Do you know those soda commercials that make you thirsty? It’s a hot day on some tropical island, and an ice-cold can is cracked open. It’s covered with droplets of condensation, and nothing is going to refresh you more.
Back here in reality, if you take those same droplets and discover them on your windows, it’s not at all relaxing. Discovering expensive water damage anywhere in your home can feel like a crisis. But before you panic, let’s look at what condensation is, why it shows up, and where it should and shouldn’t be.
Condensation: a brief science lesson
Condensation occurs when water vapor becomes water droplets. There are two reasons this happens, and you probably experience them on the regular.
The first is when the air becomes so saturated with water and it can’t hold anymore. Little droplets start to gather. This is the foggy-mirror-after-you-shower version of condensation. If you flip the switch on your bathroom fan, in a few minutes you’re back to normal.
The second version of condensation happens the moment water vapor encounters a big difference in temperature and is cooled to its dew point. This is our cold soda example. Moist air gathers and clings to a cold soda can. Or think about getting into your car on a cold morning: you crank the heat and the windshield fogs up.
Windows are prime targets for condensation because they’re usually the coldest surface nearby. That moist air gathers into droplets, and suddenly the view is foggy.
If you’re experiencing condensation on the outside of your windows, don’t sweat it. Exterior condensation is the sign of a good airtight window. A little sunlight and fogginess will disappear like morning dew.
Interior condensation is different and deserves a closer look.
Is there condensation on every single window?
Having condensation all over the place tells you something about the air in your home. Your windows are working like a little army, guarding the border between cold and hot. With widespread interior condensation, you’ve got humidity issues in the home.
This isn’t hard to remedy, but you’ll want to address it quickly. High humidity can lead to mold, which can seriously affect your family’s health. If that moisture hangs around long enough, the mold can lead to rotting and rusting.
To address interior humidity, ensure you’re running your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when appropriate. When you’re cooking, cover your pans with a lid. If you have a working fireplace (lucky you!) store your wood outdoors. You may also consider thinning out your collection of beloved houseplants.
Lastly, you can always run a dehumidifier, which should lower the humidity in the home. Your foggy windows will clear up in no time!
Do just a few windows have condensation?
The plot thickens! If just a few windows are fogging up, then you have a draft. Moist air is rushing in near some part of the window, and collecting on the inside. The window’s seal is shot and it’s time to call in a pro. Have them evaluate the draft. Sometimes it’s possible to have the window resealed, but if not, then you’ll need to replace it.
What should I do if there’s condensation inside the windows themselves?
This scenario is super frustrating for the average homeowner. If you have double or triple-paned glass, that moisture just sits there, completely inaccessible, thumbing its nose at you.
If moisture is between the panes, then the seals of the windows are no longer doing their job. Originally, there was probably argon gas in there, giving you a sweet layer of money-saving insulation. If you’re seeing moisture inside the window, that argon is long gone and the window is leaking.
Results? If the moisture hangs out too long, then the frame and sash of the window will start to break down and decay. Next, the moisture will get into the walls. How do you prevent this nasty chain of events?
You’re smart to investigate the source of your foggy windows. Water in any form is no joke inside your home—over time interior condensation can affect the integrity of the home and the health of your family.
If you’ve noticed excess condensation inside your windows, it’s time to consult the experts. Don’t ignore insidious water damage in your home. Schedule a free estimate from Window Nation today, and they’ll evaluate the state of your windows and help you with the next steps.