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Initially, condensation may seem like a harmless nuisance that can be easily solved with a paper towel. Over time however, it can result in damage to your home and health problems for its occupants. Although condensation can never be fully eliminated, tools such as double-glazed windows can significantly reduce its occurrence. 

In this article, we’ll explore how to remove condensation from double-glazed windows and how to tell if your double-glazed windows are effectively preventing condensation. 

What Is Condensation?

Tackling the issue of how to remove condensation from double-glazed windows first requires that we answer the question ‘what is condensation?’ Condensation is the natural process whereby water vapour becomes liquid, due to falling temperatures. Given that water’s boiling point is 100℃, once the temperature drops below that point, water vapour can start to become liquid. 

What Causes Condensation on Windows?

In the comfort of our own homes, we tend to do activities such as cooking, showering, and washing and drying clothes. Unfortunately, these activities are a source of excess humidity, as they release water vapour into the air. This phenomenon is further exacerbated during winter, when we use more heat. It also occurs when a building is poorly ventilated and excess water vapour cannot escape. 

Condensation occurs when water vapour cools and becomes liquid. Therefore, when water vapour in the air makes contact with the cool surface of a window, the vapour will condense. This results in water droplets falling from the surface of the glass and forming pools on or around window frames. 

Given that condensation is a natural occurrence and typical human activities generate excess water vapour, it’s easy to conclude that condensation is not a problem. However, condensation can settle on the surface of your home’s fixtures and cause serious damage in the form of rot or mould. Although the expense of replacement or repair can be significant, these are not the only concern. Mould spores can become airborne and exacerbate breathing problems such as asthma in your home’s occupants. Therefore, it is a problem that requires a solution. And double-glazing may be one of the most effective solutions. 

Where Does Condensation Appear on Double-Glazed Windows?

Double-glazed windows are two panes of glass that have been mounted in a frame. The space between the two panes of glass is usually filled with argan gas, which is meant to serve as an insulator. The purpose of double glazing is to ensure that the temperature outside the building does not affect the temperature inside the building. It’s an effective way to improve your home’s energy efficiency, as it prevents heat and cool air from escaping. In the case of preventing condensation, double glazing helps to stabilise your home’s indoor temperature. Therefore, the water vapour and the window will be the same or near the same temperature, and condensation is less likely to occur. 

Once you’ve installed double-glazed windows, you have to pay attention to where condensation appears, as this will indicate whether the double-glazing is working. With double-glazed windows, condensation is meant to appear solely on the outer pane, i.e. the pane that is facing outside of your home. In this scenario, the double-glazing is working. The gas in between the two panes serves as an insulator that prevents heat transfer between them. The seals around the windows are meant to keep out air and water from entering between the panes and into your house. 

However, if condensation appears elsewhere, it’s indicative of a problem. Where condensation starts to form between the two glass panes, it means that one of the seals is likely damaged. Therefore, insulating gas is escaping, and air and water are filling the space. If left unresolved, it can affect the appearance of your windows, raising the question of how to remove condensation from double-glazed windows. This problem can deteriorate and compromise the inner glass pane. Once condensation begins to form on the inner glass, it may be a sign that the double glazing is no longer effective at preventing heat transfer. However, one must note that condensation on interior windows can also be a sign of excess humidity and poor ventilation, in addition to a broken seal. Therefore, you should employ a specialist to diagnose the true source of the problem. 

Should You Replace Your Windows?

As previously mentioned, excess humidity in a house is a result of normal human activity. Therefore, condensation is nearly unavoidable. However, there are solutions as simple as opening windows during or after cooking and showering, and using a dehumidifier. If your condensation problem decreases after those measures, there is no need to replace your windows. Yet if the problem persists, you may be interested in more invasive measures such as improving your home’s ventilation system or replacing your single-glazed windows with double-glazed windows. 

However, if your home already has double-glazed windows and condensation is forming in the space between the glass panes, it’s advised that you consider replacing your windows. The seals on the window are likely damaged due to age or exposure to the elements. If left unrepaired, water and air can seep in and cloud the window, rendering it translucent. Although there are various home remedies on how to remove condensation from double-glazed windows, bear in mind that you risk exacerbating the problem and damaging your window. If the frames of your windows are wooden, the excess water can rot the wood.  For double-glazed windows that still experience condensation issues on the interior glass, it may be indicative of another issue. Therefore, in addition to replacing your windows, it’s important to consider other factors causing the problem. 

Contact Atlantis Property Preservation

Condensation starts as a harmless nuisance but can gradually become a noticeable problem. The source and severity of the issue will determine the best measure to treat it. Before you rush into the time-consuming and expensive process of replacing all your windows, you should seek the evaluation of an expert who can diagnose the problem and guide you on the best course of action. Contact our experts today for a damp survey, where we can help you find and treat the source of condensation and other structural damp issues.