Condensation on windows spoils views, creates mould and rots wood, so it has to be dealt with quickly and effectively. Window condensation is usually at its worst first thing in the morning. This is because doors and windows are usually sealed shut, and warm, damp air has nowhere to escape.
If you have double glazing throughout your home, condensation shouldn’t be a major issue — unless the windows or doors are damaged. But even with quality double glazing installed, condensation can still cause problems.
In the majority of cases, stopping or reducing condensation is relatively easy.
Ways to stop window condensation
A little condensation in the home is inevitable. We all have baths, showers, hot water and household appliances that contribute to humidity levels. But by making a few changes to our home and our routines, it is possible to minimise condensation without too much effort.
Keep your home warm and well ventilated
Maintaining a warm temperature in your home during the colder months of the year is essential. Use thermostats to monitor room temperatures and change heating levels accordingly. Try to equalise the temperatures of the air and the surfaces it surrounds (installing multi-pane glazing is one example).
If you have extraction fans and vents, make sure they’re being used regularly — particularly during winter. This minimises the moisture in the air by allowing it to travel outside. Also, plan the layout of each room carefully. The worst thing you can do if your home has a condensation problem is restrict airflow with bulky items of furniture.
However, the simplest way to keep a home ventilated is to open windows and doors, particularly when you’re creating humidity through showering, bathing and doing laundry.
Minimise moisture in the home
As well as ensuring your home is well ventilated, there are some simple changes to your routines that should help to reduce the amount of water being held in the air. For example, use extractors and fans when you take a bath or a shower, and always turn on your extractor hood when cooking in the kitchen. When you’re boiling water in the kitchen, always open a door or window, and use pan lids to trap excess moisture whenever possible.
Try to dry most of your garments outside when doing your laundry. Leaving them to dry on clothes horses indoors or using a tumble dryer simply sends the moisture from the clothes into the air. Make sure your dryer is ventilated to the outside, and switch to a condenser — which traps most of the moisture in a removable tray.
Excess window condensation of a prolonged period can cause serious problems — both for your home and the people living in it. For example, excess water can cause window seals to warp and loosen, while the excess damp can lead to mould and respiratory problems.
Make a habit of removing window condensation first thing every morning — when it’s at its worst. Use an absorbent paper towel or microfibre cloth to gently scoop and wipe the water off the surface of your windows. Use a fresh towel or a squeegee to dry the pane thoroughly afterwards. And open windows immediately to stop the condensation from quickly returning.
Of course, if the condensation is persistently serious, you might need to get your windows checked for hidden damage.
If you have a condensation problem, you probably have a mould problem — even if you don’t realise it yet. Serious accumulations around a window might require a specialist cleaning agent containing bleach, which itself can be hazardous to health. However, most moulds can be removed and killed with a steam cleaner.
Mould has the potential to cause structural and cosmetic damage in your home, and it’s also hazardous for people with pre-existing respiratory problems. Keep condensation in check, and you should be able to keep the worst of the related mould at bay.