Double glazing - do you still get condensation?

(65 Posts)
sammydavis Wed 16-Jan-13 07:59:37

Trying to get a handle on whether 'modern' double glazing (as opposed to say 10-20year old double glazing, sash windows, crittall windows, single glazing etc) is a barrier to condensation - leaving aside clothes on radiators, ventilation, water from breathing, bathing, drinking and general existing.

How old is your double glazing and do you still have to wipe up condensation in this weather?

Anyone beaten condensation and would attribute it to new double glazing? Which brand or product did you go for?

Anyone find it didn't make a difference?

ilovecakes Wed 16-Jan-13 08:04:22

Our double glazing is a year old and we get really bad condensation :-(

PigletJohn Wed 16-Jan-13 08:56:13

If your home is full of water vapour, it will suffer condensation, damp and mould.

New windows will not reduce the amount of water vapour. If they are a better fit than the old ones and less draughty, the reduced ventilation will make it worse.

If you want. to reduce condensation and damp, open the windows and buy a washing line. If you have money to spend buy a tumble drier and a bathroom extractor.

KatyMac Wed 16-Jan-13 08:58:44

Based on physics - it will make an existing condensation problem worse & may cause condensation in house that didn't have it already

sammydavis Wed 16-Jan-13 09:36:59

I know the whole ventilation argument and how it relates to condensation. Like most people, I don't want to live in a draughty barn though, with windows half open all the time - so that's something we have to deal with. It's also daft to heat your house and then open the windows - on an ecological level and on an economical level.

Our climate means we will always have moisture inside our houses and cold outside our houses and all the ventilation and extractor fans in the world are not going to fix that unless we just give up on walls and roofs and live in the fields.

Condensation occurs when the warm moist air contacts a cooler surface and the 'air' is converted back into a liquid.

The idea of double and triple etc glazing is that by insulating the bigs holes in the walls we call windows, the glass surface will not be cooler than the rest of the environment, and so will not encourage condensation to form.

Obviously this does not affect the level of moisture present in the house - presumably if condensation is prevented from forming by the lack of a cool surface, the air will remain moist and we would probably all be more likely to get chest infections etc.

It's clearly beyong the wit of the construction industry to develop a solution to this issue - (perhaps every house should have a condensation box - a cool area with a suction fan which draws the moist air towards it, and drains the resulting condensation outside).

As I said though, leaving all of that aside - do people find new/modern double glazing an improvement on what they had before - specifically in relation to condensation forming and them having to wipe it up.

Or does everybody leave their windows open all day grin

PigletJohn Wed 16-Jan-13 10:10:39

It is certainly not beyond the wit of the construction or appliance industries to provide extractor fans, dehumidifiers and tumble driers, not to mention windows and trickle vents.

However there are some people who refuse to use these solutions, and if they also insist on draping vast quantities of water around their homes, they are doomed to be damp.

KatyMac Wed 16-Jan-13 10:12:05

I leave my windows open all day

& I will be installing a positive flow ventilation systems which helped massively in a previous house (when I have spare time & money)

If the windows are insulated to the point that they are not colder than walls the condensation will just settle somewhere else

I'm interested in how houses like Huf and over insulated/sealed houses cope with the condensation issue - I think it's by mechanical ventilation

specialsubject Wed 16-Jan-13 11:42:01

this house has 2 year old double glazing and as it is currently freezing cold at night, I am wiping up condensation in the morning. Didn't happen in the summer. Laws of physics.

The bits of the house with older DG get worse condensation.

the decent DG means the place holds the heat from the heating or the sun. Prefer it to the previous rental which had single glazed sashes and was always freezing.

five mins of housework a day. Not an issue.

Pendeen Wed 16-Jan-13 11:59:11

The very latest houses are intended to be virtually air-tight and ventilation is carefully designed / controlled by a combintion of passive and mechanical measures.

Have a look at the requirements here and part f

The calculations are complex and the standards required of the builders are very high including pressure testing the whole house upon completion.

As PJ says, not much is beyond the 'wit' of the construction industry but the challenges are 'interesting' to say the least!

sammydavis Wed 16-Jan-13 13:30:57

Thanks all. I have old double glazing where condensation is annoying.

