Condensation Problems

By: Rich Hanson, Bayer Built Sales Representative

Coming into this time of year, one of the most frequent issues we all run into is condensation on our windows and/or door lites. Condensation occurs when warm moist air comes in contact with a cooler surface. Not only is this unsettling to a homeowner about the product they purchased, there are also the issues of the mold and mildew that unwanted moisture creates. Along with the obvious health issues associated with mold and mildew, condensation can also lead to rotting wood and other damage if left unchecked.

Sometimes, the homeowner believes that the condensation is caused by the glass leaking, which is not the case. I like to give an illustration that allows them to come to this realization themselves. “When your bathroom mirror fogs up, does that mean that your mirror is leaking?”–followed up by–“What do you do to make it go away?” They typically answer, “I run the bath fan until the moisture goes away.” The answer then becomes obvious that you have to reduce the amount of moisture in the air to an acceptable level. Another good example is the moisture on the outside of a glass of ice water on a warm day. The glass isn’t leaking, is it?

Households with large numbers of people in it generate more moisture than a couple of people would. The air in the house needs to be exchanged more often and/or more thoroughly. In mid-winter, it might sound strange to do this, but it is very effective. Start by turning down your furnace so that it isn’t running. Go to the nearest window and one-by-one, go around the house and open up every window. When you get to the last one, go to the one you started with and close them all. This will exchange most of the air quickly and reduce the built up excess moisture. Turn your furnace back up to normal levels.

Moisture on your glass surfaces is only a visible indication of your humidity level. Unseen moisture on your walls and within the walls and attics can be occurring if you are experiencing a high level of condensation or frost on glass surfaces.