According to EnviroVent, one in five homes across the UK have condensation. Condensation is the most common form of damp, and is much more prevalent when people heat their homes and close all their windows and doors to avoid the cold snap during winter.
But it isn’t just keeping the heat in and the cold out that causes condensation. In fact, day-to-day living can cause excess moisture, resulting in blurred windows. At Framemaster, we’ve been installing windows, orangeries and conservatories in homes across Solihull and Birmingham since 2013. With so much experience in window maintenance, we’ve got the tips and tricks needed to help you avoid condensation in your home.
What is condensation?
Condensation is quite simply the conversion of gases or vapours into liquid. You’ll often see condensation on the interior or exterior of glass panes in windows and doors.
When one side of the glass in a home is at a different temperature to the other side, water droplets collect on the surface of the windowpane, causing condensation. Condensation is a clear sign that the inside of your house is more or less humid than the outside (or vice versa).
This is common in older properties that have been renovated, bathrooms, kitchens, conservatories and orangeries.
It is important to highlight that excess moisture on windows doesn’t always mean there is a real problem.
In some instances, water droplets on glass panes suggest that your windows and doors have airtight seals and are successfully keeping heat within the home.
Common causes of condensation on windows
Excess moisture isn’t just caused by the heating being switched on. In fact, many everyday activities cause condensation, including:
- Having a bath or shower
- Washing and drying clothes
- Boiling kettles
Here are some common signs of condensation to watch out for:
- Water collecting on the inside of a window or on a windowsill
- Water collecting on non-absorbent surfaces such as worktops and tiles
- Peeling or rotting wallpaper
- Black mould – this may be growing on the edges of the windows, behind the furniture or even between wall and floor/ceiling
- Damp odour – the room may smell musty or damp, giving off a generally unpleasant odour
Any activity that involves heat or water can result in excess moisture in the air. And as temperatures in the air drop, moisture that is still held in the warmer air then lands on cooler surfaces – creating condensation.
What happens if you don’t treat condensation?
If you have a significant amount of condensation in your home and you leave it untreated, the fabric of your building’s home will be at risk – as condensation can affect the crooks of the building, as well as simply the wallpaper or the furniture.
However, if you remove all moisture, you may find that woodwork warps and there’s more static electricity in carpets or on metal.
Excess moisture can also cause damp and black mould, which trigger allergies, eczema and respiratory illnesses and infections. These are particularly harmful to those with asthma, pregnant women and the elderly.
How to avoid condensation on windows
Internal, external and condensation in between glass panels are caused by different variables, so they have different solutions.
Condensation between window panes
It is very difficult to control moisture in between dual and triple-pane windows and is often a sign of seal failure. If you’ve got condensation in between your window panes, you should consult with a professional window installer to find out whether you need to replace your entire window or just the window panes.
Condensation on exterior windows
When the exterior surface temperature of the windowpane drops below the dew point of the outside air, condensation appears on the outside windows. This usually happens during the summer months when the days are humid and the nights are cool.
Clear night skies without clouds, minimal winds and high humidity play key parts in causing exterior condensation.
Fighting exterior condensation can be challenging. Try to leave your curtains and blinds open where possible, keep any pants or shrubbery maintained and ensure your heating is keeping your glass at warmer temperatures.
Condensation on interior windows
Condensation indoors is a clear sign that inside is warmer and much more humid than the outside. You’ll often see this sort of condensation during Winter when people have turned their heating on.
How to avoid condensation on windows
Whether you’re suffering from condensation between window panes, or damp under bay windows, knowing how to fix condensation in windows is essential.
Here are our top tips on fixing damp, black mould or condensation problems at home:
- Open windows – ventilating your house properly is one of the most effective ways to avoid condensation in the home.
- Extractor fans – ensure that fans in a shower or bathroom are turned on, especially if you’re having a particularly hot shower that could exert lots of steam.
- Insulate home – preventing heat from escaping is a good way to keep the temperature consistent in your house and avoid condensation from forming.
- Washing clothes – hanging up your wet washing on the line outside can help prevent condensation in the home, as this way there’s less moisture in the air than hanging your clothes up to dry inside.
- Cooking – pans on the hob should have lids, which prevent the steam from creating more moisture in the air.