I also have open windows (not all day though - don't have bottomless pockets and don't believe in wasting fossil fuels as I don't want to sit in the cold and would have to use heating), extractor fans and a tumble dryer (and a dehumidifier which was pants).

So if that's the sum of the solutions available - it doesn't work.

I have however, observed houses with newer double glazing than mine and without obvious condensation and I wondered whether new double glazing - in isolation - was better than old double glazing.

From the relevant replies, it seems that nobody is flying the flag for glazing.

Clearly my neighbours have other, better, secret construction industry machinery operating in the background which keeps their windows water free. Or they get up earlier than me and wipe them down.

I too, am familiar with the platitudes about wet clothes on radiators which is always the stock reponse when condensation is mentioned, but I specifically didn't ask about that and was trying to limit the question to solely the impact of better quality double glazing.

MaudLebowski Wed 16-Jan-13 13:45:31

Seeing houses with newer double glazing that doesn't appear to have condensation on it doesn't necessarily mean that their glazing is better in some way.
It might be that there's less water vapour in their house, either because they're on holiday or out at work all day or they have a MVHR system which pumps damp air out of the house from all rooms. They would also get less condensation if their house was colder than yours.
Top of the range glazing, normally triple and from Finland, will get a lot less condensation than standard stuff given the same circumstances, but it is still possible to fog it up if you try.
So I would say the answer is that better quality glazing will do a slightly better job of getting rid of condensation, but its not a cure all, and you'd have to spend a lot of money on triple glazed krypton filled windows to notice a dramatic difference.

PigletJohn Wed 16-Jan-13 13:55:09

if you are already ventilating, and controlling the usual sources of condensation (you didn't mention that at first) then it might be that you have an additional, less common source of moisture in your home.

this often a plumbing or rainwater leak, it might be from a pipe under the floor such as a radiator pipe of a leaky main, or from an appliance or under the bath or shower.

How old is your house, and have you got a water meter? meters show up leaks as they never stop turning.

sammydavis Wed 16-Jan-13 14:23:59

Thanks MaudLebowski - you've put your finger on it - that a significant improvement in the quality of the fitted unit will make a difference to condensation - by preventing the window from cooling to the level where condensation forms.

Sure, my neighbours may or may not have different circumstances to me but all other things being equal - the quality of the fitted unit makes a difference.

PigeltJohn - I did say in the OP leaving aside clothes on radiators, ventilation, water from breathing, bathing, drinking and general existing. and again, in my next post too.

Specifically, I'm interested in whether new, improved doubleglazing will be less likely to produce condensation.
I can't be 100% sure there isn't another source of water in the house. I certainly hope not!
Again, I'm not saying I suffer 'unusually' with condensation - it's just at a level that I would prefer not to have - that might be more or less than others.

I wanted to garner a few opinions on whether recent replacement windows had many any difference to other people's experience of condensation but instead have gone down the 'usual suspects' route of damp clothing, breathing, baths etc..

PaperFlowers Wed 16-Jan-13 15:22:39

We have just moved into a house with brand new double glazing and a tiny amount of condensation at the bottom of our bedroom window in the morning when it's really cold and the bathroom window steaming up until the extractor fan has done it's thing are the sum total of our codensation. I do keep the trickle vents open most of the time though.

Our neighbours do not have DG and they all seem to get condensation - some worse than others. All of the houses were built in 1998 and are identical. We donl't have a tumble direr but only do one load of washing oer week (two max).

I love our double glazing - we have the heating on so much less than we would have needed in our old place.

Pendeen Wed 16-Jan-13 15:50:00

Just a thought OP, are you talking about the 'old' windows being double glazing or secondary glazing and is the condensatin on the inside surface or between the panes (or both)? You mention different types of frames in your introduction.

To answer your general question yes there is a huge difference in performance between (for example) steel frames with secondary glazing and brand new A rated PVCu windows with low emissivity glass and inert gas filling.

As an aside - replacement windows come under the Building Regulations so a FENSA registered contractor needs to be used unless you fancy dealing with Building Control.

sammydavis Wed 16-Jan-13 15:58:06

Thanks PaperFlowers - that's really useful - especially given all of the houses are so new but yours is the one with the newest double glazing - the perfect scientific experiment wink.

