In the past, condensation during the fall and winter was a sign of poor insulation – no questions asked. With the efficiency of modern homes, however, this may no longer be the case. In fact, more and more Americans are seeing this moisture on their windows during the fall and winter.
The Causes of Condensation
Condensation is water vapor that has cooled to a liquid state. It happens when a warm, moist air contacts cooler, dry air. Many of us see it every day on the bathroom mirror after a hot bath or shower. Old windows were prone to condensation in cooler seasons because they were so poorly insulated.
Windows themselves do not cause condensation. It’s brought about by the moisture in the air and temperature changes in the environment. In modern homes, it’s a symptom of the energy-saving construction. Warm air becomes trapped inside the home, and when it comes in contact with colder air, such as that on windows and exterior wall plumbing, it forms moisture or condensation.
The Problem with Being Airtight
Houses today are designed to keep a strict separation between inside and outside air. Walls are insulated better. Doors create ultra-tight seals with their frames, and windows are installed in the same way. This attention to efficiency helps us conserve energy and lower our heating and cooling costs, but it also keeps moisture trapped inside.
Each time you cook, take a shower, or even exhale, you add water vapor to your surroundings. It simply adds up over time because there’s nowhere else for it to go. When cool temperatures hit, windows usually remain closed, and doors are opened as few times as possible. Unfortunately, open windows and doors are usually the only means for moisture to escape and balance itself out within your home. This, coupled with the cold winter, air is the perfect formula for condensation.
When Condensation is a Problem
Although it’s harmless most of the time, there are instances when condensation can lead to other issues. Condensation, especially during warmer months, can lead to mold growth and musty smells, and moisture buildup on walls can cause damage to paint and drywall. These issues must be addressed as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home’s structure and air quality, and to protect your family’s health.
If you are unsure of whether your condensation is an issue that needs to be addressed, a skilled professional can give you advice. Protecting your home’s structure and the health of your family will be worth a short visit from Tri County Windows & Siding. Contact us today!