An egress window well is a great way to not only add more safety to your home, but also value. The egress window is a large area built into the concrete foundation for easy escape in the event of a fire or other disaster.
Egress window wells are made of a wide variety of materials, such as wood timbers, concrete blocks, and bricks. You can even purchase prefabricated egress window wells for ease of installation. With a concrete block egress window well, there is the chance that you will need to repair portions of the wall if the blocks crack. Here are some steps to do the job with little problem.
Step 1 - Determine Where Repair Is Needed
If you notice that something is wrong with your cement block egress window well, the problem may be something other than what you believe it to be. Look over the egress window well and make sure there are no other problems attributing to cracked blocks or an uneven wall.
Step 2 - Brace Wall
If the wall is uneven, you will need to brace it securely in order to do any work on it. That also goes for replacing any broken cement blocks. Use lengths of 2x4-inch lumber to brace the wall against the surrounding dirt and house walls.
Step 3 - Dig Under Wall
One of the problems with concrete block egress walls is they can sink into the ground if there is not a stable foundation. The concrete blocks should be on a firm bedding of crushed stone. Dig under the blocks and place more braces so you can work without worry of it falling over. Build the ground under the wall with rocks and stones. Fill around the egress wall when finished.
Step 4 - Remove Mortar
Another problem is that a concrete block may have cracked because of a shift in the soil. To repair the shift, you will need to replace the block. Dig out the mortar around the block with a spade or a small hand trowel.
Step 5 - Brace Upper Block
Before you take out the broken concrete block in the egress window well, you will need to brace the blocks above it. Place one 2x4-inch board vertically on the lip of the block and the other at an angle.
Step 6 - Remove Block and Replace
With the wall braced again for the removal of the block, you can remove the broken block. Remove it from the area so you have more room to work. Clean the hole where the block will go. Spread a new layer of mortar around the block on all sides. Lift it into position and work it around until it is even with the others.
Step 7 - Use Some Concrete Patch
If the crack in the egress window well is just superficial and not going to weaken the integrity of the wall you can simply use concrete filler as a patch. This product comes in a tube and is used through the use of a caulking gun.