Would you mind saying what kind of glazing you bought: brand, double or triple - what the gas filling is - would be really helpful.

Cheers Pendeen - I have old standard UPVC double glazing. At various times I've lived with Crittall, secondary, wooden sash, - any combination or specification of rubbish windows you can think of and every house has been plagued with condensation.

Increasingly though, I've noticed it's less common to see water streaming down windows and I'm keen to buy whatever windows achieve that!

PaperFlowers Wed 16-Jan-13 16:13:09

Yes I am very scientific (and a bit smug about our lack of condensation as our previous place was an absolute nightmare).

I'm afaid I have no idea about most of that as they were done just before we bought the house. They are definitely new PVCu units (ie they took the original wooden frames out and replaced the lot) and they are double not triple I'm sure.

We have double glazing (new) and I leave a window open all day and night, don't hang washing in the house, have fans in the bathroom and kitchen, air bricks, vents in two of the bedrooms and we still have terrible condensation. Argh.

0blio Wed 16-Jan-13 21:17:04

Am watching this thread with interest as I am about to replace some of my wooden framed double glazed windows with good quality upvc ones.

I really hope it helps my condensation problem as my windows stream with water on cold mornings and despite drying it every day, the window frames are rotting in some rooms because of this. Not only that, but I frequently also have to clean mould off the inside of external walls.

I have a condenser drier, three extractor fans (including one with a humidistat which is hopeless - I have switched it to manual operation as it rarely came on) and a dehumidifier going 24/7 (again pretty useless, except for drying washing - and I'm dreading my winter elec bill!)

I have lived in quite a few properties and have never known condensation like this. We have no leaks anywhere that I'm aware of, but I wonder if the super thick loft insulation installed by our energy company perhaps contributes to the problem.

PolterGoose Thu 17-Jan-13 12:18:49

However fantastic your windows are they will not reduce condensation confused all that will happen is the condensation will find the next coldest surface, and, IME, wiping windows every morning is a lot easier than dealing with condensation related mould behind furniture and in cupboards. I'm struggling to understand your problem as you won't discuss all the usual causes of condensation hmm

sammydavis Thu 17-Jan-13 12:39:33

Poltergoose - I don't have a problem and I don't see what's hard to understand.

There are many causes of condensation.

There are people who love repeating ad infinitum platitudes about the causes of condensation - I know the causes - that's why I said I'm not asking about the causes

Rather than put up with more of the usual about wet towels and extractors etc etc - I specifically did not ask about the 'causes' of condensation - people want to go on about wet clothes, extractors, tumble dryers even whens asked not to.

I specifically said leaving aside wet towels etc....

I straightforwardly asked whether new double glazing affects your 'experience' of condensation.

Have you got new double glazing and did it affect your experience of condensation?

Sausagedog27 Thu 17-Jan-13 13:19:11

Gosh op- you do come across a bit prickly shall we say- people are only trying to help.

Surely you need to address the cause of excess moisture and condensation in a house.

You can throw money at new double/triple glazing, but as has been said, the excess moisture will just find the next coldest spot in the house.....

digerd Thu 17-Jan-13 13:21:06

When I moved in here 14 years ago, I had 30 year-old double glazed Metal alluminium frames, which were dripping with condensation , especially in my bedroom which is a flatroof extension.
10 years later I changed them to UPVC frames, and the condensation stopped immediately. But was horrified to find that there was condensation on the OUTSIDE on a very cold night.
This is <apparently> due to the superior E outside coating which helps stop heat loss through the windows.
But I now have no net curtains at windows as have georgian barred glass. My old curtains would get soaked by the condensation too.

PigletJohn Thu 17-Jan-13 13:22:52

The reason people keep saying "wet washing and lack of ventilation causes condensation, damp and mould" is because it's true.

I have grasped that it's not something you want to hear.

PolterGoose Thu 17-Jan-13 13:27:11

You said Specifically, I'm interested in whether new, improved doubleglazing will be less likely to produce condensation.

And this is why it feels like you are missing the point because windows cannot produce condensation

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