It’s wintertime. And with the colder weather of this season, you might also notice the pesky, overwhelming moisture that fogs up your windows. Not only does it obstruct your views, but it can also mean a variety of problems for your home.
But don’t fret or jump to any conclusions just yet. Understanding window condensation allows you to make an informed decision about your windows as a homeowner, and as an exterior window contractor, our goal is to help give you the knowledge you need to do just that. With over 25 years of experience, we understand window condensation and how you can remediate this moisture issue.
Let’s start at the beginning.
What Is Condensation?
In short, condensation is the conversion of water from a vapor/gaseous state to a liquid state. Warm air possesses the ability to retain water in the form of humidity. When that water comes in contact with colder air or a colder surface, it is brought back to its liquid state, which forms water beads—also known as condensation.
What Causes Window Condensation?
Your home’s windows are often its coldest exterior feature. The glass panes, which are in direct contact with the exterior world, lose heat and are relatively the same temperature as the outside air. When your home’s interior is warmer than the glass, any steam or moisture that comes in contact with the glass condenses.
So, Is It Okay or Not?
Due to the nature of condensation, sometimes window condensation is fine, and other times it’s not. The presence of moisture in a home is always cause for vigilance, but especially when it occurs near your walls or home structure. Window condensation can manifest in three different ways, and each will mean something different and require different levels of attention.
If condensation forms on the outside of your home, it typically remains a positive sign.
Properly insulated windows will keep interior heat from transferring to your exterior and vice versa. In short, it means no unwanted airflow is occurring. This can, at times, cause condensation to form on the exterior side of your windows.
Exterior condensation can occur during the summertime as air conditioning cools down the interior of a home and condenses exterior humidity. But it is most likely to occur during the spring or fall as the days heat up and experience rapid changes in temperature into the night.
The formation of water droplets on the interior of a window indicates a high level of moisture in your home. Sometimes this can be the direct result of an everyday occurrence such as boiling pasta or running your dryer. But sometimes, it’s the result of unwanted, hidden moisture in your space.
If you are uncertain of the cause, observe how long the condensation lasts. Temporary condensation is likely not cause for concern, especially when it occurs during the change of warm weather to cold. The heat of summer can fill your home with excessive humidity, which will slowly dissipate as the seasons change. However, if the condensation persists or reoccurs (especially during the summer months), then interior condensation can be a cause for concern.
Condensation between Window Panes
The biggest issue comes when the condensation appears between the glass panes. Why? Because the presence of condensation means moisture has been able to penetrate the interior of your window. Therefore, the seal and insulation of the window have been compromised, and the window is no longer performing properly and may even be allowing moisture to penetrate your home’s walls, which can cause severe water damage. It’s time to take action.
How to Reduce Window Condensation
If your home has its share of interior condensation, the question becomes how you can reduce it. Moisture that’s left unchecked breeds mold and mildew, which can cause wood rot, deterioration of your walls or siding, and even health issues. Your windows can simply be the indicator of a larger problem, so pay them special attention and take the initiative to have them fixed when needed. Here are a few simple ways to do that.
Airflow is the best way to avoid moisture problems. It prevents steam from having a chance to settle and condensate. Ventilating your home keeps a steady airflow within the rooms of your house.
- Run vent fans in your bathroom during and for at least 20 minutes after a shower.
- Open windows in rooms with high levels of steam: bathroom, kitchen, laundry room.
- Open doors to allow for ventilation when necessary.
Keep the air in your home circulating to prevent stagnant moisture from having a chance to settle. Run your ceiling fans the traditional counterclockwise in the summer months, and reverse them during the winter to maintain airflow and also circulate warm air downward into your living space.
Areas of increased humidity can benefit from a dehumidifier. You can easily purchase one at any major retailer and begin seeing results in your home.
When your windows experience the dreaded between-panes condensation, then your only solution will be a window replacement. A replacement contractor will seamlessly fit replacement windows to your home, providing greater insulation.
Care for Your Home with Beautiful New Windows
Window problems occur in every home. The difference results from your response as a homeowner. Being proactive is the best solution to your condensation troubles.
When you face broken seals and under-insulated windows, don’t stress. Our team is ready to answer your questions and provide a thorough window replacement that will bring you peace of mind, knowing that your windows won’t allow moisture to wreak havoc in our interior. To learn more about how a Lakeside Renovation and Design window replacement can elevate the integrity of your home, check out our window replacement services.