Have you noticed condensation on your windows? Are you wondering if this is normal? The answer isn’t always clear and may depend on your situation. These little droplets of water are not without consequence though, they threaten dampness and mold if left untreated.
Moisture in window frames: why?
Condensation forms when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface, such as a window. This can happen in the summer when outside temperatures are warm and the dew point is high, or in the winter when outside temperatures are extremely cold. Humidity is always the cause of condensation, which can come from a variety of factors, such as taking a shower, cooking, laundry, or humidifier being too high among other things.
The consequences can be manifold: the appearance of fungus on walls, deterioration of furniture, particularly textile furniture, and respiratory problems.
Is the condensation you’re seeing normal?
Some forms of condensation on windows is perfectly normal and not a reason to think you have a window issue, however in some instances it can be a sign of an issue that requires professional assistance.
Window condensation is not a problem when you are able to wipe off the droplets on the interior or exterior of the window. This is forming on the glass because of the difference in temperatures and the relative humidity. Generally this actually means your windows are very efficient because they are not allowing the moisture to escape.
Window condensation is a problem when you cannot wipe away the droplets. This means the condensation is between the panes of glass and is the sign of a seal failure. There is a leak in the seal of the glass and this requires a glass replacement in order to fix the issue. In some cases if your windows are very old(20-30+ years) or have other signs of deterioration a glass replacement may not be possible and you will need to replace the entire window. It’s also a problem if you are feeling air blowing in or have actual snow or water coming into the house from outside, not just building up on the glass or frame.
1. Air out your Bedroom
Air your bedroom regularly by keeping the door open, turning on a ceiling fan or bathroom exhaust fan, and if it’s warm outside by opening up the windows.
2. Limit steam formation
Reducing the length of your showers can help combat window condensation. A prolonged shower generates a lot of water vapor, which, if not properly evacuated, can spread to adjacent rooms, especially the bedroom. Drying wet surfaces, such as shower walls, can also help minimize moisture build-up.
3. Turn Down Your Humidifier
This is especially helpful for condensation/ice build up in the winter. When extremely cold temperatures hit it is very normal for condensation to build up around the edges of your window. When the outside air is zero degrees this will form at just 25% humidity, so turn the humidifier in your room or on your furnace down to help solve this.
4. Ensure even room heating
Even heat distribution prevents cold spots where condensation is likely to form. The more efficient your heating, the healthier the atmosphere in your room. The use of a thermostat allows you to regulate the temperature and avoid fluctuations that can lead to condensation. Remember to bleed your water radiators regularly to ensure their efficiency and optimum heat distribution. If you have any doubts about the quality of your electric heater, don’t hesitate to replace your old appliance with a modern, high-performance convector.
5. Caulk windows to block out cold air
Poorly insulated windows are cold spots, promoting fogging. Inspect your window seals and frames regularly for defects. If you feel drafts or see signs of wear, it’s time to seal them. Use suitable caulking materials, available from hardware stores, to seal gaps effectively.
6. Raise the temperature on the A/C
This is helpful for summertime condensation. Increasing the temperature in your houses will warm the glass up, which in turn raises the dew point at which condensation will form and reduces overall condensation on your windows.
7. Invest in a dehumidifier
Investing in a good dehumidifier protects your home from moisture damage. This appliance is specially designed to extract moisture from the air. Although there are less expensive solutions, such as moisture absorbers, a dehumidifier is far more effective. It is particularly effective in areas where humidity has already left its mark, or in large rooms.
Renovate your windows
While sometimes condensation is normal and caused by an overly humid house in cold temperatures, or when the dew point is very high in the summer, in other instances it could mean you have an issue that needs fixing. Caulking windows can be a temporary solution or an answer to minor problems. However, window replacement is often the best option for lasting insulation. It is preferable to replace your windows rather than simply caulk them in the following situations:
- if your windows are more than 20 years old
- if you experience cold draughts even after caulking
- if condensation appears between the layers of glass in a double or triple-glazed window (this means that the hermetic seal has broken)
- if the frames or jambs are rotten, warped or damaged
- if you notice resistance to opening or closing
Do not wait for health problems!
There are many ways to deal with condensation on your windows. There are a few things you can do right now. Don’t wait for the situation to get worse. Condensation on bedroom windows is a sign that it’s time to take action to protect your health and that of your home. Contact an expert for a diagnosis and tailor-made solutions if the problem persists.
How Schaaf Window can help you