You surely know this feeling very well: you wake up on a cold winter morning, come up to the window to take a peek at the world outside and the only thing you can see is a foggy window pane and water on the window bottoms. The problem you face is called window condensation and unfortunately, it is quite common when it is colder outside than inside. We admit that moisture build up can be a pain – but more importantly, it’s also quite dangerous. When left untreated, it can cause damage to your home as well as to your health. Why? 

Well, excessive condensation is simply a form of standing water in which mould, bacteria, and pests can develop and flourish. The latter can be a trigger for health problems from allergies to infections. And when it comes to home damage, prolonged exposure to sitting water will cause uPVC and wooden windows to crack and discolour. What is more, mould or fungus can develop not only in the window frame, but also in the surrounding walls, soft furniture standing next to the windows… and even the inner wall cavity. Let’s try now to estimate the repair costs of the damage caused by window condensation damp – scary, isn’t it? We bet you’d rather learn how to avoid window condensation beforehand!

 

What is window condensation

Before we go on to give you some useful tips on how to prevent condensation on windows, we will explain what it means and where it comes from. Condensation on windows appears when warm moist air collides with the cold glass surface of your windows. Then it releases some of this moisture, which collects as water drops on a cold window pane. It mostly occurs in winter when central heating is on and windows remain closed for most of the days and nights.  A lot of washing, bathing, showering and cooking taking place in your home does not help either – all these activities produce a lot of vapour in the air, which later condenses while hitting cold surfaces. 

It turns out that our cosy, insulated, central-heated homes may have their downsides, too. In fact, all these modern comforts that help to keep out the cold are also the main causes of condensation on our windows – especially, when combined with improper ventilation and drying of the house as well as too low indoor temperature.

 

Preventing condensation on windows

Fortunately, there are a number of actions that you can take to reduce window condensation. Another good news is that you’ll probably be able to fix the condensation problem by yourself – here’s how to do it!

 

  • Improve the ventilation of your home

One of the best methods to prevent condensation on windows is to increase ventilation. Always open your windows when you’re at home – even for some short time! In this way, you will release warm, moist air trapped in the house and prevent humidity from gathering on your windows. Another way to ventilate your rooms is called gravitational ventilation. It is a traditional apartment ventilation system, which, as for the idea, consists in removing the used air “by the forces of nature” by means of ventilation chimneys. In order for gravitational ventilation to perform its role effectively, the temperature inside the house must be higher than outside and windows and doors should be “unsealed” to ensure the influx of fresh air. What is more, if you have energy-saving and airtight triple-or double-glazed windows at home, it is necessary to install air trickle vents for gravitational ventilation to work. 

 

  • Use window trickle vents

Generally, vents are crucial when it comes to reducing the condensation build-up on windows. It is a very good idea to install window trickle vents as they enable air exchange without the need of opening a window – especially when it’s very cold outside. Look for the effective window trickle vents in the Fenbro offer

 

  • Use a dehumidifier

A moisture absorber will help to prevent mould and mildew from growing on your windows. It will do so by absorbing and decreasing the excess moisture in the air. A dehumidifier works best in conjunction with an exhaust fan (installed e.g. in your bathroom) – the latter speeds up the drying process as it keeps air circulating.

 

  • Clear condensation

It’s important to regularly clear the window condensation to stop it developing in to mould. You can do this easily with a towel, tissues, or with a squeegee. The last tool will gently and precisely remove excessive water from the window glass surface. 

 

  • Adjust your heating

You should make sure that your home has adequate heating. It would be best to keep heating on a constant medium setting to balance out the air temperature and prevent the frequent changes between hot and cold. If such a solution seems not to be enough, it is worth equipping your home with a dehumidifier or air conditioner.

 

  • Keep curtains and blinds open

In winter, the sun is more often hiding than shining brightly. And surprisingly, it is good news – thanks to it you can tie back your curtains and raise your blinds for the whole day. It allows heat trapped against your windows to escape and circulate freely.

 

  • Place furniture away from windows and walls

Similarly to closed curtains, pieces of furniture that are standing too close to the walls and windows prevent the air from moving freely around your rooms. That’s why, make sure that your furniture is at least 10 cm away from the surrounding walls – such a gap should make it impossible for mould to grow and spread. 

 

  • Close bathroom and kitchen doors

When you are cooking and taking a shower or a bath, ensure to close your kitchen and bathroom doors. In such a way, you will prevent steam from entering colder rooms and creating favourable conditions for window condensation to form. Also, remember to cover your pots and pans with lids while cooking. This is another effective way to reduce moisture in the air.

 

  • Dry clothes outdoors

In order to avoid condensation on your windows, you have to minimise all sources of moisture in your home. Thus, it is better not to hang wet clothes to dry inside your living space. However, if you have no access to a drying room in your property, always choose to dry clothing in a tumble dryer rather than on radiators. The latter is one of the most common causes of window condensation and mould!

 

  • Ensure tumble-dryers and washing machines are correctly vented

Although tumble dryers help to solve the problem of drying clothes in your home, they work properly under one condition – namely, when they are vented in the right way. The same refers to washing machines. Otherwise, washing and drying can cause massive amounts of condensation and mould that would affect your windows and home in general.

 

  • Take plants and vegetables outside

Houseplants surely brighten our home interior and make it look exceptionally beautiful – but unfortunately, they also produce a lot of moisture. And the latter may be especially damaging in colder months as it could be adding to the dampness level at your home. The same with keeping vegetables indoors – with improper ventilation, it could increase already unfavourable window condensation. 

 

  • Check your windows for a damaged seal

If all the already mentioned tips didn’t work and you still experience problems with condensation on your windows, there might be yet more one cause – and the solution at the same time. What we mean is a window seal failure. It is especially observed in the case of double- or triple glazing units where the foggy windows might be the result of condensation in between the panes. In this case, none of the previous tips will help. Read on to learn how to react in such a situation.

 

Dealing with a seal failure

If you observe that water vapour occurs inside the glazing unit (between the central pane and the outer or inner pane), it means that you are dealing with a damaged seal and a leaky glazing unit that is eligible for replacement. It may also happen that the water vapour does not disappear from the internal or external glass and the unit is extremely cold to the touch (while in the summer it heats up very quickly). The reason may be the reverse installation of the glazing unit and the solution would be turning it by 180 degrees.

If you experience the problem of the damaged seal or the reverse glazing unit installation,  it is crucial to use professional and reliable services – like the ones offered by Fenbro windows and doors fitting team in Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

 

Window replacement and fitting services from Fenbro

However unpleasant it might be, window condensation is a common moisture problem, which should be effectively solved with some of the tips collected by us in this article. Nonetheless, the cause of condensation on windows may sometimes be more complex and it would be good to have it evaluated by real experts in the joinery market. Contact the Fenbro team for help in finding the best possible solution to your window problem. We offer you thorough advice and also a free quote on your window replacement project!