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What Can You Do to Prevent Your Basement Window Well From Leaking This Winter?

Depending on where you live, winter can mean increased levels of moisture and precipitation which, depending on how well your basement window wells were installed, can mean leakage and basement water damage. A leaking basement window is not something you want to leave unaddressed for long as it can lead to mold, rotting studs, and more. Even just replacing the drywall can be problematic and costly.
In other words, it’s a small problem that results in a big mess.
If you’ve got a basement window well leaking, don’t assume it’s a minor problem or that it will go away on its own. Do one of these four things to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Waterproof the Window

In a large number of cases, the problem lies with the window itself, or with how it was installed. Remedying this is pretty simple—it’s just a matter of improving the waterproofing. Caulk around the window, add weather stripping, and make sure the whole thing is sealed up tight. For light leakage, this is often enough.

Improve Drainage

For a window well without a drain, the functionality of your passive drainage is critical. Water that comes in needs somewhere to go, and if you’re not providing that, it will find its way through your window.
There are several things that can impede drainage. The first is accumulated debris. Leaves, trash, and other detritus can clog up the gravel below, making drainage difficult. Second, sometimes the gravel itself can be a problem and may need to be replaced. Third, there may not be enough gravel or drainage, and you may need to dig a little deeper to accommodate the water you’re getting.

Install a Window Well Drain

If going without a drain for your window well is proving insufficient, it may be best to just install one, especially if you’re receiving large amounts of rain, and passive drainage won’t cut it. This is probably the most invasive option available, but depending on how much water you’re dealing with, it may be one of the few that will cut it.

Use a Window Well Cover

Lastly, you can circumvent a lot of these problems (and the need for the above solutions) by installing a plastic window well cover or a polycarbonate window well cover. By preventing water from accumulating in the well, you eliminate basement window well leakage and ensure that your basement is water-damage free.
To learn more about plastic and polycarbonate window well covers, and how they can help keep your basement window wells from leaking, contact the experts at Mountainland Covers.

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Custom vs DIY Window Well Covers

From bringing natural light into your basement to offering a backup escape route in case of emergencies, window wells are a handy feature to have attached to your home. But to protect window wells adequately, you need covers as well. The question is, should you go with a custom design or a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach? At Mountainland Covers, we know the benefits and risks of both methods, so here are some things you need to consider.

The Cost of Custom Covers

If there’s one thing that custom well covers have going for them, it’s that they’re professionally-made, ensuring reliable and high-quality results. Getting a cover to fit your window well just right takes precision and careful analysis. The downside, however, is that the level of effort sharply increases the production time for each cover – potentially by weeks – while also raising the overall price of the order. The extended timeline and costs often drive customers to do-it-yourself methods instead.

Can You Do It Yourself?

If done properly, a do-it-yourself project can save you time and money – emphasis on properly. In a DIY job, you’re the one picking the materials and design for the cover, and the wrong choice could spell disaster. For instance, woods, plastics, and meshes wear down and break over time. Similarly, the cover must be sturdy enough to resist wind while still being easy enough to pull off for escape. That said, if you know what you’re doing, your DIY window well cover can work – often at a lower price than a custom cover.

Helping You Make the Right Choice

DIY and custom window well covers each offer significant advantages and disadvantages. While do-it-yourself projects can save time and money compared to custom options, DIYs also require you to personally assess the specific needs of your window well, with your decisions determining the course of the project.
To ensure quality and effectiveness without having to do everything yourself, custom window wells are just what you need, and you can get excellent ones here at Mountainland Covers. Our advanced designs guarantee structural integrity, and we’ll work with you to make sure the cover fits just right with your window well. Contact us to learn more and place an order today.

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The Importance of Having a Window Well Ladder

Window wells are a requirement for homes with basements. In fact, window wells legally must have enough space for a firefighter in full gear. But whether it’s you or emergency services trying to access your window well, having a window well ladder makes it easier to go up and down.
But how do you know if you need a window well ladder? Chances are you do, and it’s better to have one just to be safe, but let’s look at how you can know for sure.
 

