What is condensation?
Condensation is essentially the water beads that form when hot moist air meets a cool surface. Condensation itself is not thought to be dangerous however if it is not maintained efficiently then it can develop into mould which is linked to health conditions such as asthma and Bronchitis. That’s why it helps to keep condensation at bay before it worsens and can cause damage to your home and health.
When will condensation form?
All air contains water vapour, the warmer the temperature of the air the more water vapour it is able to hold. When warm moist air is met with a cooler surface temperature it causes water vapour to be released in the form of condensation. Condensation can develop on most areas; once the cooler surface lowers the temperature of the air it is unable to retain as much moisture so releases it in the form of condensation. As condensation generally forms on non-absorbent surfaces, it is often not immediately noticed until mould and mildew form.
What causes condensation on windows?
The contrast between the temperatures at each side of the windows makes it the perfect location for condensation to form, due to the cold temperature outside of the property and the heat coming from our heating systems on the inside. Good quality, well insulated windows help to make your home much warmer and prevent condensation from forming on unwanted surfaces.
Condensation on the inside facing glass of your windows
If you’re finding the inside facing glass is gathering condensation and making your windowsill wet it can be annoying but it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a fault with your windows. The main reason this type of condensation gathers is due to factors inside your home, such as the ventilation and how many people live in the property. Little things such as purchasing a dehumidifier can help massively and mean that you should not have to replace your windows.
Condensation on the outside facing glass of your windows
Condensation forming on the outside facing glass is actually a really good sign that your windows are working correctly and keeping your home well insulated. Such condensation should disappear once the temperature outside heats up but this does not indicate any fault with your windows.
Condensation between the two panes of glass
Having condensation and moisture trapped between your window glass can look unsightly and ruin the look of your home. It is one of the most common double-glazing problems that affects UK households and is a major sign that the seal on your double glazing has failed and will need replacing. The performance of your windows will be decreased meaning that it could be costing you more than it should to heat each room as warm air will be escaping through the windows and cold outside air is being allowed in.
Condensation can cause real problems within your home and affect the way it looks and smells. While some form of condensation is normal and to be expected, if it is forming between the panes of glass in your windows then it suggests a fault within your window unit. Replacing such windows will have a huge benefit on how warm your home is and how efficient it is to heat.
How to prevent condensation damage in your home
Increase ventilation - If your home is suffering from condensation, damp or mould the best thing you can do is to try and improve the ventilation inside. Try to regularly open windows to allow air to move freely and let moist air escape from the property. It’s best to keep windows open when doing activities that produce excess moisture such as bathing, showering and cooking. You should not draught proof your kitchen and bathroom if you have a severe condensation problem. Ventilation systems such as extractor fans can massively help to reduce the condensation in your home.
Reduce the moisture - Everyday home activities will produce moisture into the air that cannot be avoided, the more people living in a property the more moisture will be released. Reducing how much moisture is in the air can have a huge impact in tackling condensation dampness. Little changes such as having your tumble dryer vented outside and hanging washing on an outside line instead of drying it inside the home can really help. If you have a condensation dampness issue it is never a good idea to dry clothes indoors or over radiators. The best thing you can do to reduce the moisture in your home is to open windows when creating steam through bathing and cooking and keep the door that connects this room to others closed.
Heating - It helps to try and keep the temperature inside the property reasonably consistent and to regularly heat your home to a warm temperature. This stops there being a stark contrast in temperature that allows condensation to develop. Having a warm and well maintained home is an unlikely environment for mould growth.
Insulation - Making sure your home is better insulated can also really help when tackling condensation and dampness. Double-glazing, wall insulation and draught proofing will help to reduce the amount of heat that is lost from your home. Having well installed, energy efficient windows will help to keep the property's temperature high which can have a massive impact on condensation and mould growth.