It all starts with a few drops of water somewhere near the frame of the window pane and by the time you know it, your whole window is covered in condensation. You wipe the window, possibly spray it with something and then hope the condensation won’t come back the next day.

If you want to learn:

  • what is condensation;
  • what causes condensation;
  • how to stop condensation on windows;

Then, this article is for you!

Table of Contents:

What Causes Condensation on Windows

Before we explore the prime causes for condensation to form, we need to learn the science behind the phenomenon. Condensation forms in one of two ways:

  • When the humidity levels in the room are too high;
  • When cold surfaces are exposed to warm or hot air.

It’s no wonder why condensation tends to appear in some areas, such as the bathroom, wet rooms, and the kitchen, more often than in others. Showering, cooking and washing clothes are all activities, which require the use of water. In these particular cases, condensation forms mainly due to the high levels of humidity.

But what about all the other areas in your house? Depending on the layout of your home, the amount of furniture and its arrangement, as well as the location and state of your windows, there are a few other possible causes for condensation to appear. Some of them include:

  • Damaged insulation seals of your windows;
  • Drafty windows;
  • Not enough ventilation in the room;
  • Structural damage to the house or the windows;
  • Human error.

The last point refers to when one unintentionally creates an imbalance in the temperature between areas. This usually happens when only one or some of the rooms are heated up to conserve energy. Ever wondered how condensation forms on your windows overnight? This is how: the hot air in the room collides with the cold walls and windows of the unheated areas while it’s circulating around the house.

How to Get Rid of Condensation

Given the many and various causes for condensation, you need to identify the specific reason it forms on the windows in your house before you tackle it. This may require a few days of observation and trying a few things on our list of tactics.

Long-term Solutions

Many people try to find easy and cheap solutions to condensation, because it is usually considered more of a nuisance rather than a serious problem. However, condensation can be a good indicator and a symptom of severe structural damage. With that in mind, here are some of our long-term solutions to prevent condensation.

  • Make a thorough inspection of your heating system and window insulation
  • One of the first things you need to do is to examine your home’s heating system and insulation. Very often there is a problem with the boiler or the piping, which leads to rise in humidity levels within the walls. This can also cause the appearance of black mould, which is a health hazard. Hence, the importance of annual boiler servicing.

    If everything is in order with the heating system, inspect the sealing of your windows, as well as any entrances leading to the outside world. Chances are a cold draft is causing condensation on your windows due to its clash with the warm temperature inside your house. If you have any suspicions of drafty windows, consult with a door and window repair expert.

  • Check if your tumble dryer is properly maintained and vented
  • Tumble dryers are a good way to ensure you have clean and dry clothes to wear to work the next day, especially during the cold seasons. However, if you don’t install your tumble dryer correctly, it may start dispersing the water it absorbs from your laundry into your home.

  • Inspect all of the extractor fans in your home
  • As you may have noticed, the common theme here is maintenance. Routine upkeep is the solution to many house problems. Another thing on your list for items to examine should be the extractor fans around your home.

  • Install air bricks
  • What makes these bricks special is they are manufactured with little ventilation holes. They are usually installed as a way to combat dampness within the house and under the ground floor so it wouldn’t rot. Sometimes they are also laid alongside standard bricks when building sealed chimneys to ensure proper airflow.

  • Fit roof ventilation tiles
  • Similar to the air bricks, there are roof ventilation tiles and soffits, which can be installed to allow better air circulation. Another option is to add vents to your already-installed windows. If you have skylights, make sure the flashing and seals are not damaged during the cleaning process.

  • Consider double-glazed windows or storm windows
  • This option is not so obvious, but sometimes it’s better to give your house a nice upgrade in the form of storm windows or double-glazed windows. The idea is to add a second layer, which will protect the inside glazing from being exposed to extreme temperature differences on both sides.

  • Apply anti-condensation paint
  • If you are not renting and are allowed to make renovations, you can refurbish your walls with anti-condensation paint. On top of serving as an additional protective coating, this type of paint also usually has anti-fungal properties, which prevent the formation of mould and mildew. And if you need the extra help, the Fantastic painters and decorators can help you get the job done.

  • Move furniture and plants away from the walls
  • If none of the above are applicable to your case, you can try moving your furniture and plants around and away from the walls to prevent the formation of air bubbles. Sometimes something as simple as shifting the position of an armchair can make all the difference.

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Short-term Solutions

Now that we’ve explored the long-term solutions, let’s see what are the easier and more short-term options to prevent condensation.

  • Always turn on extractor fans when cooking or taking a shower
  • Be mindful of the humidity levels in your house when your activities include water. Whether it’s cooking or having a nice relaxing bath, don’t forget to ventilate the room during or after you’re done.

  • Refrain from drying clothes indoors
  • We’re all guilty of trying to dry our clothes faster by putting them onto the radiator. However, this only speeds up the evaporation process and if your house is not properly ventilated, the excess water sticks to the walls and windows in the form of condensation.

  • Dehumidify the air if necessary
  • A quick way to fix the humidity levels in your home is to purchase a portable moisture extractor and position it in different rooms. This method is helpful in identifying the source of moisture. On the other hand, if you’re using a humidifier to tackle the dry air in your home or battle any health issues, reconsider the amount of time it stays active.

  • Regularly ventilate your home
  • The simplest solution against condensation is to routinely allow fresh air in your house by opening the windows. This will not only balance out any temperature differences, but it will benefit your health in the long run.

Hire a Professional

If you’re unable to identify the exact reason for the high humidity levels in your home, but you have an inkling as to what it may be, consider asking a professional. Your first point of reference should be your local window cleaner. Many of the above-mentioned issues can be detected during a typical window washing session as any cleaning liquids, such as detergents and pure water, can leak through the broken seals.

Fantastic Services offers a top-notch window cleaning service, which guarantees streak-free results, even for hard-to-reach windows. If you happen to be on the spot during the cleaning session, you can coordinate with your window washing expert and periodically check your windows while they’re being cleaned.

Takeaways

  • Regularly clean your windows to prolong the life of your windows;
  • Conduct a thorough window maintenance at least twice a year, preferably in spring and autumn;
  • Check if your condensation issues require a long-term solution or a short-term one;
  • If you see black mould forming along with the condensation, immediately contact a professional as this may mean your house has severe structural damages;
  • Don’t hesitate to ask your local window cleaner for an expert opinion.

***

Image source: Deposit Photos / daisy-daisy

  • Last update: November 9, 2020

Posted in Cleaning Guides, Window Cleaning Tips

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