One worry we hear from a lot of homeowners is concern about wet windows. Is it normal? Is there a leak? Do we need new windows? While there is usually little or nothing to be worried about, condensation can signal a serious problem. Determining the severity of the situation is fairly simple, and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
How Many Windows Are Wet?
The first test to determine if you have a problem is figuring out how many windows are being affected. If multiple windows are experiencing condensation at the same time, the condition is likely nothing more than excess humidity or ventilation issues. If it’s only one window, however, and humidity and air circulation seem to be in order, further inspection is required.
Is the Condensation Outside?
While you won’t be seeing it in the winter, condensation on outside windows is perfectly normal. The moisture results from the hot muggy air interacting with much colder windows, kept cool by interior air conditioning. The wetness may obstruct your view of the garden or back yard, but it actually means your windows are properly preventing the transfer of interior heat to the outside.
Interior condensation is a common problem for homeowners during the winter. The frigid temperature keeps windowpanes cold, which causes moisture to manifest when everyday tasks like doing laundry, taking showers, washing dishes, and cooking on the stove create extra humidity inside the house. Well-sealed windows prevent the humidity from escaping outside, thus resulting in water beading on the glass.
The problem for homeowners is not the window, then, but rather improper ventilation. Excessively damp homes are problematic for many reasons. It’s an environment that favors mold and mildew growth, which can damage furniture and interior surfaces, not to mention cause potentially severe medical conditions for those living in the home. Over time, the wetness also may lead to peeling paint, rotting wood, and rusting metal.
You can prevent this with several easy tips to improve ventilation. If it’s not too cold outside, open windows to let fresh air in. Circulate that air throughout the house by running ceiling fans. Even moving plants away from windows should cut down on the condensation. Most of the humidity in a home comes from the kitchen and bathroom, so make regular use of the exhaust fans. One other thing for homeowners to be aware of is an absence of condensation, especially in times of high humidity. That could signal a window leak.
While the space between the glass in double- and triple-paned windows is actually not empty, it’s definitely not supposed to contain any moisture. Typically, argon gas is sealed inside to add a layer of insulation. But if you’re noticing wetness in between the panes, that means the seal has broken, the gas has leaked out, and the window is letting warm air escape to the outside. Argon gas is harmless, so there’s no concern there, but the window does need to be replaced. The leak will only worsen, and you’ll be paying more and more in energy bills.
If leaky old windows have you considering a window replacement, we hope you will consider calling Schaefer Exteriors. We recommend vinyl replacement windows, and our customers love making the switch to the energy efficient windows. They also appreciate the windows’ durability, clarity, beauty, performance, and, of course, the affordable cost. Give us a call anytime to talk about vinyl replacement windows for your home.