Most homes get condensation during autumn and winter. But if it happens frequently and isn’t stopped, it can lead to mould growth and damp.
Condensation is water that collects on cold hard surfaces when warm air touches them. It most commonly occurs in winter on surfaces such as windows, doors and walls, and unventilated spaces, such as built-in wardrobes and cupboards.
Condensation forms on windows when warm air from inside collides with the cold glass surface.
When this collision happens, the air reaches what’s known as the dew point, where the moisture held in the warm air condenses and merges to become visible water droplets.
Condensation on windows typically happens in winter because low outdoor temperatures make the windowpane colder, and heating makes the inside air warmer.
Condensation left on windows can, over time, lead to damage to both uPVC and wooden window frames. These windows are designed to be hardwearing, but when the inside seals constantly flip between being wet and then getting exposed to intense sunlight, they expand and contract, making them dry out and crack. This can lead to the seals failing, so the glass will fog up between the panes, and the window will lose its insulating benefits.
This combination of damp and strong sunlight also damages wooden window frames. The wood will dry and crack, and paint and varnish will peel. Over time, the window frame will deteriorate and will need to be replaced.
Unsure how to get rid go condensation on their uPVC windows, one woman took to the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips Facebook page to ask for some advice. Lydia Rose said: “Any advice on how to stop condensation on windows, damp walls, mould. We haven’t got vents in the windows. Thank you.”
While there were some homemade remedies suggested to remove condensation, many group members disputed them as being ineffective.
Instead, many suggested that the “only way” to get rid of window condensation “for good” was to use a dehumidifier.
Chelsea Fields commented: “A big plug-in dehumidifier is the only thing that worked for our bedroom. It doesn’t cost much to run but it’s an expensive buy.
“It’s definitely worth it for the sake of getting rid of condensation for good and not having mould that can make you poorly. Our landlady brought ours as I complained.”
Alanna Frame said: “We get this when it gets colder and we’ve bought a dehumidifier for the first time this year and it’s 100 percent fixed the problem.”
Anne Hooper said: “I honestly don’t think you’ll regret the initial outlay in buying a dehumidifier with a humidistat on it. It’ll switch on and off according to the moisture in the air. Keep it in a central location, empty it often, keep the doors in all rooms open whenever possible, and clean the filter so it’s running efficiently.
“Get one with a big tank. You’ll wonder why you didn’t get one before! You’ll offset the running costs as the house will have drier air which is much cheaper to heat and more pleasant to live in. I have an Ebac one and it’s been a godsend – I wouldn’t be without it.”
Pam Howell Mercer insisted: “Getting a dehumidifier takes all the dampness out of the rooms. They’re amazing.”
Lauren Cox commented: “I have a dehumidifier from ScrewFix upstairs and downstairs in my house, and also one in my hair salon. I keep them on most of the time. Haven’t had a problem since. The only time I get the black and damp back is when I don’t have time or forget to empty it.”