Managing Condensation on Sash Windows

Condensation is a real nuisance on any window, but the high moisture levels can damage the astragal or glazing bars on sash windows.

The numerous panes of standard sash window design can make it hard to see through the windows too. Managing condensation will make it easier to keep your sash windows crystal clear and preserve the life of the timber.

What is Condensation?

Condensation is created by moisture in the air, which forms into droplets of water when it comes into contact with a cold surface such as your sash window.

Most homes experience some condensation on their windows, which doesn’t necessarily matter if it clears up quickly. However, if condensation is a regular feature on your sash windows, it will start to cause damage, not just on the window. Persistent condensation can cause black mould to grow and wallpaper to peel. Wallpaper problems can be hidden until the paper begins to peel away from the wall.

There are many causes of condensation and often, it’s not just one thing creating the problem. Too much moisture in the air isn’t good for the windows, and it’s not very healthy for you either. Fortunately, there are lots of preventative measures to help lower moisture levels in the home and keep your sash windows crystal clear, even on cold days.

How to Tackle Condensation in the Home

It’s surprising how much moisture everyday living can generate, but just some simple steps can help lower moisture levels and reduce condensation, protecting your windows as well as your environment. The key is reducing the moisture you create and keeping the house well-ventilated.

  • Use closed steamers or air fryers for cooking. If you have to boil pans on the hob, then keep the lids on whilst the contents are cooking, Fit and use an extractor fan when you cook
  • If you use a tumble dryer, then make sure it is vented to the outside
  • Use an extractor fan in the bathroom or open window vents if they are fitted
  • Leave gaps between the furniture and the walls in living areas
  • Try and keep the property at a constant temperature, tricky if it’s an old house. Check your insulation thoroughly, particularly around your windows but also in the loft
  • Add more ventilation; you can use many systems to upgrade your living environment, or you could just open a window! 10-15 minutes with an open window will completely exchange the air in an average-sized room

It’s important not to fit fresh draughtproofing in a room that already has an established condensation problem. We always draught seal our new and renovated sash windows to 21st-century standards and will discuss ventilation with homeowners who may have been relying on the traditional sash window ‘rattle’ to air their houses!

Inadequate Insulation

Another cause of condensation is inadequate insulation which means that damp air hits a cold window creating water droplets. Windows are a real tell-tale sign with that steamed-up look or water running down the panes and pooling on the window sills.

If you’ve managed insulation and ventilation, but there is still an annoying problem with condensation in the winter months, then a couple more steps could help solve the problem.

Use a window vac which basically sucks up the moisture from the glass panes.

Window vacs are a quick and effective way of removing condensation in the morning, something that would take hours to clear if you left it there plus, they act as window cleaners leaving pristine, streak-free glass so which saves another job. Just make sure you buy one with a compact head to cope with the smaller panes of a traditional sash window; the larger ones are harder to operate and position.

Another option is moisture absorbers, which are small and discrete plastic boxes containing a gel or crystals that absorb excess moisture in favourite locations like the windows. These won’t completely stop the problem but work well alongside a window vac.

The best way to seriously reduce or eliminate condensation on your sliding sash windows is to ventilate your home to reduce excess moisture in the air and insulate it. Condensation will eventually rot the timber frame and bars on your windows and considerably shorten the life of the paintwork, meaning you have to retreat and re-paint far more often. Plus, condensation spoils the look of these beautiful windows.

We manufacture bespoke new sliding sash windows in various styles, shapes and paint colours. We also restore and refurbish old windows using a mix of traditional craftsmanship and 21st-century materials. All our windows are optimised for their design aesthetic, period authenticity, acoustic control, security, thermal regulation and draughtproofing.

Contact us here to learn more about bespoke sash window design and our repair and restoration services.