FAQs About Window Condensation

Written by KC Glass on . Posted in Blog

Window condensation is a common problem in homes during the winter months, especially in states with cold winters like Colorado. Knowing what causes window condensation, whether or not window condensation is bad for your windows and what you can do about window condensation, can help you take care of your windows.

The answers to some of these frequently asked questions can help you understand window condensation, so you can address the problem if necessary.

What Causes Window Condensation in the Home?

Window condensation occurs when the humidity in the home is high and the air temperature outside is low. When outside temperatures drop, window glass becomes cold. Inside the home, cold windows can cause warm, humid air to reach its dew point. This causes droplets of water to collect on the glass inside the windows.

Why Does Condensation Appear on Some Windows and Not Others?

Humidity levels must be high enough to cause condensation to form. Humidity levels can vary throughout the house, depending on the activities of the people who live there.

Humidity in the kitchen, for example, may become high because of cooking activities that involve boiling water and washing dishes. In the living room, using the fireplace can increase humidity because wood expels water when it burns. In rooms like the bedroom and guest room, humidity may be lower.

In addition, different types of windows may be more or less susceptible to condensation depending on how cold the glass becomes during cold weather. For example, double-pane windows provide some insulation from the cold air outside the home. Compared to single-pane windows, double-pane windows are less susceptible to condensation.

If condensation forms on all the windows in your home, the house may have an overall humidity problem. Whereas, homes with a few windows that form condensation may be suffering from a more localized problem.

Is Window Condensation Bad for Windows?

Light, occasional window condensation is little more than a nuisance. However, heavy, regular condensation can do damage to the home. Condensation that gathers on the glass, dribbles down to the windowsill and collects there, can then cause wood rot.

In addition, if the chill from the window is strong enough, windowsills themselves may also form condensation. This condensation can also be a source of wood rot.

How Can You Tell If Window Condensation Is Causing Damage?

If window condensation is causing damage to your home, you’ll notice a variety of signs. If your windowsills are painted, you may see the paint begin to peel, bubble and flake off. If your windowsills are made of stained and sealed wood, the seal may begin to peel and crack, exposing bare wood underneath.

If the wood itself begins to rot, it may become stained, splintered or soft. Rotten wood, when poked with a screwdriver, will be easy to gouge. Solid wood that is not rotten will not be easy to puncture with a screwdriver.

Are There Ways to Prevent Window Condensation?

There are many ways that you can prevent window condensation. You can start by trying to control the humidity in their home and there are a variety of ways you can start, for example:

  • Use ceiling vents in rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. Running ceiling vents in a naturally humid room can help control humidity in that room.
  • Use your HVAC system. Running the air conditioner or furnace as appropriate can help control overall humidity levels in your home.
  • Run a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air in your home.
  • Burn properly seasoned wood in your home’s fireplace. Seasoned wood is dryer than unseasoned wood, so burning seasoned wood prevents moisture from being released into your home unnecessarily.

In addition to controlling the humidity in your home, there are other ways that you can prevent condensation from forming on the windows. Installing new double-paned windows can stop the leak of cold air into the home, which prevents the air inside the home from reaching its dew point.

Is It True That Window Condensation Can Occur Because of a Leak?

A leak in the home can cause excess humidity in the air, which in turn can cause condensation. If you notice condensation forming suddenly in certain windows of the house, this could be a sign of a leak occurring behind the walls or in a hidden part of the home.

To fix the problem, work with a professional to identify any leaks in the home and ensure that they are fixed.

Where Can You Find Out More About Fixing Window Condensation?

At Ken Caryl Glass Inc., we’re happy to answer any questions homeowners may have about windows, condensation and other window issues that homeowners encounter. Our friendly team can answer any other questions about condensation, and if you’d like to find out more about how you can take care of your property, contact us today.

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