You’re probably familiar with condensation on windows. Many believe condensation is unimportant or a non-issue, but over time, window condensation can lead to costly problems. Even if you know what condensation looks like, do you know how to stop condensation on windows?
We put together this guide to explain the causes, signs, impact and potential solutions for window condensation. Federal Way, WA is highly susceptible to condensation problems due to its climate, so learn when to be concerned about condensation and what steps you need to take if necessary to keep your home protected.
What is Window Condensation?
Window condensation is humidity in the form of water droplets that collect on a cold window. Condensation is caused by the differences in temperature between the window and the insulated wall. Condensation on windows happens when warm, moist air collides with the cool surface of the window.
Causes of Condensation on Windows & Glass Doors
Glass is often one of the coldest materials in your house, so excess water vapor often condenses there first. This causes a fog effect and water droplets to form. But what causes that excess water vapor?
Indoor humidity can occur from showering, cooking over the stove or watering plants. Condensation on your windows and glass doors is more likely to occur when drapes are closed or your shades are pulled down.
How to Determine If You Have Condensation
If condensation is on the inside of your window, it’s forming because of excess indoor humidity. If you want to figure out the exact humidity of your home, you can purchase a hygrometer at your local home improvement store. If you live in an old house with old windows, it can appear in one of three places: the inner side, the outer side (like from a dewy morning) or between the panes if you have a double or triple-pane window.
When you notice condensation every now and then on the inside of your window, you can just grab a rag and wipe the window down. If condensation is rare, worrying isn’t necessary as a little moisture buildup isn’t a significant issue. Moisture between the panes, however, is a cause for concern and usually suggests a faulty seal. And leaving long-term condensation untreated in Federal Way is when you run into major problems.
When Condensation is Serious
Collection of humidity on your windows over long periods of time from a broken or damaged seal can lead to mold and mildew. This can impact the safety of people in the home if it spreads or isn’t taken care of. There are many health issues that can be caused by mold.
Long periods of condensation can also lead to insulation damage affecting your energy efficiency, peeling paint and stains on your walls and ceilings, and the moisture can even rot floors or foundations. Even minor water damage in your home can leave you with severe stains and damaged drywall. This impacts the structural integrity of your home and puts your family at risk.
When mold and mildew run rampant, you can find yourself with thousands of dollars in damages. You’ll need to replace your drywall, paint, wallpaper and even your furniture in extensive cases.
Window Condensation Solutions
There are four main solutions to fixing condensation on your windows and doors in Federal Way, WA.
1. Increase Ventilation
Condensation won’t be able to form on your windows if humid air is properly ventilated. First, confirm your dryer’s vent hose runs to the outside of your house and isn’t blocked by anything. Next, check around your fireplace and hearth for beading water. If you have a sealed fireplace you don’t use, it can limit air circulation and create mold and mildew.
Then, take a deep breath and see if you notice a musty smell in your home. Inspect your walls for discolored spots. If you do, this may mean you have fungi running rampant through your home. You’ll want to call in a mold specialist if that’s the case.
You can also enlist exhaust fans to ventilate excess moisture. Add exhaust fans to high humidity spots like your bathroom and kitchen — this will send some of your showerings and cooking moisture outside to help dry out your home’s air. Whenever you decide to take a steaming hot shower or cook up a new recipe in the kitchen, just flip your exhaust fan switch on.
2. Winterize Windows
If you’re only noticing condensation in the colder months in Federal Way, you may be able to get by with winterizing your windows and doors. In the winter, move any windowsill plants farther inside as plants release moisture into the air as they grow. Turn your humidifier off or run it less frequently in the winter months to protect your windows.
If your home is older, consider adding weatherstripping around your windows to further insulate your home.
3. Repair Windows
On older windows, the sealant used to create the window seal around the windows may age faster than the glass or frame. If your seal is damaged, this leads to air gaps and moisture, which can lead to rot for wooden frames. Check your seal and either reseal it or replace it.
4. Replace Windows
If you’ve followed all of the steps listed above and you’re still having condensation issues, it’s time to call in a professional. Or, if you don’t feel like jumping through all the hoops and want to head right to replacement (and maybe an upgrade while you’re at it), that’s also okay.
King County Window & Glass Can Fix Your Window & Door Condensation
Replacing and repairing your windows with condensation can be a complicated process. Sometimes your best bet to prevent damage to your home (and avoid spending excess amounts of money) is to invest in a specialist, sooner rather than later. In order to have a final window product that lasts, trust it to our professionals at KC Window & Glass.
We are trained to look for other hidden sources of moisture, like rainwater seeping into your foundation or crawl space. We have a solution that’s right for you, your problem, and your budget. Contact us today to see how we can help your Federal Way home combat condensation.