What is a Window Well Ladder?

First, a window well ladder, or an egress ladder, is an item that helps you, your family, or emergency services get up and down your window. It’s essential for worst-case scenarios.
Instead of struggling to boost your family up over the uncomfortable corners of a window well, ladders provide easier access. Having an egress ladder is especially important if you have deep window wells.
 

Do You Need One?

By law, if a window well is more than 44-inches deep, you must have a window well ladder. This isn’t something that’s included if you build a home, though. As the homeowner, it falls on you to ensure your home is up to code.
Take a few seconds to measure your window well. And then measure again. If you meet the requirements but don’t have a ladder, it’s important to install one immediately. Even if you don’t meet the legal requirements, however, a ladder makes your home safer. Period.
 

Where Can You Get a Ladder?

You can get a custom-made window well ladder from Mountainland Covers. We design our ladders to meet your window well specifications and make sure it fits properly. We will take all the necessary measurements and make a ladder to fit your window well. That’s it! There’s no guesswork and you can rest easy knowing that your home is covered in case of an emergency.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Give Mountainland Covers a call today to learn how we can get your window well ladders installed.

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Plastic Window Well Covers vs Steel Window Well Covers: Which Is Best?

If you live in the Denver area, window well covers are a must. For homes with basements, it’s important to cover up those window wells, especially when you have pets or children who play in the yard and are in danger of falling in the well. Covers pose no danger to those living in the home in the event of an emergency because they can easily be removed from the inside.
There are two main types of window well covers — steel window well covers and plastic basement window covers. Though essentially the same in purpose and function, there are a few differences between steel and plastic basement window covers that you should know about when choosing one for your home.

Steel Window Well Covers

Steel window well covers are high-quality and beautiful. These covers are made of industrial strength metal and have a mesh that runs across the top. This mesh keeps children, intruders, or not-so-cozy critters like raccoons out of your window wells. Steel window well covers stand the test of time and withstand the weather well, which is a must for Denver window well covers. Steel window well covers are also an affordable option when considering window well covers for your home.

Plastic Basement Window Covers

Plastic basement window covers are crafted from high-quality polycarbonate that is totally clear and can support hundreds of pounds of weight and are thus a little more expensive. These covers are completely safe and they 100% prevent things (or little ones) from falling in the basement window well. Plastic window well covers allow light in so that your already dark basement doesn’t lose one bit of the sun. Plastic basement window covers also deter intruders — which is always a good thing.
Because plastic window well covers keep everything out, you may want to brush off snow once or twice during the winter months. But they are plenty strong to hold the snow, even if you don’t remove it.
Have other questions about Denver window well covers? Contact us here and let our experts answer your questions.

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Which Metal Window Well Covers are Best?

Do you realize how many different types of metal there are available for use in manufacturing? Lots. Iron, lead, copper, gold, aluminum, brass, just to name a few. Steel is an alloy metal, meaning it’s a mixture of more than one thing. It’s mostly iron, but combined with carbon and sometimes other elements like nickel or chrome. Steel is used in everything from buildings to automobiles to appliances and paper clips. With the different combinations of iron and other elements, we get different types of steel. Galvanized steel and carbon steel are pretty common and offer great strength.
Window wells themselves look like they could be made of aluminum because of the silver color, but they’re generally made of galvanized steel. Of course, when you are looking for metal window well covers, you’re generally going to see that steel is used for most, if not all that you come across. Sure you could use something like copper, but it’s not as strong. Steel offers the best bang for the buck.
So, if they’re all made from steel, then what makes some metal window well covers better than other? We’re glad you asked! It will generally come down to 2 things – the thickness, or gauge of the steel and how it’s put together.
Simply put – if it feels cheap, then it probably is. The thicker the steel, the stronger it will be. Steel that is as thin as floss isn’t going to do much for you unless it’s woven and there’s lots of it. On the other hand, if you use steel that is thicker it becomes very heavy and more difficult to manage. With all of the metal window well covers we’ve manufactured we have perfected the size of steel that we use so that you get a sturdy, strong window well cover that won’t weigh a ton. When you stand on a steel cover it shouldn’t flex much, if at all. If it’s noticeably bending, then it may be a smaller gauge that’s not as strong as it should be.
The other thing that sets our metal window well covers apart from others is the welding and construction. Being made of steel, these covers need to be welded together at different points. Some companies use as few welds as possible to save money. You may have the perfect steel for a cover, but if it’s not welded properly, your covers are at risk of being too weak to hold the weight that may be applied to them. Welding in general will make the metal being welded stronger.
So, be sure to check the quality of covers before you buy them. Stand on one, push on it, check it out so you know exactly what you’re getting. Look for weld joints and ask the manufacturer how their covers are welded. Of course, with Mountainland it’s never a worry with our lifetime structural guarantee. We know we do a good job and have the best steel window well covers on the market!

