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3 Simple Ways to Deal with Condensed Windows During the Condensation Season

It's October. Condensation season is upon us. Well, almost upon us - this glorious Indian Summer sadly has to come to an end eventually. Today I'm sharing with you the ways in which we have dealt with condensation in the past.

What causes Condensation?

Condensation can occur in any property, but in particular it most definitely will occur in properties that are fitted with single glazed windows. Condensation is basically a form of dampness that occurs when warm moisture hits a cold surface. Little droplets of water appear, thus leaving the area wet. This can often occur on walls, ceilings, windows, radiators, you name it.

Ultimately, the cause is both a lack of insulation and also a lack of ventilation. Contradictory perhaps? I'm not saying you should up your heating to the max whilst leaving all your windows open. Absolutely not! But there are certain times when you need to manage the varying temperatures in the home. For example, boiling food is going to release lots and lots of warm moisture. This is where you need good ventilation to take that moisture away. Same goes for showers. A lack of ventilation here would also cause the warm moisture to be drawn to all those non-insulated cold and draughty places, such as ceilings, or around doors.

How to Prevent Condensation?

There's lots you can do to prevent condensation; install extractor fans in both the bathroom and kitchen, make sure you have insulation in the attic, ensure doors and windows are sealed with no draughts, stop drying clothes on radiators, use lids on the stove when cooking, the list goes on.

What if you have Single glazed windows and can't afford the upgrade?

We've been there. The most costly cure for condensation settling on windows is to upgrade to double glazing.. But for lots of people, (including us!) this just isn't even a possibility. We lived in a property with single glazed windows for three years. We did all of the above to prevent condensation, but when you have single glazed windows - it's just completely inevitable that they will stream with condensation throughout the winter months, daily. I used a whole load of different methods throughout our 3 year condensation battle and through trial and error, I found a few products that helped.

So, here's my simple 3 solutions for coping with condensation:

1. Use Moisture Traps

These moisture traps really do work. They're pretty great actually. You basically put one on every window sill and they trap that warm moisture inside the tub. You'll notice they're working as they slowly fill up with water. The same water that would otherwise have been pouring down your windows. The downside to these however is that not only are they quite costly (particularly as you may well need one on every window!) but they also get used up really fast, meaning you have to constantly keep buying them. Not financially fantastic. I'd recommend these for just the beginning and the end of the condensation season when the condensation problem hasn't become a daily occurrence.

2. Install Window Film on Single Glazed Windows

This is probably the best solution for dealing with condensation windows. Window films, such as these are basically lengths of plastic (imagine thick cling film) that stick to the frame of your window. You then need a hairdryer to apply warm air over the film and as you do so, the film will shrink and pull tight. This creates a kind-of seal around the actual window. It prevents draughts, but it also prevents that warm moisture ever touching the window. Your condensation problem is resolved! If only it was that simple. These films are beyond ugly and they're very noticeable. Your clean clear windows are now blurred by thick plastic, not great if you have gorgeous countryside views. These also don't last for the whole season, so you need a couple of packs to change the film throughout the months, and on top of that, the nasty double sided tape leaves a horrible residue on your windows and peels off any paint work you might have. We used these for two years and I re-sanded and painted the window every year. Not for the DIY lazy. They were the most ideal solution for condensation windows - but when it came to selling our house, they were so ugly we knew we couldn't possibly use them whilst undergoing viewings. Which leads me onto number 3:

3. Purchase a Karcher Window Vac

If all else fails and you have beautiful original windows that you can't bear to ruin with sticky tape and your budget doesn't account for an endless supply of moisture traps, there is one final option available to you: purchase a Karcher Window Vac. In absolutely no shape or form is this going to prevent your windows from streaming with condensation, but it does supply a great way of dealing with the problem. We purchased a window vac specifically for this job throughout the months whilst we were selling our first home. It was brilliant. It was a quick job every morning to remove the condensation, but it enabled us to keep our windows from the ugly plastic film, save on moisture traps and live a condensation free daily life. The vac basically hoovers up the liquid into a plastic container which can then be poured down the sink. No need to wipe the window down afterwards and it really only takes a couple of minutes to do the whole house. The main negative with this option was that the device (which is meant for cleaning windows every couple of weeks) need re-charging daily. It lasted enough for our 6 windows + 1 bay window, but wouldn't last for more than a couple the next day if I  hadn't recharged it. It was also quite pricey at around £50, but personally I think it was worth it. I have seen a very similar product in Lakeland, "the scoopy" which does a similar job for much cheaper. I can't comment on how good it is, but at only £15 it might be a worthwhile gamble if you're looking for something slightly more affordable.

So, there's my top 3 ways for dealing with condensed windows. I'd love to hear if you have any tips to add?

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