Double glazing has been a standard installation across the UK for many years now. Since the 1980s, when uPVC also took off in the UK home improvement market, homes now experience much higher thermal efficiency levels than before due to old timber installations renowned for leaking heat. The two panes of glass provide an extra layer of thermal insulation to modern homes whilst also increasing security, as two panes of glass are obviously harder to break through than one.
Whilst double glazing has clear benefits. Certain disadvantages may arise with an increase in insulation. Higher insulation can result in lower circulation and ventilation. Fortunately, modern homes legally require a certain level of ventilation, so this problem is often naturally circumnavigated before it even occurs. However, there are instances where this won’t be the case.
Where does condensation come from?
Condensation in double glazing arises when water vapour in the air converts from its gaseous state into a liquid when the vapour comes into contact with a surface that is of a lower temperature than it. The thermal energy transfers from the warm vapour to the cooler surface, thus causing the vapour to condense onto the surface, leaving behind moisture. The point at which the moisture will condense is known as the ‘dew point’ and varies depending on the amount of water in the air, known as the humidity. High humidity tends to lead to a lot of condensation regardless of temperature. However, colder conditions require less humidity due to lower surface temperatures.
Condensation can be a worrying occurrence in the home because of its potential to lead to the build-up of black mould, which is a risk to your health and could lead to permanent damage in the home. It’s important to identify where condensation is occurring quickly to be addressed regularly. It will likely be more of an issue during the colder months. However, it can occur during warm months in high humidity areas. You will likely only find condensation around the window frames, typically on the outside but sometimes on the inside if the air in your home is particularly cold.
Why has it occurred in my windows?
If you do happen to find condensation between the panes of glass, your double glazed window has likely begun to deteriorate, and it can be not easy to get rid of. Double glazing operates by having a vacuum or a layer of gas in between the panes. As a result, if condensation can pass between them, the seal has likely been broken somewhere along the edge of the window. How quickly this will occur will depend on the quality of the build. However, no matter the quality of the build, eventually, the seal will begin to break.
If you are witnessing condensation around the seal or on the frame of the window, it is best practice to wipe it away regularly and as quickly as possible, as this will threaten the state of the seal. Once the seal breaks, it can be repaired; however, it is best to do so if it can be avoided.
Unfortunately, once condensation has started appearing inside a double glazed window, there is no real way to clear it permanently. Many sources claim that using a hairdryer on your windows will clear it. This may work as it will cause the surface of the window to heat up and potentially evaporate the water back into vapour. However, we can’t officially state that this will work for definite because as soon as the surface cools again, the condensation will likely re-occur.
Should I have it repaired?
If the rest of your unit is still in good condition, such as the frames and hardware, it is possible to have the seal repaired simply. By having the seal repaired, your window will again be secure against warm air from within the home passing into the gap. In all likelihood, the person in charge of your repair will then drill a hole into the unit and inject a drying agent to rid the interior of the window of the condensation that is already in there, followed by an anti-fogging agent to prevent further build-up before the unit is completely sealed again afterwards.
Suppose you do want to go with repairing your window instead of replacing it. In that case, you should be aware that this will only temporarily solve the problem rather than providing a permanent fix. The build quality likely has caused the issue, meaning that the unit itself has run its course and life expectancy. While replacing the seal will be the much cheaper option and will cease condensation entering the gap again, for the time being, the seal will likely break again in a different area. Thus, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons if you want to go with repairing rather than replacing.
Should I replace it?
Replacement is obviously going to be much more expensive and time-consuming than simply having it repaired; it is more likely that this will provide the home with the long term solution that it truly needs. Condensation is a problematic issue because of the health risks that it poses, as mentioned previously. Therefore, it will be the ideal solution to have the entire unit replaced. If you’re able to, you should get in touch with the company that fitted the window originally, and they should be able to replace it for free if the warranty is still valid. Make sure not to tamper with the seal or try to repair it yourself because this might invalidate your warranty. Nearly all companies provide a ten-year guarantee with an expected life expectancy on the windows of around 15 years.
Most reputable companies these days fit A-rated windows and advertise that they do so because it helps with ensuring that your home is thermally efficient. Thermal efficiency in the home ensures that the house requires less energy to keep it heated, something that the government is pushing for in line with their goal of reaching net-zero by 2050. If your double glazed windows are leaking, which will be if there is condensation on the inside, your windows are not thermally efficient. Installers will be looking to avoid this situation arising in the first place nowadays because of the new government guidelines.
What we do here at Double Glazing on the Web
Here at Double Glazing on the Web, we provide our customers with bespoke quotes for their double glazing needs. We want to make sure that you receive the most competitive prices for your next home installation, and thus, we only provide prices from the best companies out there. Using our industry links and know-how, we will take your project specifications to a select number of installers and get the best price they’re willing to provide. Once we have compiled our list, we’ll provide you with the best prices from the selection that we have received, saving you the trouble of combing the web looking for an installer. If you’re interested and want to start a free quote with us today, please use our online quoting engine! You can also contact us directly through our online contact form, and one of our wonderful teams will get back to you as soon as possible.