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What About a DIY Window Well Cover?

So, you’re a handyman. Or, maybe you’re not, but you decide that a DIY window well cover is the best way to go. After all, there’s something to be said about building, creating, installing that gives you a sense of pride in what you’re done as well as the money you’ve saved. Plus, you can brag about it to all of your friends – “Oh, those little things? Yeah, made them and installed them all by myself.”
So, to make it a little easier on you if you go the do-it-yourself route, we’ve put together some things that you’ll want to consider so that you know better what to expect. Finding an actual set of specific plans online isn’t going to be easy because there are so many different ways that you can do a DIY window well cover. Most of what you find others have tried is their own creative method to varying degrees of success. The least you can do is learn from others’ mistakes before you go crazy with it. If you decide you don’t want to do it yourself, we’re always happy make some awesome custom covers for you!

Check Zoning Codes

The first thing you’ll want to do (though most people don’t) is call your city planner or zoning department to find out what the code is regarding window well covers. Because a basement needs to be escapable in case of emergencies, you don’t want to trap yourself in. Many cities will have code that you’re suggested to adhere to in order to ensure safety. For example, your city may require certain materials be used, specific weight limits can be held by the cover, that it can be opened from the inside, etc… Knowing what’s required is the first step.

Easy Open From the Inside

Regardless of whether your city requires it or not, you should make sure that your DIY window well cover can be opened from the inside. It doesn’t necessarily need to be easily opened from the outside because that would compromise the security of your home. But if you need to get out of your basement quick and the only way out is through a window, you don’t want to be stuck in a well because you can’t get the cover open! Window well cover locks are good option to think about as you create your cover.

Materials Needed

Now, let’s talk materials. This is where it can get a little hairy with all the different options and materials available. How much weight does it need to be able to support? Do you want one solid cover or pieced together so that only parts of it open? How much light and air do you want coming through? How large of well does it need to cover? What tools are available for you to use? What do you want it to look like? You can go as simple or as extravagant as you want (depending on your city code), but generally the reason you’re doing this on your own is to save some money. You can check out this video that shows you how one man constructed his own DIY window well cover for fairly cheap using fiberglass, electrical metal tubing, PVC connectors and a few sheet metal screws. The total cost of his project was probably around $75  -$80. It’s not the most sturdy cover as evidenced from the video and it doesn’t look the greatest, but it’s functional. Of course, if you have access to welding equipment, then some type of metal would work well – steel or aluminum could do the trick. This will give you a much stronger and heftier cover. You can also use different types of plastic or fiberglass. It might be more flimsy, but will likely be cheaper. The connecting parts should be considered as well. PVC is cheap and fairly easy to work with since there are so many different sizes and variety of pipe and connectors. Since it can easily break, metal pipe would be preferable, though it’s not as easy to form.

Don’t Forget the Tools

metal pipe and wrenchesOnce you’ve decided on your materials (most of which can be picked up at a home improvement store) make sure you have the right tools for the job. If you can’t weld your cover, screwing it together is the next best thing so a drill would be handy. Something to cut the materials for the cover is also necessary – a jigsaw, pvc cutters, metal cutters or hacksaw should do the trick. Some industrial glue or pvc glue may also come in useful to hold things tight. If you’re going the cheap route, you probably have everything you need in your garage or can purchase the tools cheaply. If you’re getting into cutting/welding steel, then you may need to call a friend for help since most people don’t have welding equipment in their garage.

