Why do basements need windows? First, basement ventilation is the key to preventing mold formation in your home and getting moisture trapped inside, affecting the quality of the air you breathe and the thermal comfort. Basements are places that may contain dangerous contaminants; the lack of proper ventilation will allow these contaminants and smells to spread in your entire home. Because of their underground location, moisture penetrates more easily the floor and walls. When this cold humidity collides with warm air, condensation occurs. As such, more than any other rooms in the house, the basement is prone to moisture problems, mold growth and other indoor pollutants. Some of these are toxic and dangerous to the occupants’ health.
The basement is also commonly used for storing household chemicals. Paints, solvents, automotive products and cleaning products slowly release chemicals into the air. In an unventilated space, these chemicals accumulate and produce a toxic environment. Ventilation of the basement evacuates polluted or dirty air and allows fresh air in, therefore home owners are advised to ensure a constant flow of clean air through installation of adequate windows for their basement.
Most of the time, natural ventilation is sufficient for ensuring thermal comfort and adequate air quality in your basement, but it depends on the windows. Natural ventilation uses air currents, but this type of ventilation works only for basements with strategically located windows that can be opened and closed easily.
But basement windows are not only about ensuring proper ventilation; they also provide the natural light needed in addition to the artificial light, to ensure a healthy, safe and comfortable environment.
Factors to consider when choosing windows for your basement
In the process of installing basement windows, it is necessary to consider various factors that will directly affect the durability and efficiency of the chosen products. The main aspect in this case is that the windows will be located relatively close to the ground level (10-20 cm), so they will have to withstand external influences, especially a high level of humidity.
Basement Denver replacement windows are not like other windows in your home, so do not be fooled into believing that you can install any type of window. Basement windows are specially designed to fit in the existing conditions. They are smaller compared to other windows and there are local codes to be respected. For example, a basement window is typically required to have a height of at least 24 inches and a width of 20 inches, with an opening of at least 5.7 to allow occupants to escape in an emergency situation, or to allow a fully equipped firefighter to enter from outside.
It is necessary to regularly clean and wash the glass, as any contamination of its surface leads to a 60% block of light penetration. In addition, white profiles will reflect a larger amount of natural light.
Basement windows made of PVC are considered the most popular. Nowadays, anyone can opt for PVC basement windows, as they are affordable and can increase the light by 10-15% without losing their thermal properties. It is not advisable to use a wood profile for the basement windows because of its constant exposure to moisture.