Ice Can Signal some Serious Problems
It’s mid-winter in Ontario and we’re seeing some beautiful ice formations outside. That latest ice storm showed us both the beauty and power of ice. Nature is beautiful, but how about when the frost and ice show up inside our homes?
If you read renovation forums and blogs online, you see how many comments there are from irate new homeowners whose windows have iced up on the inside. They don’t know what to do about it. You’re used to it on your car windows and seeing icicles on the eaves trough, but holy cow, ice inside your house!
What that tells you, is that you have problems with humidity, poor ventilation, or that your windows are of poor quality.
Fortunately, there are solutions.
Mould and Water: Partners in Crime
It’s hard to believe, but ice and frost don’t deter the growth of mould and mildew in and around your windows. They grow right under the ice. When you end up with pools of water on your wooden window it could leak down on the drywall below. As you can imagine, drywall is supposed to be dry and when moisture soaks inside the wall, it can mean costly repairs.
Humidity in Your Home
Humidity inside is going to happen. If your home is fairly new, the issue with window condensation may be worse than a 70 year old home. New homes are built to be airtight and of course, moisture can’t escape. When the moist air circulates inside it comes into contact with the frozen window to form frost. It keeps building to form a solid layer of ice.
Whether and when condensation forms depends on the relative humidity in your home. However, the relative humidity in your home can be 3 times normal humidity before you’ll see condensation on a triple pane window. That’s outstanding.
Don’t Do It
Resist the urge to use a hairdryer to melt it or pick at it with a scraper. You could really damage your windows doing that. As well, don’t open your windows because they could freeze open.
What You Can Do
You need to regularly exhaust the air outside by using your bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans. If your furnace and water heater haven’t been checked in a while, you should call a serviceperson to make sure they’re working okay. A heat exchange unit can also force the exchange of air frequently thus removing excess condensation.
Time to Install High Quality Windows
If the inside pane of glass is frozen, it means the window has poor thermal protection. The ice on your window makes the heat loss worse.
High quality two pane or three pane windows that contain argon gas can prevent frosting and ice build-up even on very cold days.
Keep in mind that a good amount of heat can escape right through the glass itself. Glass is actually porous. Our window panes have a metallic coating and this in combination with the argon gas minimizes thermal loss. Additionally, poor quality windows leak out heat through the sides of the window frame. Our vinyl windows have liners that reduce that type of heat loss.
How about new windows for your bathroom? Let’s bring in some light!
Premium quality windows really make a difference. And with the progression of uPVC materials that are strong, durable, and thermally protective, your new windows will be a key part of energy saving efforts.
There are wood, aluminum and fiberglass alternatives, but the market is predominantly vinyl now. Vinyl windows represent the most economical solution. Please contact us with any questions as that’s a lot better than discussing it in a forum and getting half-baked answers to your window problems. I look forward to hearing from you.
Check out our gallery of finished residential glass remodeling projects from sunrooms to picture windows. So many ways to brighten up your home. Start planning now for your spring projects.