Cost

So, when all is said and done you’ll be looking at anywhere between $50-$150 in materials based on the quality of materials you use. Keep in mind that a better quality cover will last longer! A cheap plastic cover may only last a few weeks if it gets stepped on! A heftier cover will give you more time before you have to build a replacement.

Building Time

Another thing to think about with a DIY window well cover is time. The more complex your cover is, the more time it will take. The less familiar you are with the tools you’ll be using, the more time it will take. A person who’s comfortable doing projects like this could knock out a simple window well cover in about an hour or a more complex cover (like steel) in a few hours. If you’re not familiar with this type of work, it could be a project that’s stretched over a couple weekends. With proper planning and expectations, you should be able to get it done before the seasons change though!

The Install

The last thing to think about is the installation. Wait. Let’s take this back a step or two. You should think about installation before you even begin a DIY window well cover so that it’s built properly to be installed the way you like. What we’re talking about here though is how to actually install it. You could build it so that it’s got a lip with the supporting frame sitting just inside the window well. That way it’ll just sit on top of your window well. This type of installation is a cinch. However, you’ll probably want it to be secure so it doesn’t move around or fall off. Especially if you just making a plastic cover or something that the wind can grab and lift off your well. Are you going to incorporate some type of lockdown? Maybe screw the frame into the window well itself? Secure it to the side of your home? Knowing how you’ll secure it will ensure that you build it properly and that it can still be removed or opened from the inside.
Don’t be disappointed if your cover doesn’t look like what you were hoping or if it doesn’t line up perfectly on your well. It can take a few tries before you get it down to something decent. It’s one of those projects that looks like it shouldn’t be too difficult, but when all is said and done can end up being more complex than you thought. If you want to save a little money (hopefully you don’t mess up too much!) and do a DIY window well cover, that’s great! If you want something affordable from a professional who’s made thousands and comes with a guarantee, call Mountainland Covers.

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Steel Window Well Covers Offer Strength

Steel window well covers are most likely the ones that come to mind when you are considering custom covers for your basement wells. They’re affordable, look good and offer great protection. This makes them a popular choice for most home owners. Let’s take a look at what to expect with steel window well covers.

Strongest Covers Available

Compared to plastic and even polycarbonate covers, steel window well covers offer the rigid strength that you can only get from this strong metal. A custom welded cover from Mountainland can easily hold 300 pounds of weight. A plastic cover would likely snap under the same amount of weight and a polycarbonate cover may bend because even though it’s pretty strong, it’s more flexible. Ask to see a cover before you buy! This way you can feel for yourself the strength of the material used. Some companies use cheaper, thinner steel mesh or don’t properly weld the covers leaving vulnerabilities. You know you’re getting great quality from Mountainland Covers with our lifetime structural guarantee.

Lets Light Shine Through

If you’re like most people, you want to let as much natural light into your basement as possible. While clear plastic or polycarbonate covers will let more light through, the design of our steel window well covers is meant to let as much light through as possible while still keeping it’s tensile strength. If you don’t want any light coming through at all – say, for a theater room – let us know and we can help you design something that will block more sun light.

Get a Lot of Rain?

If you’re worried about rain, snow or other moisture getting into your window wells, you probably want to avoid steel window well covers. Even polycarbonate and plastic covers are not 100% waterproof, but they’ll keep out a lot more water when it rains because of their solid design. Steel window well covers with a diamond pattern design won’t keep out much water at all. If this is a concern, you may want to opt for something besides steel.

Fresh Air Flow

One of our favorite ways to relax is by an open window with a comfortable breeze blowing through. Steel covers allow a maximum amount of air to flow through so that you can still enjoy some fresh air in your basement without having to open or remove the cover itself. Keeping your window wells full of fresh air also helps to prevent  fogging of your windows.

