Condensation inside Windows – How to Prevent it

Condensation inside Windows

Condensation inside Windows – How to Prevent it

Condensation – which can affect the outer or inner side of a window – is the name given to the water droplets that appear on a cold surface when that surface is exposed to warm, humid air. If water vapour in the air close to a pane of glass (the coldest part of a window) cools until it reaches a temperature known as the dew point, it becomes a liquid and appears on the glass in beads or rivulets.

If you step out into your garden early on a summer’s day, you may well see water droplets on the outside of your windows. This external condensation simply indicates that the air outdoors has warmed up faster than your property. It doesn’t normally pose a problem – the droplets soon evaporate in the sunshine.

However, condensation that frequently appears on the inner side of your windows needs urgent attention. (You may find it inside glazed doors such as patio doors too.) Internal condensation is associated with numerous problems, especially when it runs down windows and onto walls or pools on windowsills. It stains curtains and blinds, weakens frames and plaster, makes paint and wallpaper peel, encourages wood rot and leads to black mould (a major cause of respiratory illnesses). Moreover, it’s most common at this time of year when temperatures drop outside and people turn up their thermostats.

Thankfully, it’s possible to bring the situation under control. ‘Condensation is the easiest damp problem to fix,’ says Which?, the consumer issues magazine. If you’re often faced with water inside windows, read on to find out how to prevent internal condensation.

Tackle Condensation with Simple Lifestyle Changes

You might assume that internal condensation is most likely to affect old, draughty windows. After all, windows that are past their best can have a range of issues – they can be difficult to open, not very secure and offer poor insulation – so why not add condensation to the list?

But the reality is that internal condensation is more likely to indicate that you have sturdy, secure, energy-efficient, well-sealed windows that are encountering high humidity levels indoors. Whereas warm, humid air can easily escape through draughty windows and therefore doesn’t condense, superior windows provide a more effective barrier between your home’s interior and the world outside, keeping that air in. They’re better at retaining heat so your home feels cosier in cold weather.

Does that mean you have to put up with internal condensation if you have beautiful, high-performance sash windows, for example, and a cosy home? Absolutely not – there are straightforward, practical steps you can take to banish excess moisture on glazing.

Reducing Humidity and Improving Ventilation

Condensation inside windows indicates that the air indoors is warmer than outdoors, contains a lot of water vapour and can’t circulate freely. You can tackle it by slightly lowering the temperature in each room, reducing moisture levels in the air and improving ventilation.

  • Keep your heating on for longer and at a lower setting to avoid spikes in temperature.
  • Keep curtains open, blinds up and windows open a couple of inches as much as you can.
  • Remember the bathroom and kitchen are humidity hotspots, so close doors when showering or cooking and wipe down damp tiles and mirrors.
  • Take shorter, cooler showers and step out onto an absorbent bathmat.
  • Keep pan lids on to prevent steam escaping.
  • Wipe away condensation on windows, patio doors, etc. as soon as you spot it.
  • Use window vents, extractor fans and dehumidifiers if possible.
  • Dry laundry outdoors or in an externally-vented tumble dryer whenever possible instead of on radiators and airers.

Upgrade to Slimline Heritage Double Glazing

Single-glazed windows (a feature of many period homes) are particularly prone to internal condensation, as the glass gets particularly cold on chilly days. If you have single glazing, we can upgrade it for you to help combat excess moisture.

‘Double-glazed windows are much less likely to suffer from condensation,’ remarks Homes & Gardens magazine. Our innovative slimline heritage double glazing resists internal condensation, as the air pocket between the two panes creates a thermal barrier, keeping the inner pane close to room temperature. Water vapour is therefore highly unlikely to condense on it. (If you already have double glazing but notice condensation between the panes – a sign the seals have stopped working – you should replace it.)

We can create and install bespoke timber sash windows, for instance, fitted with slimline double glazing. Alternatively, we can install replacement sashes complete with this special double glazing when we perform sash window restoration. We also offer double-glazed patio doors and more.

For superb, condensation-resistant Devon timber windows and doors, contact JTP Joinery today.