If you’ve woken up this winter to the sight of misty windows that are streaming with water, or perhaps you’ve noticed an unwanted puddle of water on your windowsill, it's likely that your home is suffering from condensation. Streaming windows are one of the most common symptoms of condensation and can often lead to further problems if left untreated.
So, what exactly is condensation and how did your windows begin to stream in the first place? Condensation forms on a surface when the temperature of that surface is considerably cooler than the surrounding air. As air is cooled, its relative humidity rises until it reaches a point where it is saturated and can no longer hold on to all the moisture in the atmosphere. The surface will therefore collect this moisture; you may notice that as soon as you take a bottle of milk out of the fridge, droplets of water will form on the outside of the bottle. This is because as air passes over the surface of the bottle, its temperature is reduced and can no longer retain all the moisture and therefore deposits it on the cold surface.
In relation to window condensation, your windows will be colder than the surrounding air, causing water droplets to form and trickle down the window, often resulting in a puddle of water on your windowsill. As well as streaming windows, visibly wet walls, crumbling plaster, peeling wallpaper, stale smells and black mould are among some of the most common condensation problems. Black mould is a condensation problem dreaded by most homeowners, as the allergens (otherwise known as mould spores) can aggravate the symptoms of asthma and allergy sufferers.
The volites emitted from fungal colonies are also known to cause headaches, nausea and fatigue. Unfortunately, condensation cannot be avoided unless your home is well ventilated. Day-to-day tasks that release moisture into the air will attribute to condensation and believe it or not, even breathing can add the level of condensation in your home! One method of fighting condensation and all of its symptoms is to consider investing in Positive Input Ventilation (PIV).
Positive Input Ventilation is the second most popular method of home ventilation after intermittent extract fans and is a technique designed to filter fresh air throughout your property. Filtering fresh air will reduce the amount of humidity in your home and therefore reduce the chances of condensation.