Panes That Are a Pain! How to Fix Window Condensation
Water that forms on your windows is caused by condensation, a process in which water vapor in the air turns to liquid water on a surface. While a little water on the glass in your home may seem like not a big deal, it can cause a number of problems.
Even small amounts of window condensation over a long enough period of time can seep into your windowsill, leading to water damage and mold growth. Water running off of your windows and down your siding, or the walls of your home, can likewise cause staining to paint or wallpaper.
Fortunately, there are a couple of different things that you can do to prevent condensation from damaging the areas around your home.
Seven Ways to Fix Window Condensation
Condensation can form on your windows on either the outside or the inside pane of glass – and rarely, between the panes. Depending on where the water is collecting, there are different ways to stop it.
Improving Air Circulation
You can help prevent condensation from forming on the inside of your windows by improving general air circulation. Running fans in the bathroom and kitchen is a good way to whisk away humidity which can build up in both rooms. Running ceiling fans in the rooms that have them can also help.
Smaller but still effective changes that you can make include opening doors to ensure better air flow between rooms, or even just opening the windows. This can allow warm and humid air inside your home to escape. It will also reduce the temperature difference between the interior and exterior panes of glass.
Install a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers, as their name states, work by pulling humidity out of the air around them. You can buy portable dehumidifiers at most hardware stores, and place them in rooms that suffer from heavy condensation. This is a stopgap measure, however, and will only prevent condensation damage in the short term.
Of course, if you live in a dry climate and have a humidifier running, you should turn it off. Running a humidifier constantly can create a ton of condensation on your windows, and also spread moisture on other surfaces as well.
Move the Plants
You should move plants away from any windows suffering from condensation. Plants can hold onto moisture and increase the humidity in the air around them. This can translate into more condensation on your windows.
You can still keep your plants in the sun, but try to leave them in an area where they receive a great deal of air circulation and aren’t pressing up against the glass of your windows.
Change the Thermostat Temperature
Condensation only occurs when humid air hits a cold surface. If the interior or exterior of your windows are suffering from condensation, it may be because your temperature inside is just too cold. Raising the temperature a few degrees can help prevent condensation from setting in.
You can also close the curtains or blinds to insulate your windows from the air conditioning. This will also help prevent condensation from occurring, though obviously not to the same degree as changing the temperature.
Insulate Your Windows
Insulation for your windows, which is a heat-applied shrink wrap, can help stop condensation. Applied on either the inside or outside of your windows, they keep moisture off of the glass.
Window insulation can also help maintain your interior temperature, preventing heat from leaking in or out of your home, depending on the season. However, if you have window insulation installed, you can’t open your windows, which is a large trade off in the summer.
If your windows are suffering from substantial amounts of condensation on the outside, you can use a water repellent spray. There are several different brands on the market, but they all work the same way. You simply spray them on the glass, and condensation and rainwater will slide right off.
Hardware and automotive stores are the best place to find water repellent spray. Remember that this spray is not a permanent solution: you’ll have to reapply every few weeks or months, depending on how much rain and condensation your windows experience.
Condensation Between the Panes
Unfortunately, sometimes your windows have simply reached the end of their life. A broken seal can allow air to get between the panes, which can carry humidity. You’ll know if this is the case, because the condensation will be between the panes of glass instead of on either side.
If this is the case, the condensation indicates that your windows are no longer insulating your home. The seal has been broken, allowing moisture and heat to enter the middle of your windows and easily transfer inside.
This means that you will likely experience drafts and your monthly heating and cooling costs will rise as well. You’ll have to replace your windows to prevent these things from happening: you can read more about replacing your current windows here.
You May Have to Try Several Solutions
The above solutions can all help prevent window condensation and any associated water damage. However, keep in mind that you may have to follow a few of these tips to fully stop condensation from occurring. It may be impossible to completely eliminate condensation, depending on the weather outside.
For more information on maintaining your windows, and for general home improvement articles, check out the Home Improvement section of our blog. We have a ton of articles that help walk you through the most common problems you may experience.