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What causes condensation on windows & walls in a house

Updated on October 4, 2012

Condensation on Glass

Does your house suffer from bad condensation. Do you have water running down the inside of your windows as if they were leaking rainwater. Did you change your windows thinking this would solve the problem but still have condensaton on your windows.
Were do you go from here. First you need to know what causes condensation. A lot of people just like to blame there windows and when they change their windows if the problem is not gone away they think the window company just gave them bad windows.
So here are the three things that cause condensation V.H.I

1 : Ventilation If air cannot move around your house than it is more likely to rest on colder surfaces like windows which than cause condensation.
2 : Heat Bad heating system or no heat in a house just leaves the air cold and damp and this damp air is were all tue condensation comes from
3 : Insulation no insulation in the Walls or the floor will cause damp cold air around the house which than causes condensation
It may only take one of the three things above to be wrong to cause condensation in your house. In some cases two or more may be wrong which will make the condensation even worse. So if you have changed your windows lately and you are still getting condensation. Than have a look at your heating system plus your wall & floor insulation. Remember windows don't produce water. This water that is running down the inside of your window comes from air and if the air is damp inside your house than there is a reason for it.

How to prevent Condensation using V.H.I as a guide
1 Ventilation : In a lot of older house's there is no vents built into walls or anywhere. So some people when they change their window's they get vents built into them which can be opened or closed.
The other option is to have holes drilled through your walls and vent cover's put over the holes.
A more expensive method is to install a heat exchanger in the attic with a piping system going to each room. This will than circulate the air in the whole house plus it will bring in fresh air from the outside so that the inside air won't go stale. The heat exchanger will also save you money on heating bills because the air that is being circulated can also be heated and in summer time it can be cooled.
2 Heat : Well this is a simple one if your house is cold it will also get damp which than causes condensation. There are hundreds of different heating systems out. So it is best to do a bit of research before you invest in one.
3 Insulation : First thing to look at here is your windows. If you are going to change them make sure you get double glazing with low-E Glass as a minimum.
Wall & ceiling insulation if this is not already installed in your house. Than you are wasting loads of money on heating bills. Plus condensation can run down the walls as well as the windows. But most important is the floor if you have no insulation in the floor or a dpc as is the case with a lot of the older house's. Than this could be your main problem because a damp moisture can seep up into your room causing major condensation. To sort this problem can be costly and worst case can mean digging the floor up and redoing it. But there are a lot of product on the market today which can help. It is best to do some research and talk to an expert before you start any work.

Summery : If your house suffers from bad condensation it is one our all of the above that is causing it. If you are still not sure what to do. Than talk to an engineer to get some advise before you start doing any work.

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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      You have some sound advice here Martin. It looks like this might be more of a problem in older homes. Nicely done. Voted up.


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