Why Do My Windows Suffer From Condensation?

Condensation being wiped off a windowWhen it’s a boiling hot summer’s day and someone hands you an ice cold drink dripping with condensation, it’s somewhat satisfying yet rarely ever questioned.

Now imagine the same but on a cold winter’s morning dripping down your windows… it’s just not as satisfying.

Condensation occurs when warm or humid air collides with cold glass or windows, causing droplets to be formed. If you’re windows look like a dull, old pint glass then you may be suffering from condensation.

If you do notice these symptoms, the absolute worst thing you can do is ignore it. Here at Crystal Clear, we want you to feel comfortable in your home and not at risk of dangerous bacteria. So read on to find out how to tackle and prevent water condensing on the inside of your windows:

What is Condensation?

As the cold winter starts to breeze by, this becomes an increasing problem in many houses. The majority of home owners will have experienced this issue at one point or another and may have potentially been subject to its effects. However, the knowledge of resolving condensation isn’t something we are all equipped with.

Condensation occurs when warm, humid air makes contact with a cold surface. A wrong assumption made by a lot of people is that it only occurs on windows. In fact condensation can affect any cold surface, including your walls and particularly throughout the winter months. Surprisingly, there’s more than one type you should be looking out for:

  1. open soft drink canSurface – Surface condensation is the most common type and is recognised by the puddles that form on a surface rather than in-between layers. Evident on windows, cold drinks and other surfaces you’ll likely come across this on a daily basis. This type of condensation can promote mould growth in your home.
  2. Interstitial – Interstitial condensation is where warm, moist air will penetrate into a structure and create a dew point. This could include walls, roofs or even floor structures. Depending on where the humid air settles this is potentially dangerous and destructive as mould growth, rotting timber or corrosion of metal components is likely.
  3. Growing MouldRadiation – Radiation, also known as “clear night” condensation is caused when the temperature significantly drops at night affecting the underside of roof coverings. For example, you may have seen this when dripping onto insulation quilting creating a blotchy effect and discolouring.
  4. Reverse – Reverse, also referred to as “summer” condensation is hard to see at first and may require a proper inspection. This kind of condensation occurs after a lot of rain has fallen and then the sun dries it up. Problems occur when the heat of the sun forces water vapour into the wall and it comes in contact with insulation.

This may encourage mould to grow within the structure of the house, which when left, may cause serious problems in the future.

High Risk Areas

The majority of rooms in the home are subject to condensation, but there are a handful of high risk areas that you should really be looking a little more closely at:

Kitchens Kettle producing water vapour

Kitchens almost always have a high level of moisture in the air thanks to cooker, kettles, microwaves, and other appliances. You can simply open a window or door whilst cooking to allow humid air to escape and avoid future problems.

Bathrooms, Toilets and En-suites

The steam from a hot shower or bath will inevitably create condensation on the bathroom windows and walls due to the volume of moisture in the air. It may be more beneficial to control it rather than avoid it. Opening a window again would work, or clearing the windows after a shower will stop the condensation from turning into mould but read below for more permanent fixes.

Utility Rooms

With washing machines, tumble driers, and ironing equipment in high use the appliances pump more moisture into the air. Avoid drying clothes indoors and ensure that this room is particularly well ventilated.

Tackling Condensation

There are a number of processes which will rid you off your condensation issues. However, we strongly emphasise that these are only temporary solutions to the problem. Whilst it may be easier to simply open a window or wipe away the moisture, you run the risk of more permanent problems.

Ventilation

Keeping a room ventilated is a must, especially in high risk areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. If the temperatures of the two sides of the glass somewhat match, it’ll eliminate the main cause meaning no condensation. However, this doesn’t mean you have to keep all the windows open, but periodically throughout the day will significantly reduce the amount of condensation building up.

Dry the Condensation

If you do spot any condensation in your house, get rid of it as soon as possible. Water cleaning vacuums are great at doing so and will save you the hassle of clearing up the excess water. However, a simple squeegee and towel will do the trick! This will avoid nasty bacteria such as mildew and mould coming into your home. Nevertheless, this is only a temporary fix and will not prevent the condensation coming back.

Preventing the Effects of Condensation

Whilst the above suggestions for tackling condensation can help, you will need to take more permanent action to ensure you don’t see repeat cases or risk the development of mildew and mould in your home.

Double Glazed Windows

Double GlazingDouble glazed windows are the most significant cure for condensation as they act as an insulator. They work by keeping the inside window the same temperature as the room and the outer window the same temperature as outside meaning there are no collisions between the two temperatures. This can be mirrored with wall insulation to prevent condensation forming there too.

If you’re looking to improve the quality of your in-house insulation but would prefer not to replace your windows, here at Crystal Clear we can double glaze, draught proof and seal your windows without any damage to the existing glass already in your home.

Trickle Vents

Due to our increasingly popular aim to reduce bills and minimise the loss of heat, homeowners often forget that their homes still need to be well ventilated. Whether wall insulation, roof insulation, or double glazing the resulting factor leads to an increase in moisture encouraging condensation, mould and damp.

Trickle vents are a type of ventilation system which allow air to ‘trickle’ into your home without risking a significant temperature change. These are usually placed above windows and doors to avoid temperature collision meaning no condensation is formed.

Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers work by extracting moisture out of the air and collecting it in a built in tank. This will stop the moisture from getting to a surface, and in turn stop the growth of mould and mildew. However, these are only effective in the room in which they are placed. Therefore you’ll have to purchase a dehumidifier per high risk room to ensure you are warning off condensation.

Extractor fans

Extractor fans are perfect for bathrooms and kitchens where there is a high risk of humidity and moisture. Most beneficial when close to the source, they simply extract steam created by a hot shower or cooking pot for example. Additionally they are easy to fit and even improve the quality of your air.

Ignore Condensation at your Peril

Ill childIgnoring any condensation build up will not make it go away and could have a detrimental effect on your health. Dampness inside the home can be the cause of a wealth of health issues and even make current ones worse. Growing mould is especially dangerous to people will allergies causing them to suffer fever like symptoms.

With young children and elderly being exceptionally at risk, it is important that you keep an eye out for any rooms this winter that are at risk of dampness and condensation.

Once left, condensation can be very hard to get rid of. It won’t just be a simple wipe away or opening of the window. The room will need a deep clean to completely remove the growing mould which is why it is crucial that you get the problem resolved as soon as possible.

At Crystal Clear, we want to avoid you getting into this situation to start with, which is why we offer a range of double glazed windows to homeowners which are also highly energy efficient and of highest quality.

Fancy a chat?

Preparing for the coming winter can sound dull and grey but really just taking a few simple precautions during the cold months can save a great deal of hassle. However, if this is already a problem for you, there is plenty of advice you can follow to break the cycle and get your home back on track.

Our team at Crystal Clear would love to have a chat to you about what windows would be most suitable for your needs and how we can help you prevent condensation creeping into your home. Just give us a call on 01179 717880.