Did you know that your home can talk? Its true. Just like our bodies can tell us if we have a cold, flu or medical issue by providing us with symptoms like a fever, soar throat or sniffles; a home can tell us if it is ill as well. An air quality test or a physical for your home may be the answer.
Condensation on windows is one of those symptoms that can alert us to the fact that the home is (so to speak) sick. This can lead to poor indoor air quality.
Condensation on windows can mean a variety of things, however, in most cases it can indicate that the humidity in the home is too high. In colder seasons, the outer walls of the home including window surfaces get colder than the air inside the home. In most cases the relative humidity in the home will also be higher. Fall and the approaching winter will cause the outer walls and windows to steadily decline in temperature. As the outside temperature falls so does the surface temperature of outer walls and windows.
Condensation forms on outer walls and windows when the temperature reaches and surpasses dew point. This is where the humidity in the home turns from a vapour back to a liquid and forms condensation on any object that has a temperature below dew point. This will usually be the outer walls of the home and the windows.
This condensation can lead to mould growth on the window sills and inside wall cavities should the warmer air of the home be able to seep into the wall cavities. In some cases, there is enough condensation that the water will drip into the wall cavity under the window sill and grow mould.
The source of the condensation can be the following:
• Over use of a room dehumidifier (never exceed 45%RH in colder seasons)
• Window leaks
• Cold spots in walls allowing condensation near these poorly insulated areas. • Improper or poor ventilation
When a home is poorly ventilated it can lead to an increase in humidity (among other pollutants). The source of the humidity can be cooking, showering, aquariums, room humidifiers, water leaks as well as just living and breathing in the home.
The best way to determine if you have this issue is to have a comprehensive air quality test performed in your home. This will provide you with important information on the overall ventilation of your home as well as if there are any hidden mould growth issues that need your attention.
Get a physical for your home to get it ready for winter.
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