With the colder months approaching, it’s for the best that we look after our windows. They are crucial for retaining heat, and a well-sealed home will keep your central heating bills under control. However, condensation can cause problems all around the home that can often go unnoticed until permanent damage is caused. Here are our top tips for controlling it:
How Does Condensation Form?
When steam and water vapour in the air comes in contact with cold surfaces, small water droplets gather, causing condensation. While this naturally occurs more frequently on cold days, your home can largely manipulate the level and direction of warm, humid air, which can have adverse effects if not controlled with care.
How Does Condensation Damage Your Home?
Condensation just sounds like an issue that can be solved simply by wiping away the residue, but by that point, it could be too late! Condensation soaks deep into materials over time and can find its way into tiny crevices around the home, this can result in:
– Damp, cold furniture
– Stains in your curtains or wallpaper
– Peeling wallpaper/paint
– Bad smells
– Widened cracks
How Can Condensation Damage Your Windows?
As your windows are frequently the coldest surfaces in the home, steam and condensation tend to drift over to them, causing build-up as the humidity progresses. This will turn from a misted coating, into streaks running down the window – more often than not, this will run down the corner edge where the seal has formed thicker pockets of moisture in the air.
Can Condensation Be Controlled Throughout The Home?
The short answer is yes! But this is most effective when you combine the full range of preventative measures.
Sufficient & Professionally Installed Insulation
This includes wall cavity insulation and loft and roof insulation. The reason this needs to be professionally installed is that you really need to understand how the insulation works around the house as a whole. If there is an imbalance then it’s likely that the humid air won’t gravitate towards where it’s designed to, and this will cause a build-up of condensation in unexpected areas.
Vented Washer Dryers
While washer-dryers do an effective job of drying clothes and storing the moist air for later disposal. Ensuring that the vent is fully secured over time is crucial, or you may have moisture escaping and becoming trapped behind the machine.
Drying Clothes In The Garden
While this is obviously weather permitting (especially in the UK), this is an effective way to cut down on wasted energy bills while ensuring moisture from the clothes don’t become trapped in the house while drying.
Cook With Lids On Your Pots And Use The Extractor
After bathroom windows, kitchen windows are the second-most frequently damaged windows due to all the cooking that takes place, especially from the oven and from boiling water. While you can’t always avoid steam or humidity when cooking, by simply using pot lids you can keep it better contained, and cook your food faster. On top of this, you should switch on the cooker hood if you have one, to extract any humidity forming around the cooker.
Don’t Push Furniture Against Walls
This goes for your sofa, and various units, as this could cause ‘thermal bridging’. Although, you should also try and seal off your kitchen cupboards if they’re close to the cooker. If there’s a small gap between them and the wall, this could act as a hidden breeding ground for dampness and residue to form on the wall.
Don’t Overfill Your Wardrobes Or Cupboards
Kitchen cupboards and even wardrobes can gather humid air, and if overfilled, they obstruct the movement of air, which will just build up with time. Moisture will set into the clothing and contents of the cupboards causing them to smell and even gather mould.
How Can You Avoid Condensation On Windows?
While condensation around the home is nearly unavoidable, you’ve probably discovered some ways today that will help mitigate the amount, and therefore any chance of damage. As your windows can largely influence the movement of this air, it’s best to keep them protected and they’ll protect your wallet.
Create More Ventilation Around The House
While this isn’t always convenient, especially in the colder months, you can still commit to doing it at the most crucial points of the day e.g. cooking, drying clothes, using the shower. Methods may include getting an extractor fan installed, fitting a trickle vent, or simply just opening the window slightly.
Central Heating & Consistent Insulation
Keeping your heating at a consistently low temperature avoids fluctuations between hot and cold air. If your heating is on a thermostat you may find that the humidity of the air will alter frequently and will gravitate around unwanted areas around the windows and walls. But by ensuring even and consistent insulation, you can ensure the wall and ceiling temperature is balanced and maintained at a consistent, healthy level putting less stress on the walls and windows.
Keeping Things Dry
The final and most obvious tip of all is to keep your windows clean and dry by wiping them down whenever they form condensation. You should also avoid letting moisture sit on the seal as this will cause even more issues with mould setting in. Letting the double glazing seal rot will eventually cause it to fail, and allow humid air to become trapped inside.
Condensation Forming Inside The Double Glazing
If this has happened to you, you should know that it’s more common in south-facing windows in the colder months, due to the sun hitting the windows and causing the glass and seal to expand at a faster rate. But at the end of the day, the root cause will either be down to installer error or it’s the result of an abused window seal.
If this has happened to your windows, you can class the unit as failed. This means you’ll be wasting heating bills due to increased drafts and escaping heat. Most of the time you’ll notice condensation inside the window, and this is the crucial sign that you need a window glass replacement service.
Contact Us For Window Glass Replacement
Window SOS are well experienced in replacing window glass, which is the cheaper alternative to replacing the entire window. By doing so, you’ll get a fresh, professionally installed unit, with a brand new seal, a 10-year guarantee, and even a free bottle of window cleaning solution.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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