Moisture along the inner surface of the windows is a common window-maintenance issue. Condensation is visible in the form of small droplets of water or an easily-detectable, damp layer along the window’s interior surface. This indicates excessive humidity and poor air circulation within the house, causing retention of water-vapor.
Window condensation is deemed harmful because it causes sustained seepage of moisture along the windowpanes and drywalls around the windows. If timely precautions are not taken, the moisture seepage can become invasive, threatening the structural integrity of the window panels. Mildew development is more common among wall sections around windows with chronic, interior-condensation issues as well. However, this problem can be easily prevented by adopting the following measures.
1. Reducing Humidity Levels
Most urban constructions are prone to window condensation since they have negligible mechanical ventilation. This is done to raise the energy efficiency of the house which in turns helps to restrict monthly expenditure with reduced energy bills. However, in the absence of proper ventilation, moisture tends to build up quickly.
Water vapor is added through a wide range of conventional household activities like washing dishes, bathing, and cooking. Therefore, you need to ensure that all artificial ventilating devices are used on a regular basis. Moisture accumulated inside the bathroom is eventually directed outward if it isn't exhausted immediately.
If you have bath venting fans and kitchen exhaust fans, use them more regularly. If the living room has poor air circulation, ceiling fans can also help. This increases the movement of air within the house, pushing-out the heavier, moisture-rich air. Increased air circulation also quickens the dry time of a damp window surface.
Preparing for Winter Season Condensation
Condensation become a bigger problem during the winter months, as the temperature of the glass is kept low by the outer air while the inside of the home is kept warm. Thus, using a dehumidifier is recommended. It is an affordable device and ensures that the humidity level inside the house is restricted.
Firewood is commonly stored in homes exposed to freezing temperatures. Please understand that natural wood may appear dry from the outside but internally, it contains plant sap and moisture. Firewood stock should be covered with a plastic sheet, and ideally, stored away from the main living space.
Taking Basic Precautions
If condensation has increased to serious proportions and damage to the walls is visible, you need to be more vigilant. Remove all internal plants. This is an easy way of limiting water-vapor emission as plants often increase humidity in the air. If you are using air conditioning systems, ensure that the drainage is directed away from your basement and the crawlspace.
Regularly check the quality of insulation along the attic and in the crawlspace as well. If there is defined discoloration along the concrete linings, you need to caulk and seal them to strengthen their insulation against moisture seepage. Turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom a few minutes before using the facility, if you plan to have a steam bath. Keep the windows open during the daytime to let the sunlight enter the room’s interiors and dry up any dampness.
2. Raising Window Temperature
If the above-listed measures don’t yield enough results and you are still struggling with window condensation, you need to raise the temperature of the window surface. The core principle of this strategy is easy to understand. Condensation happens only when the temperature of the window surface is significantly lower than the internal air’s temperature. Thus, the internal air does not condense when it encounters window surfaces maintained within the same temperature range.
To raise the temperature of the windows, it is recommended that you open at heavy drapes or blinds to allow more warm air from the inside to circulate across the surface of the window. It may seem like window treatments can trap warmth from direct sunlight against the glass, but it also traps any cold air generated by the already-cold window pane. So it’s actually better to open up your coverings to let your heated interior air help.
Using storm windows for the winter months can help with a persistent condensation problem. The space between the two windows will allow the interior glass to stay warmer. While the storm window itself may accumulate some condensation, the interior window will not have nearly as much. However, moisture on the storm windows usually points to a leak in the interior window, so double check your weather stripping to be sure it’s secure and without damage.