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How to Fix Winter Window Condensation

Window condensation is a problem for many homeowners, especially in the winter. It's a natural occurrence during the colder times of the year and could potentially be harmful to both your window and its trim finish. If you've wanted to know more about window condensation and how to prevent it, we're here to help.

Effects of Window Condensation in the Winter

If you see a layer of moisture on your window in the form of frost or fog, this is condensation. Window condensation is when water droplets form on the surface of a window. This can happen when the temperature inside the house is warm and the outside is cold. When the warm air inside meets the freezing temperature of your glass, the air cools quickly and releases the excess moisture it has been holding.

This condensation doesn't just go away. It hangs onto your window and drips into the trim and wood, promoting mold and mildew. Over time, this can cause serious damage to the areas around a window. This damage will need to be fixed by a home repair professional, and such maintenance can be costly.

At its least damaging, condensation can cause unsightly stains on drywall and will require replacing. At condensation's worst, mold occurs. Mold has the potential to grow on nearly any surface or material in your home, including wood, paper, carpet, and insulation. Mold consumes what it touches, resulting in serious damage. It could ultimately lead to rotting wood, crumbling drywall, structural damage to building components, expensive repair work, and reduced property value. In addition, a moldy home can be harmful to one's health because mold can produce allergens and irritants. Some people are sensitive to these substances and can experience allergic reactions or respiratory problems when exposed to mold.

While the risks of window condensation may seem worrisome, there are a few steps you can take to make your home a drier one this winter.

 Reducing Window Condensation in Winter

1. Reduce the Humidity

A humid home and a cold day are the two main ingredients for severe window condensation. In addition to your heating, showers, cooking, and leaky vents can all add to the humidity level in your home. While the cold of winter can be too dry for comfort, you can still find a balance to make your home comfortable and free of condensation.

If you use a humidifier, lower the setting you usually have it at by a few ticks. During showers, remember to turn your fan on; it will keep that moist air from settling in the bathroom. Don't forget to check some of the vent pipes in your home, as well, if it's an older system and you suspect there might be a leakage in some areas. You might even find it beneficial to use a dehumidifier. Preparing adequately for potential condensation today can save you from a damaged home tomorrow.

2. Open Your Vents

Your vents help to allow air to flow in and out, including the humid air that can cause condensation. They are typically located near windows and doors and can used to control the amount of airflow. TKeep your vent exits open and clear of any items, such as furniture or appliances, that could block it.

Even though some days in winter can get very cold, opening a few windows for a few minutes a day can reduce the amount of humidity trapped in your home. You can also install additional fans and ventilation areas to your home that generate a lot of humid heat, such as kitchens and bathrooms. As long as you can keep air moving throughout your home, you can greatly reduce the risk of condensation.

3. Glaze Your Windows

By applying a layer of plastic or glass to your already existing windows, you add an extra layer of insulation to your home. The cold glass is what causes condensation, but with more insulation, you make it harder for condensation to occur. Storm windows and plastic films are effective at keeping humidity levels down around your window.