Blog > Category Post > Updated: 2019-Jun-24
When it comes to improving basement air quality, comfort and aesthetics, there may be many problems to resolve. Although there are numerous solutions to make basements more livable, comfortable places, a key consideration should always address the possibility of mould, bacteria or radon that can lead to issues that could affect an entire home and the people living in it.
So the big question is, how do windows factor into all of this?
The easiest and quickest way to solve a poor ventilation issue in a basement is to literally open-it-up to air circulation. And although installing a fresh air ventilation system might sound like the most obvious solution, modifications to your current windows might present a more energy-efficient alternative, provided there are no other issues.
Windows provide great ventilation and can help exchange the air in a room very quickly. Not only that, they add another dimension to a living space and allow real sunlight in.
Radon is a naturally occurring odourless and colourless radioactive gas that has been linked to lung cancer and other ailments. Levels of radon in the home (usually emanating from the basement) are dependent on many different variables such as geological location and old vs new construction. Although letting fresh air in and contaminated air go out is necessary to deal with Radon, windows on their own are not a solution to a radon problem.
Mould and bacteria are all around us, they play an important role in the natural process of decay. And basements, by their nature, often provide a perfectly dark, damp, stagnant air environment that moulds and bacterias love to live in. If allowed to grow unchecked inside your home, mould can result in damage to both the structure of your home and your family’s health.
Unfortunately, UV-C rays (from the sun) the UV rays that are effective in killing bacteria and viruses, are absorbed by the atmosphere and do not reach the earth, nor pass through window glass. That said light and heat that passes through a window can help to diminish the environment that these ugly invaders love.
If you are thinking about replacing basement windows and you have dampness issues, you may want to consider installing larger windows that let more light in and allow for the exchange of air faster. Even low levels of sunlight can help reduce basement humidity and help dry up damp spots and moisture caused by condensation or poorly sealed windows.
This basement room had a small, wooden slider window. The slab was cut and the exterior window trough was increased to accommodate a large multi-window configuration that fills the room with natural light.
Windows in older homes and even in newer homes are often small and operate poorly. If you are planning on renovating your basement and want to maximize the comfort and aesthetics of your new living space, windows can make a huge difference in lighting up an area, as well as providing increased security and safety.
Not only can windows be replaced to an existing window size opening, but they can also be enlarged and configured in multiple ways that will beautify and make your basement a more pleasing environment.
There are two different types of windows that are perfect for basements: awning windows and sliding windows.
Hinged at the top, awning windows open effortless outwards from the bottom with a crank and are easily secured with multi-latch locks on the sides. They provide great ventilation and moderate wet weather protection when open.
Slider windows offer large unobstructed views and provide great air circulation, especially if there is only one window in the room. There\‘s no outside extrusion that’s typical of a casement or awning window.
If you would like more information on how you can improve the aesthetics and air quality of your basement, talk to one of our window installation experts.