Monday, December 10, 2012

Leaky Windows?

Foggy windows covered in condensation are quite common as temperatures drop. The warm air inside your home meets the cold from outside, and wham! There's wet all over your windows. There are many reasons why a person might have leaky windows, and not all of the reasons lead a person to swap out their old windows for new ones, which is a costly and potentially ineffective fix. The solution to the problem might be as simple as checking your HVAC unit or increasing the air circulation in your home. In this article, reposted from, Mike Holmes asks why are your windows leaking, and explains how homeowners might remedy the situation.

 Why Are Your Windows Leaking?
By Mike Holmes

When the temperature starts to drop, many people start finding their windows are fogged up or covered in condensation — sometimes it’s so bad water pools on the windowsill or floor. Is it a big deal? Yes, it can be.
Mould is one reason. Moisture is another. Moisture can cause structural damage, like rot and rust. It can also damage surface finishes.
Where does all the moisture come from? It can get in through your roof — if you have a leak — or through your basement’s concrete walls and floor. Remember, concrete is porous. Water can move through it from the soil outside. But most of the moisture in your house comes from you — from your shower, your cooking, your washing machine, your dishwasher, even your breath. When people find they’ve got sweaty windows, the first thing they do is spend a lot of money putting in new windows. That might make sense, but I’ve seen these problems with new windows too.

Condensation happens when the warm air inside your house hits a cold surface — like the glass
in a single pane window. Newer windows are double glazed, and usually have an inert gas — like argon or krypton — in between their panes. This provides some insulation and reduces the chance of condensation.
Between the two panes of glass there should be an airtight seal. But if the seal is cracked, you’ll get condensation in be- tween the two layers of glass. A cracked seal probably means you need to replace your windows.
Air leakage can also cause condensation. How do you get air leakage around your windows? They probably weren’t properly installed and/or insulated. Adding some insulation is a lot cheaper than replacing your windows, so try that first.

THERE ARE OTHER POSSIBLE CAUSES for condensation on the inside of your windows:
1. If you have a new home that was built within the last 2 years it’s possible that your wood fram- ing is full of moisture. Have you ever seen a new development being built where they cover the piles of framing with tarps to keep the rain and snow off? No, I didn’t think so! That wood soaks up moisture, and continues to let that excess moisture out until it’s dry. That happens within your walls.
2. Your home might be too air- tight. Poor air movement in your home will cause condensation. So, open a window just a crack downstairs and install stronger, better quality exhaust fans. They’ll exhaust moist air from inside your home and replace it with dry, fresh air from outside. This will help you create some air movement. You may also want to look into a Heat Recovery System (HRV).
3. It’s possible that you have a problem with your HVAC (Heat- ing, Venting and Air Condition- ing). For that you should contact a qualified Heating Contractor. If you control the moisture in your house, and make sure your windows are properly installed and insulated, you can put an end to your wet windows.

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