A common issue for many homeowners is condensation. It is unpleasant to see and can harm the health of those with respiratory issues. As a result, many people turn to Double Glazed Windows in order to help prevent it.
But what happens when condensation appears on double-glazing windows? Is something broken? Is it a result of poor construction? In this blog, we will go through the causes, the impacts, and the measures you can take to prevent condensation on all windows.
How do I stop condensation?
Condensation can be stopped by undergoing many preventative measures, some of which will not require much work at all. Let us get into them.
Have your Double Glazing Checked
You may have asked yourself “Shouldn’t Double Glazing stop condensation?”. The answer is yes, in truth.
Double Glazing has two panes of glass, with a space between them filled with either air or argon gas. This is to create a barrier between the two panes to slow the transfer of heat. But, in having a space, both panes of glass are not touching each other.
This means that condensation should not occur. So, if it is, then your window may be damaged.
Ventilation is highly important. Not only does it relieve your home of stuffy air that’s been trapped inside for a while, but it can replace that air with something fresh. If you are worried about losing, maybe even gaining, heat in the home – you may want to see if you can install some sort of ventilation system that doesn’t allow so much air to pass.
As we will explain later, condensation is caused by water vapour in the air meeting the cold surface of a window. As such, it may be a good idea to set up measures to ensure temperatures are kept stable and consistent throughout the house. If temperatures are stable, there won’t be such a disparity in the temperature of your air and the window. Sudden changes in temperature can create bursts of condensation.
Dehumidifiers can stop condensation from happening in a different way. Instead of altering the temperature of your home, they simply pull in the moisture in the air and turn it into liquid inside the machine.
Some plants feed on moisture, such as the English Ivy or Peace Lilies. These are both cost-effective and highly attractive in the hands of those with skills in decor.
Having a proper level of insulation in both the walls of your home and the roof, means that less heat will be escaping the home. This also means that temperatures within your home will not change rapidly as a result of the lost heat. Of course, this makes condensation less likely to appear.
What is Condensation?
Explaining condensation is essentially explaining a scientific, almost invisible process. We think of air as an empty space we walk through, but that’s not the case. There’s a mixture of gases in the air, such as the one we all need to breathe – oxygen. One of these gases, however, is water vapour.
When you boil a kettle, steam rises. When you breathe out on a cold day, your breath comes out as if it were a mist. These things are still water, despite their change in appearance – only in a gas form. Water can be a gas, liquid or solid, as can anything, theoretically. In the case of water, the process that changes anything between these three forms is temperature.
So, is water vapour (water gas) in the air, floating, or even being breathed in? Then, it touches something warm enough to process the change between gas to liquid – resulting in droplets of liquid dripping down the surface. This is condensation.
Windows are often one of the most common places condensation occurs, because the window is heated up from one side, and cooled on the other.
The Issues with Condensation
Condensation might seem harmless. But in truth, it’s really not. If your window frame is wood, for example, then contact with moisture will rot it, or anything else made of wood. Double Glazing windows are not cheap, and the last thing you want to do is have to replace them.
At the same time, having a damp environment can invite harmful allergens into your home, such as mould and mildew. This poses health risks for people who have respiratory conditions, as well as being a potential source for their development.
Why does my Double Glazing have condensation in the first place?
So, there may be a multitude of reasons why your double glazing could be receiving condensation, some of which may not even be due to a fault in the window. Nonetheless, here are the reasons your double glazing may be below par.
It could be that your home has a higher temperature than average, and this causes your windows to struggle. For example, perhaps you burn a fire in the fireplace. Nonetheless, temperature regulation is key to preventing condensation.
It could simply be that you get more condensation than other people do at a certain temperature because there is more moisture in the air. This could be due to things such as cooking, showering or even drying clothes. If your home doesn’t have appropriate ventilation, then this moisture will have nowhere to go, and will soak any warm surface it finds.
Ineffective Window Seals
Perhaps the seals within your window frame are damaged, broken, or simply low quality. If so, then water can seep in between the panes. All it needs to do is penetrate one to affect the other, essentially causing a difference in temperature from both sides of a single pane, and causing condensation.
You may end up finding that the installation of your window was not up to snuff. As a result, any number of issues could be present within your window. Only a professional can check and find out what.
What frames are best to fight condensation?
Window frames play a role in stopping condensation too, not just the glass.
Wooden frames are an age-old choice for window frames. Believe it or not, wood makes for a decent insulator. On top of that, wood can be quite sturdy and prevent damage. That being said, there are some weaknesses. For one – they are prone to rot. Meaning, if there ever IS condensation, you can expect the condensation to do damage to the frame. This, in turn, will degrade the frame to lose its insulating properties, which can make the double glazing window perform far below its efficiency level.
Vinyl frames are made from a type of plastic known for its waterproofing and insulation properties. This can help you to stave off condensation.
Aluminium is a good conductor of heat and a durable metal. Unfortunately, this means that there can only be a higher difference between temperatures on the outside and the inside, meaning that the frames may actually aid condensation.
uPVC is a type of plastic that is widely used in windows purely due to its anti-condensation properties. They are made with multiple sealing points, creating an airtight barrier when the window is closed. It also has superior insulation to both wood and aluminium, adding to its ability to stave off condensation and keep your house warm.
How To Stop Condensation On Double Glazed Windows Conclusion
Damage and health issues are both the main concern when dealing with condensation and as such, should be treated seriously. If you have no idea why your window is getting condensation, then you may find that your own option is calling a professional to perform a check.