Chilly Florida winters bring its own share of issues, one of them happens to be window condensation. Window condensation is created when warm moist air from inside the house comes in contact with dry cooler outside air. This common phenomenon has Florida home owners scurrying behind many expensive and annoying solutions, often resulting in no results.
Though it may seem odd but the very comforts such as heaters and other comfort gadgets that we have within our homes are the reasons for this window condensation effect. For any of you living in a modern home, for sure you are face to face with this issue.
Certain construction materials such as glass, types of varnishes, tiles, paints and plastic wall coverings can help contain water vapor. Nowadays one can easily avail vapor-seal wadding that is intended specially to prevent the getaway of water vapor and hence shield the walls of your house from the moisture. However it is the use of these very moisture locking materials that we face the issue of water condensation as the moisture having no way to get released from the house get trapped inside building up excessive moisture levels inside the house that can turn perilous.
A little fog here and there around the windows looks adorable but when we are talking of excessive condensation, it sure blocks the entire view, making it extremely annoying. It can also cause harm as the water running off windows can taint the wooden furniture in the house and in grim conditions even damage the wallpaper or displays. Drastic window condensation on windows should get immediate attention before it damages the look of your home. If you have an electric outlet beneath the window ensure your window is not dripping water on to it.
Rather than worrying about the windows, one must be more worried about the harmful effects that the window condensation can bring about around your house. Don't worry so much about the windows where you can see the effect of excess dampness. You should be anxious more about what excess moisture that may be doing damage elsewhere in your home. It can lend itself to mold as well as damage your plaster and cause a roof leak too. The water from window condensation can also force its way through sidings to damage your wall paint.
All homes will have window condensation to be seen occasionally, which can be as an effect of either new building construction or remodeling or due to sudden temperature fluctuations that are becoming the order of the day nowadays. Moisture content in the existing homes can increase with the remodeling activities involving building materials that contain a great deal of moisture. As soon as heat is on, this moisture will mix with the inside air of the house and settle on windows. Sudden drops in temperature cause temperature variations that can also create temporary issues. Also during summers, if there is huge amount of humidity involved houses tend to absorb excess moisture.
The problem can be handled more efficiently by taking effective measures to prevent excessive moisture from accumulating while building the house. One can equip their house with a good moisture resistant or storm resistant window and add high quality waterproofing protection to walls so that there isn't much moisture around and hence there would be no occurrence of window condensation. Making open-faced gas heaters be connected towards a chimney and making less use of them in the house can also help reduce the problem.
With a little caution and knowledge one can control the sources of humidity. For instance, one can also vent all the cloth dryers and gas burners towards the exteriors. Usage of exhaust fans in the kitchen or bathrooms can help control moisture.
Use of proper ventilation in the house can also help reduce the water vapor present within. Since the air outside contains lower amount of moisture hence it can act effective in containing the moisture levels of the air present inside. If one observes old houses, they can notice the good ventilation practices followed earlier on and follow these changes in their homes. The constant infiltration of the outside air into the inside of your home can help controlling the moisture levels.
The process of dry heating your home can also decrease the relative moisture present in the house. It will offset most of all the dampness produced by modern living. In most cases, reducing moisture by proper construction of your homes can prevent troublesome window condensation effects without any gadget usage restrictions to you and your family.
You can also test humidity levels with the help of an accurate moisture measuring instrument as the hung psychrometer. Depending on the relative temperature outside your home, one should adjust their interior moisture levels. For example, in summer when the outside temperature is really high, you can have sufficiently higher moisture levels inside the house, than the moisture levels that would be required during normal temperatures. During the summer, your house will absorb the most moisture.
Similarly during winter we have lower moisture levels compared to what we would have during summertime. With the balancing of exterior temperature level with an optimal level of moisture inside their homes, one can sufficiently reduce window condensation effects.
Some moisture level considerations are that for exterior temperature levels below -20 degrees F, internal moisture level should not be over fifteen percent, with outside temperatures between -10 to -20 F, the moisture level should not be over twenty percent, for zero to ten degrees outside temperature, the moisture level should not be over thirty percent and for outside temperatures varying between 20 to 40 F the humidity level inside should not be over forty percent.
Some easy tips to ensure the control of moisture content in your homes would be the installation of storm or replacement windows that come with double or triple glazing. One can also make less use of and shut off heating and humidifying devices within the house immediately after use. Be sure that your loft or cellar creep spaces are large enough and they are left open to air. One can also run kitchen or other ventilating fans longer than before so that the moisture levels are controlled.
In case the natural solutions are not solving your window condensation problem, then it is recommended that you see an expert who can help you with this issue. One can fix up a meeting with a Daly condensation specialist to solve the issue head on.
We have helped hundreds of local homeowners with window condensation over the past 60 years in the following cities and towns:
New Port Richey