Little droplets of water or misting on your windows are not an uncommon sight in the colder months, but they shouldn’t be dismissed as just one of those things that comes with the season. If the problem causing the condensation isn’t sorted out, then this could lead to irreversible damage to your building through wood rot and cause health issues by creating the perfect conditions for mould to thrive in. Because we’ve seen so much of this recently, I felt that it was time to share a few tips and hints on how to nip this particularly hazardous issue in the bud.

Condensation – what is it and why does it plague some homes? 

Condensation occurs due to the weather, structural weaknesses and the things we do around the home.

For instance, if your office has a kitchenette and you cook in there with the windows shut and the extractor fan off, you’ll be left with steamy windows as the warm, moist air you’ve created condenses on the cooler windows. If, when you were younger, you were ever told comically to ‘stop breathing so hard because you’re misting up the car windows’ you’ll know that there’s some truth behind the joke, as the relatively warm, moist air you’re breathing out builds up in a confined space and condenses into little water droplets on cold windows.

So, now we know where the moisture comes from, why is it that some windows suffer more than others and why does some double or secondary glazing suffer from condensation between the glazed panes?

The answer is often structural, whether in the construction of your building or in the work that has been done to it since it was built. The primary causes of bad condensation, the kind that isn’t just a light mist but results in water running down your windows and soaking into wood, curtains and blinds, are broken seals and poor ventilation.

Ventilation is often misunderstood, even by building ‘professionals’, which is why so many airbricks in buildings have been removed or blocked up over the years, restricting airflow and increasing levels of condensation.

Broken window seals can let air into double-glazed units and into rooms, carrying with it moisture that will build up in the space between the panes or on the surface of the window and this is made worse by changes in temperature.

There are many reasons why seals might break, including poor installation, exposure to extreme temperatures and not being maintained properly –  allowing dirt, debris, pollutants and acids in the rain to degrade the material until it fails.

There is a simple cure, for the last one at least, and that’s regular cleaning and washing of your windows to rinse away those corrosives that could compromise your windows.

How do you cure condensation? 

There are a few simple things you can do to reduce window condensation:

Improve air circulation – fans are a great help at all times of the year

Check heating levels – cold air has less moisture in it than warm air

Introduce a dehumidifier – the ideal humidity level is between 30 and 45 per cent

Allow for ventilation – make sure your building allows for a flow of fresh air in and humid air out

Improve your insulation – double-pane windows are better than single pane for reducing condensation

Keep up your window maintenance – regular window washing is one way to stop seals from cracking and failing, and depending on the way who you get to wash your windows, it also means they will be inspected regularly.

If you would like a quote for window cleaning for your high-rise residential or commercial building, call us today on 020 3954 2900. We’d be happy to save you from the problem of excessive condensation.

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