The Ins and Outs of Steel Basement Windows

July 14th, 2011

by Jacques Bouchard

Why do basement windows exist?  If you’ve been looking at your single-paned steel basement windows recently, you’ve likely asked yourself this very question.

There’s a simple answer:  if there were no basement windows installed, the area would look like a dungeon.  Of course, when steel basement windows corrode, rust, jam shut and/or fall apart, they’re hardly doing their job.  With all the moisture and rain pelting against these flimsy windows, they simply don’t stand a chance.  In five, maybe ten years a the most, you can expect to replace them.

Once the frames are rusted and water is collecting in the window wells from rain and snow, you can expect your steel basement windows to let in a lot more than just sunlight.  Water will leak in through the cracks, running down the basement walls and leaving an ugly puddle on your new remodeled basement floor.  This water can damage possessions, including the carpet, and the smell created is not what you imagined when finishing the basement.

While rainwater is streaming in, heat from the basement is flowing out.  Single-paned steel window, when brand new, have an R-insulating rating of 1.  This means that 50% of the heat that reaches them passes though to the outside.  The US Department of Energy reports that 30-40% of a home’s energy can be saved simply if the windows of home in a cold climate are sealed.  Of all the windows that are located in a home, drafty, single-paned steel basement windows (with heat-conducting steel frames) are the most poorly insulated of all!  What an expensive drain on your energy bills!

When you’re remodeling the basement, be sure to include double-paned vinyl windows in the installation.  If you decide to go with them after the basement has been remodeled, the installation will be much more difficult and expensive.  Vinyl windows will add long-lasting beauty to the home and add natural light to the area, and they will never rust, rot, or corrode like their steel counterparts.  A reliable vinyl window will never need to be repainted, and it will continue to look beautiful for years to come!

One of the best things about double-paned vinyl basement windows is how energy-efficient they are.  Vinyl does not conduct heat nearly as easily from the home, and the space of air between the basement window panes adds insulation to the design.  Vinyl double-paned basement windows of top quality include an R-insulation rating of 3 which allows them to reflect back 87.5% of the heat back, which is 37.5% more than the single-paned windows!  These windows will being to pay back for themselves as soon as they’re installed in the home.

Sun House Basement Window WellsTotal Basement Finishing provides energy-efficient EverLast basement windows and SunHouse basement window wells to their dealers across the United States.  The vinyl, Low-E double thermopaned basement windows are designed with crystal clear glass that gives your basement the brightest, most cheerful look.  They’re designed with a screen and smooth-sliding action that will never be ruined by rust, rot, or corrosion.  Because they remove easily from their frame, they can be cleaned easily, and the windows can double as access points for sliding long objects or boards through.

No matter what you’d like for your basement remodeling project, including basement walls, basement floors, basement ceilings, or a basement dehumidifier, Total Basement Finishing can provide you with a free estimate from one of their independently owned and operated basement refinishing contractors.  All estimates and consultations are free and are provided with no obligation at all!  Your basement is an entire floor of unusued space in your home- make the most of it!

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