Foggy Windows? What Can That Mean?

Foggy Windows? What Can That Mean?

Condensation on windows can be normal and little cause for concern. But when the temperatures on either side of the window glass are drastically different, condensation can form. The air on one side of the window has reached its "dew point," leaving small droplets of water on the surface.

While there are a few fixes to help minimize — if not altogether remedy — the problem, it's still important to monitor condensation on windows and identify the exact cause.

Condensation on the Inside of Windows

Condensation on the inside of windows generally occurs during the winter months. Cold temperatures outside and warm, humid temperatures inside can cause a little water accumulation on the window glass. In fact, this "sweating" can be a good indication of widow performance. Air leakage is likely at a minimum, keeping heat and moisture in the home. Cooking, showering, or doing the laundry can cause even more condensation on windows.

Remedying the problem might be as easy as turning down the humidifier, especially if the relative humidity in the home is over 60%. As a general rule, keep indoor humidity in the range of 30% to 50%. Other corrective measures can include encouraging air circulation with a ceiling fan clockwise, preferably, opening the shades to keep heat from being trapped next to the pane, and running the exhaust fan when cooking or showering.

Condensation on the Outside of Windows

For the most part, condensation on the outside of windows occurs during the summer months. High outdoor humidity levels cause droplets of water to form on the window glass, especially on those days with little to no wind. Condensation can also occur during the spring and fall, but the reason is often due to cooler nights that follow warmer days.

Correcting the problem is more of a waiting game than anything else. When the sun comes out, it should dry the condensation. That said, you can always apply water repellant to the glass to help reduce window sweating. Beyond that, however, you can't fully prevent condensation on the outside of windows. The weather is in control.

Condensation Between Windowpanes

Condensation forming between the glass of dual-pane or triple-pane window means the window itself is compromised. The original glass seal has now failed, and the time has come to look into foggy window repair. Someone will need to come out to the home to conduct a proper window inspection and determine the next best steps.

At a bare minimum, you're looking at a window pane replacement. Should that not correct the problem, then the entire window will need to be replaced. Consult with the manufacturer of your windows, as some offer lifetime warranties that may cover the cost of repairing or replacing windows due to glass seal failures.

Serious DIYers may want to tackle foggy window repair themselves. If that sounds like you, understand that this can be quite a complex process. You'll first need to remove not only the pane in question but also the moisture before rebuilding the seal. That said, even then, there's no guarantee that it will correct the problem.

Should condensation persist, you'd turn your attention to replacing the entire insulated glass unit (IGU). Typically, the space in between the panes is filled with a noble gas, such as argon. This isn't something you'll be able to refill once the seal fails. An IGU would take care of at least that task. And if your windows are old, it's probably cheaper to replace them than go through the costly, time-intensive process of foggy window repair.

Regardless of the reason for condensation on windows, it should be taken as a sign to look into the root cause. Too much condensation can eventually cause blistering, cracking, or warping of the surrounding materials. When not corrected, it could lead to serious damage later on.

If you're in need of foggy window repair or replacement, get in touch with our team of experts at Expo Home Improvement. We have the tools and the know-how to fix your foggy windows for good.