No Jagged Edges

One easy way to spot a cheaply constructed steel cover is by looking at the diamond mesh pattern. You will often see bits of jagged steel in between the diamonds where the pattern wasn’t cut cleanly. You want a smooth pattern. If you stick your finger through the diamond holes and get scratched or cut, that’s a flaw that could easily injure an unsuspecting child or pet. We have replaced many covers for people who have had this problem with the window well covers they got from other companies.

Paint Them

Most often we see black covers. It’s a good neutral color that looks good in most settings. However, we have seen people paint theirs brown, white, grey and other colors to match their landscaping better. Painting our covers won’t sacrifice the integrity or harm them at all. Feel free to get creative!

Our 2-Stage Process

Some companies don’t coat their covers at all, others do to middling success. No other company uses our special 2-stage dipping process. We’ve perfected this over the years and know all of the drying times, coating options and techniques, as well as failings of powder coating.  Our steel window well covers are coated to perfection to withstand the elements and keep the metal protected from the weather. they also feel nice and smooth to the touch!

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Who Needs Egress Window Covers?

Well, anyone who has egress windows. For some homes, it may be more necessary than others, but egress window covers should be an addition to any home or business that has empty, open window wells.
If you own a building that has a basement, you probably want to protect it as best you can. We’ve often heard people say, “Well, I don’t even use my basement. It’s just for storage.” Or, “Nobody goes into the basement because there’s no reason to. There’s nothing down there!” Even if that is the case, it may be even more important to secure your window wells. Just because you don’t spend much time down there and a situation where you would need to get out quick isn’t very likely, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be trying to keep other things out.
Like, kids. Or, pets. More than one child has accidentally fallen into a window well and hurt themselves. Adults too. You forget that it’s there as you’re doing yard work or don’t notice you’re as close to it as you thought and next thing you know someone is in the well. Proper precautions will easily prevent these situations and possible injuries.
Without egress window covers, your window wells are hot spots for burglars to hide while they break into your home. All they have to do is jump down into the well and they’re hidden from neighbors and passersby. They can take their time sliding the window open or even breaking it. If nobody ever goes down there, then nobody will ever notice. Until it’s too late. Even if you don’t have anything valuable stored in the basement, just the thought of having your home and privacy violated will make you sick enough to rethink your plan. Besides, once in your basement, accessing the rest of your home is easy. Especially when they can hang out down there and listen to hear if anyone is home or not.
We all know that burglaries are generally crimes of opportunity. Burglars often hit  homes with easy access points – unlocked doors, open window, unsecured window wells. Just having egress window covers will be a deterrent to would be thieves. Add a lockdown to that and your basement windows are about as secure as they can be.
Lets look at a more likely scenario though. The chances of being burgled aren’t extremely high, but the chances of getting window wells filled with debris are. If you have egress windows, chances are you’ve had to clean them out more often than you’d like. The debris that collects in window wells could be leaves, grocery bags, mail, soda cans, litter, really anything that the wind or other people might be leaving around where it can find it’s way into your wells. If you use your basement often and have to see this unsightly mess, it can be quite annoying. Even if you don’t, it may bother you that it’s ruining your landscape outside. And cleaning it out can be a pain. Reaching down into a window well or having to jump down to clean it out can be hazardous and aggravating. Mountainland Covers can help you keep the garbage out!
And the less garbage and junk down there, the fewer bugs and insects will make their way into your wells. Annoying pests tend to gather where there is garbage, food, weeds and more. Get the right egress window covers for your home so that you can keep your basement protected from intruders, garbage, pests and anything else that might find it’s way in!

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What are EGRESS Window Well Covers?

