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Useful Tips to Choose Window Well Covers

Window wells are used to let natural light into the basement to make it less dingy. A window well cover, for that matter, helps make the opening safe for unwary kids and pets. This Buzzle article will help you choose the perfect window well cover to keep nasty accidents at bay.
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Tip to choose a window well cover
A window well allows more natural light into an otherwise dark and drab basement, thus, increasing not only its curb appeal, but also lending an aesthetically pleasing view from inside and outside your home.
Window wells are openings that are dug around the basement window to allow more ambient light to fill up the basement. Apart from providing easy access to the basement opening, it also serves as a escape route during fires and storms. A window well is bolted to the outer side of the basement wall, and it keeps mud and debris away from the window.

If proper care is not taken to seal off the opening, it can result in many accidental hazards, mostly involving small kids, pets, and unwary animals. Installing a safety cover over the opening will thwart the possibilities of such accidents as well as provide good insulation for your home. A good cover will also help keep debris, dirt, water, and leaves from entering the vent, thus hampering your view from the basement.

The tips provided below will help you choose window well covers that suit your basement needs.

Measured to Fit
Before hitting the stores and selecting a well cover, you ought to measure the window well and the window you want to cover. While doing so, ensure you measure from the face of the window to the edge of the well. If the window extends above the ground, you might have to take that into consideration while choosing a cover. In short, you need to measure the projection of the window along with the width and height of the cover before making the purchase.

Material Concerns
Clear plastic, thermoplastic, metal, or colored plastics are some of the materials used to make well covers. While the thermoplastic and clear plastic covers will allow light to penetrate into the basement, covers made from solid plastic and finer metal grates will end up blocking light, but give your room some privacy. When choosing the material for the well cover, do give a thought to the safety and privacy requirements of your family. It makes sense to choose a cover that caters to the light and ventilation requirements of the basement.

High-profile vs. Low-profile Covers
Window well covers can be classified into two main types based on their appearance. While high-profile covers are meant for windows that extend above the ground level, low-profile are perfect for windows that lie within the well. High-profile covers generally have a sloping surface or dome-shaped surface to cater to windows that rise above the level of the well. On the contrary, low-profile covers lie flat against the edges of the well making them almost parallel to the ground.

Style Matters
Consider the overall look of your home when it comes to purchasing a well cover. You can choose between bubble, flat, mesh, grates, and dome style covers to adorn the basement vents. While grates and mesh style covers provide excellent means to prevent a fall, they do little when it comes to stopping water, debris, and dirt from accumulating in the well. Dome-shaped and bubble covers made from heavy-duty plastic, on the other hand, are good at keeping excess water out of the well, despite their bulky appearance. However, they can restrict airflow into the basement window. Whatever style you decide upon, make sure it complements the exterior of your home.

Durability
The main purpose of installing a well cover over the basement window is to cater to safety and light requirements. From safety grates made of aluminum to poly-carbonate plastic covers, you are sure to find a huge variety in the market. Remember, the cover is going to be exposed to the external elements, which doubles the need to have a cover that is durable and sturdy. It is also important that the material used to make the cover is rust-free and easy to maintain.

Installation Matters
Whether custom-made or store purchased, ensure the window well covers are easy to install. Do not forget to read the instruction manual that comes along with the cover to make the process of installation easy.

Do not forget to consider the egress requirements in your local building code. As a precautionary measure, do check with your local building permit office before you invest in a well cover.
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Published: February 4, 2014
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