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Must-Know Facts About Window Condensation

29 October 2017

Condensation that forms on windows is the result of warm, humid air coming in contact with a smooth, chilly surface.  While your gut reaction can be to fully blame your windows, the situation is a bit more complicated than that.  That’s because your home’s humidity is a major contributor to window condensation.  The lower the temperature outside is, the lower the humidity levels need to be to prevent damage within your home.  The reason humidity manifests itself on your windows is because they are the coldest feature inside your home.

Ways Humidity Enters the Air in Your Home:

  • Steam produced from using your cooktop
  • Bathrooms with improper ventilation
  • Subpar dryer vents
  • Poor ventilation in gas fireplaces
  • Bathroom doors that close too tightly, trapping moisture in the room
  • Cracks in your foundation

Consequences of a Home with High Humidity: Mildew and mold thrive in environments with elevated humidity.  Extended exposure to mold and mildew can result in infections, congestion, itchy eyes or skin, coughing, and a sore throat.  In addition, a home where high levels of mold and mildew exist can compromise its structural integrity, particularly if mold grows undetected behind walls for an extended period of time.  Damage due to humidity doesn’t stop there, either.  Too much humidity can cause wooden areas within your home, such as flooring and window sills to rot.  Paint on your walls can begin to crack, peel, and bubble.  If this is not addressed quickly enough, your drywall can also be damaged.  Wallpaper that’s cracking and peeling also can be signals that your home’s humidity levels are too high.  If your foundation has cracks that allow water in, the result is a wet basement.  This will dramatically increase your home’s humidity levels.

Trick for Decreasing Humidity within Your Home:

  • Run your exhaust fan each time you shower or use your stove
  • Run a dehumidifier
  • Maintain a temperature of 62-68 degrees in the winter months
  • Cracking a window for a brief period will increase your home’s ventilation and decrease the level of humidity