You may have heard the term “egress” when talking about window wells and wondered what exactly it is. Generally speaking, egress window well covers would be the same thing as any other window well cover. An egress window is one that is simply large enough to get out of in case of emergency. The word egress actually means “the action of going out of or leaving a place.” So, an egress window well is one that you can leave or go out of. Most cities will have code for business and residential egress windows to ensure proper safety is in place. For example, window well covers in Colorado have different regulations from Colorado. In many new homes now-a-days, the basement windows will fit this code and be accessible so that you can get out quick if you need to. In a lot of instances, window well ladders are also a requirement of the safety code.
So, what does this mean for you? Should you look for egress window well covers or just any window well cover? The products you find aren’t different because of window size. If you find a product labeled “steel egress window well cover”, it will likely be the same as another product labeled “steel window well cover.” There are no guidelines or code in place to allow for different labeling. It’s simply a matter of what the manufacturer chooses to call it. Since “egress window well covers” and “window well covers” have no set standards, it really comes down to the product itself, who makes it, how it’s made, and what you need.
In older homes you will see different sizes of window wells. Some are very small, only a few feet square, or don’t extend below ground level. Depending on where these types of windows are located, there may be no need to find a cover for them. With most new construction now, you won’t find windows like this as often. In building new homes with basements, most people are either required to have full sized windows with wells that extend below ground or choose to have full sized windows that extend below ground because they let in much more light and generally look better, adding more value to the home.
So, as far as what you should look for when finding the right covers, the labeling doesn’t matter. Go with something that will be sturdy, fit properly, look great and last a lifetime. Checkout egress window well covers from Mountainland Covers to get what you need for your home or office and have the peace of mind that you’re protected with the best!

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Are All Window Well Covers Custom Made and Worth the Cost?

The answer to this is no and yes. Many window well covers, like the ones you find at big box stores, are pre made and there is nothing custom about them. Covers that are custom made for your wells are a better value over time and definitely worth the minor cost. If you’re in the market for a way to protect your window wells, then window well covers custom made by a quality company are the best option for your home or business. You may have shopped around and found some different styles available for different prices at some of the big box stores or other local home improvement shops. But what you’re finding are probably lower quality pre-made covers.
And those will work just fine, right? Probably not. They’re usually cheaper products made of cheap materials that offer a quick fix to a potential costly issue. Some are as cheap as twenty dollars. You’ve heard the saying “you get what you pay for”, right? Well, that’s certainly true with cheap window well covers. Covers that are built with strong materials can be hundreds of dollars. The issue with some of the more expensive pre made covers isn’t that they’re poorly built (although some are) or use cheap materials. The other issue is the fit. If you look around at different window wells for different homes in different neighborhoods, you’ll start to see that there is no industry standard for shape, length, width, or overall size for window well covers. Most cities have some type of regulation that states minimum distance from the foundation of the home that the well has to stick out, but there are no rules as to whether they have to be square, half circles, rounded corners, etc… This makes for many different sizes and shapes. On top of that, the wells themselves can be bent or twisted out of shape slightly causing different sizes of wells also. Chances are pretty good that if you take a closer look at the window well covers around your own home, they’re not all the exact same size. Some may be just inches different while others vary by feet!
This is where window well covers custom made for your wells will give you the most protection and value. A good company will come to your home and take precise measurements and templates for each of your window wells. This ensures that your window well covers custom fit over your well like a glove. They won’t slide around or sit awkwardly on top of your well like some pre-made covers will.
Another thing to look for in a good window well cover is the materials used. The cheapest covers use flimsy plastic that doesn’t do a good job of protecting your well and certainly doesn’t look great. The last thing you want is a child falling through a cheap cover. Poor materials often won’t last through the changing weather let alone the damage kids or pets can do. Look for covers that are made of high quality steelpolycarbonate, aircraft grade aluminum and other materials that will stand the test of time and be durable enough to hold a large amount of weight. The processes used to create window well covers custom for you are important also. Do your research and make sure that the company uses best welding and coating practices. Companies who provide a top quality product have tested and developed their processes by trial and error to know what works best.
Over the years if you opt to take the cheap route, it often will cost you more in the long run since you’ll likely be replacing your covers much more frequently. With most things in life, you’ll get more value and save yourself a lot of headache by doing things right the first time. It’s the same with window well covers custom made using good techniques and fit properly.