As a homeowner, taking care of your property in advance of fall and winter are essential to maintaining your house. With those seasons closer than you want to admit, it’s time to start prepping your house for bitter cold, driving rain, and endless snow.
An annoying and potentially dangerous problem many homeowners face is that of condensation. Simply put, condensation is the change of matter from gas to a liquid. When the hot air in your house tries to escape and meets a cold window, air reaches it’s dew point and condensation occurs. You notice this on your windows when water accumulates.
Moisture inside your house is caused by a variety of factors. Using household appliances, such as an oven, dishwasher, and dryer, all release heat and moisture into the air. At the same time, air enters your house less frequently as your doors and windows stay closed to keep in the heat. Homes are “tighter” than in years past, and the increase modern appliances saturates your house with more water vapor inside than ever before. If it’s humid enough for condensation on the insides of your windows, that means water vapor is building up inside your walls, especially if your house is poorly insulated.
If untreated, condensation can cause black mold on your walls. Not only does it look unsightly, black mold is a major health hazard. If left unchecked, mold can cause respiratory and circulatory symptoms, problems with your vision, skin, reproductive system, as well as fatigue and discomfort.
Your house is one thing, but your health is another. Turning a blind eye to stopping condensation can be a serious problem.
The most important way to prevent condensation is to control the relative humidity in your house. Relative humidity describes how much water vapor is in the air compared to how much there could be. As the temperature gets colder, it’s important to keep your humidity down. Once the temperature falls below 40 degrees, if your humidity creeps above 40% you’ll have problems.
How Do You Solve This?
- Open Your Windows — Releasing warm air trapped in your house can prevent condensation.
- Install exterior storm windows — Storm windows are mounted on this inside or outside of the main glass windows of your house. Storm windows are an efficient way to trap in heat in your house and save you money on bills and can be an inexpensive alternative to entirely replacing your windows.
- Double and Triple Glazed windows — These windows are separated by a vacuum or other gas filled space to reduce heat transfer. Properly installing one of these windows helps insulate your house properly. It also acts as an excellent barometer. If the outside of your windows is condensating, you’ll know your house is under a properly controlled climate.
Tri-County Windows offers dozens of options from reputable manufacturers such as Alside, Atrium, Anderson, Gorell, Simonton and Soft-Lite. Thanks for reading!