window well have to be?

The minimum egress well requirements are as follows:

  • The basement well depth must be 8″ -12″ below the lower sill of the basement window.
  • The well depth (above ground) must allow the well to extend a minimum of 2″ -3″ above grade (soil level).
  • The egress window well width must provide at least 2″ on either side of the basement window.

How to clean egress window well?

Some maintenance is required to keep your egress window well fully functioning, and visually appealing all year round.

  1. Remove Debris by Hand or Shovel. 
  2. Bring Out the Vacuum—If Necessary
    1. Use a shop vac if there’s too much debris in the window well. 
  3. What to do With Dirty Gravel
    1. If you notice that the gravel is accumulating excessive amounts of dirt, mud, sand, and other forms of debris, then it’s time to shovel it out and either replace it or wash it off.

To prevent excessive amounts of debris, we recommend thinking about the window well draining and adding a slick, sturdy top cover. 

How many inches should egress well rise above the ground surface?

The egress well depth (above ground) must allow the well to extend a minimum 2″ -3″ above grade (soil level).