With another storm forecasted for February, many of us need ways to protect our windows from damage or build-ups of condensation. Louis McGee, glazing expert at Cloudy2Clear has put together the below advice to help homeowners accomplish this.
Invest in getting storm shutters installed
You may be able to have storm shutters installed if you move quickly. Sturdy wooden storm shutters are one of the best available options. They’re great at absorbing impacts and they can be reused over again in future storms.
Replace your double glazed windows
If condensation is forming between your window panes, it means that there are gaps in the glass that are allowing in moisture. Whether it’s due to physical damage or poor fitting, these gaps mean that heat from your home will escape – causing your energy bills to skyrocket. Furthermore, damaged windows will be less durable in stormy weather and more easily shattered.
By ensuring your home is properly ventilated, you’ll improve the airflow and fight off the issues caused by condensation.
Opening windows (provided it isn’t too windy outside) is a simple way to implement this, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. If you’ve cooked in the oven or on a hob, or if you’ve had a shower, leave your windows open in that room until the air is clear to prevent moisture build-ups.
It’s also important that you’re using extractor fans in both the kitchen and bathroom to allow steam to escape. Plus, keeping your doors closed helps to isolate steam and moisture, making it easier to dissipate and stopping it from spreading to other rooms.
Heating and insulation
Issues with condensation are intensified by sudden rises and drops in temperature, as each fluctuation causes water to evaporate and condense when your central heating turns on and off.
Rather than allowing your heating to swing between hot and cold, keep your heating at a constant low temperature. This will help to prevent dampness from forming in your home.
Ensuring your home has appropriate insulation will reduce the likelihood of condensation forming in cold spots on walls and the ceiling. Cavity wall and loft insulation will help to keep your walls at a consistent temperature.
An immediate solution to condensation is to remove any water droplets you come across in your home.
All you need is a soft cloth or paper towels – something that won’t damage your windows – and you can keep on top of any moisture forming. In the short term, cleaning your windows of condensation regularly can prevent the moisture from developing into damp or mould issues.
To reduce condensation brought on by cold temperatures and rain, here are some actions you can take:
- Vented washer dryers
Many modern washer dryers are condenser models, which collect moisture from the drum which can be emptied later. If you have a vented washer dryer, however, make sure that the vent is properly secured; otherwise, moisture can easily escape and become trapped in your home.
- Cook with pot lids
Another easy way to reduce moisture in your home is to make sure you’re cooking with pot lids. Bubbling pots and pans release a lot of steam and moisture into kitchens, even with an extractor fan, so using a lid while you cook helps to reduce how much steam is released into the room.
- Don’t overfill wardrobes and cupboards
Both wardrobes and kitchen cupboards are breeding grounds for mould if left overfilled. Any trapped moisture will struggle to escape due to the lack of airflow, so make sure you’re not filling them to the brim to allow air to circulate inside
- Move furniture away from external walls
Just like with your wardrobes, it’s important to make sure there’s enough room between your walls and your furniture for air to circulate. If sofas and large pieces of furniture are pushed right up against walls, especially exterior walls, they run the risk of becoming damp and mouldy from the cold.
- Use bath mats
It’s not just bathroom walls that have the potential for damp issues; the floor is at risk too. Invest in a good-sized bath mat to absorb most of the water when you get out of the bath or shower, so you’re not drenching your bathroom floor in water and creating more condensation.
- Check for leaks
Keep an eye on your roof and ceilings for any drips or leaks that present themselves. They can be easy to miss at first, but if left unchecked, they can leave your ceiling and walls soaked over time.
- Check guttering and downpipes
Much like leaks, blocked gutters can cause havoc to your exterior walls. Keep all guttering and downpipes free from debris to prevent blockages, which could lead to excess water soaking your home’s exterior walls.”