Egress Windows: An All Important Emergency Exit

The laws of physics being what they are, many basements equipped with badly built egress windows  are prone to flooding,  This is because water always travels from high to low ground. Therefore, even if one does not live in a flood prone area, it is still possible to have a flooded house, especially for constructions in hilly areas.

It may happen due to any number of reasons-ruptured drains, a burst mainline, heavy rainfall, or simply the slope or incline of the front (or back) garden.

But perhaps worst of all are houses that are suddenly flooded without any conceivable reason. Such an eventuality occurs when the water table rises in the area immediately around your house. Basically, the water table is the level of water available in the sub soil. If, for any reason it raises it may well lead to flooding since basements by their very nature, are fundamentally holes dug into the ground.

Such an eventuality might prove worrisome because if the water stays long enough, it erodes the structural integrity of the house and may in extreme cases lead to it collapsing on itself.

In case of extreme flooding, the first and foremost priority is safety and this is where a well constructed egress windows may come in handy. The priority is to get your family out of the flooded house as soon as possible, due to multiple hazards such as gas fires, crumbling structures or even electrocution. It is always advisable to turn off all power from the mains if it can be safely done so. The same goes for gas leaks as well, because ruptured gas mains may well prove to be even more hazardous because of their propensity to create sudden explosions and veritable firestorms.

Other hazards may include biological and chemical ones; if the sewerage system has been compromised then the water may contain hazardous bio waste giving rise to all kinds of stomach ailments. Similarly, if harmful chemicals are stored in the basement, coming into contact with them may be dangerous.

However, once it has been made sure that the house is safe, there are remedies that will help ensure that you are able to protect your loved ones.

Apart from strategically placed egress windows, it is necessary to ensure that your house has been dried out. A good, long lasting sealant would help along with a sump pump to ensure that even if water gets in, it does not stay long. You may also install a standpipe that will help drain away the water even before it starts to flood.

However, it is imperative that you understand the urgency of the situation if and when your house is flooded already. Send for the professionals immediately to make sure it does not happen again while also making sure that all your egress windows are in perfect working condition.