You know what’s the most annoying thing about window condensation? You spend a fortune on energy efficient windows and doors, and all sorts of insulation solutions around the house, and then they tell you: “oh, haven’t you heard? Too much insulation causes condensation. If you don’t crack the window, you’ll get mold.”
And then, you go into the room for which you didn’t get a window replacement yet and while noticing condensation inside, you can’t help but wondering what’s going on! Is condensation a problem for both old and new windows? Let us put our thoughts in order.
What is condensation?
Condensation happens when warm air meets with cold surfaces. The most distinct example is that of the bathroom mirror when we shower. The steam from the hot water fogs up the cold surface of the mirror.
Since glass surfaces are impervious, they are often the victims of condensation. That’s why we often talk about window condensation. We also talk about it because more often than not, it’s bad news.
Does window condensation imply window failures?
There’s not only one form of window condensation. That’s why you may notice condensation inside and outside of the window, between the glass panes too.
The levels of humidity indoors determine the levels of condensation as well. That’s why we mostly have such problems during the winter. All doors and windows are air tight close, while the heating system works at its full capacity. Without some exhaustion of this heat, there’s some humidity, which is further enhanced by cooking, using appliances, showering. The higher the humidity the more the water droplets you see on the window.
The paradox – we mentioned above, is that we get double and triple glazing windows to better insulate the home only to see that the condensation becomes an everyday problem due to too good insulation. This happens because the moist air finds no escape route – that’s why cracking the window is the easy way to deal with the problem.
Clearly, window condensation is a phenomenon which happens due to the indoor humidity. Not that windows are not to blame, sometimes, but not always.
When windows are to blame for the window condensation
When you notice condensation among the glass panes, it’s the window’s fault. It’s likely a sealant problem. You see, there are sealants between the glass and the frame. If they are of poor quality, improperly installed, or broken, moisture will find its way in between glazing, creating condensation. On such occasions, replacing the window – especially if it’s old, is necessary, although some problems can be fixed.
There’s a spacer among glazing full of desiccant that absorbs the moisture and prevents condensation unless the seals are broken or the window installation is not done right.
How can you tell there’s condensation between glazing? First of all, you see the fog. Naturally, if it happens to all windows at your home, it’s unlikely that they all have sealant failures. It’s rather likely there’s increased humidity in the house. But if you need condensation with one or two windows, it’s important that you find a window contractor. Why? Condensation is no good news.
The consequences of window condensation?
Which is your worse nightmare when there’s window condensation? I’ll be straight with you. Mold. When there’s condensation inside or around the inner part of the window, you will see mold growing. Yes, you can wide the excess moisture and crack the window for a few minutes now or later, but it’s hard to do it all the time. At one point and given that there’s window condensation daily, you will see mold forming.
Mold is always bad news. It’s bad for your health. It’s bad for the home. It’s bad for everything you keep around the house. You see, mold grows fast. It spreads and it feeds on organic matter, like paper, wood, etc. Although such mold spores cannot create severe health problems, they are not good for you either. The bad news is that they spread quickly and so you will need to keep cleaning them, while breathing in a not-so good environment. Plus, there might be some damage on all materials due to the mold and condensation too.
How do you deal with window condensation and the consequences?
It’s best to talk to a window installation company since not all situations are the same. You need to see what caused the condensation at your home in the first place, the extent of the problem, and whether a window repair solution is plausible or not. But overall, the best way to minimize window condensation – apart from having a good window installed properly, is good ventilation. Even if it’s not the window’s fault, all this indoor humidity must find a way out.