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How to Prevent Condensation on French Patio Doors

External French doors are a great way to make your home feel brighter and more spacious. They create a seamless transition between your interior living area and your patio or garden. When fully open, they let in lots of light and fresh air and give you a wider open space to enjoy. When closed, they still allow light to flood into your living area, while offering the energy efficiency savings of double glazing – including both noise and thermal insulation.

What Causes Condensation to Form on French Patio Doors

Condensation on your external doors occurs when warm, humid air hits a much surface that is colder than the air, causing the water in the air to ‘condense’ to form droplets. To a certain extent, condensation is to be expected, but too much condensation can lead to problems with damp and mildew, and could be a sign that there is something wrong.

Condensation Outside

It is perfectly normal for condensation to form on the outside of your patio doors, especially in the autumn and winter when it’s cold outside. The cool air outside comes into contact with the window area, which is cold, and this causes a mist to form. The mist should dissipate when the temperature rises outside, or when the sun causes the moisture to evaporate. If your patio doors are energy efficient, then you should only notice the condensation in the mornings, and only during certain times of year. If you see it year-round, then this may be a sign that the glazing isn’t as efficient as it should be.

Condensation Inside

Condensation can form inside your home if you have poor ventilation, or if your doors are located near to a room that frequently gets steamy – such as the bathroom or kitchen. In this case, the steamy air hits the cooler windows and condensation starts to form. This is nothing to worry about, and is easily remedied in most cases.

Condensation Between Window Panes

If you see condensation between your window panes, then this is cause for concern. The panes of glass between double glazing are designed to be highly energy efficient, and should be completely sealed. If condensation is forming between the panes then this means that the seal between the two panes has been breached and the glazing will not be performing as well as it should be. It’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer of the doors, or the company that supplied them, for assistance. Modern patio doors are designed to be very hardwearing, so damaged seals are incredibly rare.

New Properties

Newer properties have a lot of water in them, naturally. A new build can have as much as 1500 gallons of liquid in it, because of the moisture in the cement, plaster, paint and other building materials. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of opening the windows, using a dehumidifier, and keeping the place well aired out for a while after you move in. Your day to day living activities will be adding even more moisture from cooking, showering, and even keeping household plants. If you ventilate the property well, then eventually the amount of accumulated moisture will decline to more normal levels. You may not be able to air the property out well in the winter, but some ventilation is good for your health and wellbeing, and when the weather warms up you should start opening the doors and windows whenever you can.

How to Stop Condensation from Forming

The most common cause of condensation is poor ventilation. Typically, energy saving advice involves stopping as many draughts as possible, but you can go too far with ‘sealing your home. If you have done any of the following:

  • Plugged up ventilation panels
  • Closed the window trickle vents
  • Started drying your washing on your radiators instead of in a tumble drier
  • Told people to keep the windows closed when cooking/showering

Then you could be creating a condensation issue in your home.

Condensation is more likely to happen in a room that is very humid. The average home is somewhere between 40 to 60 percent relative humidity, but we don’t notice that because the water is just moisture in the air – indeed breathing slightly humid air is usually nicer than breathing completely dry air. When that moist air hits a cold window, though, it turns to condensation and starts running down the window, pooling at the bottom and potentially causing mold and mildew build up.

The main answer to stopping condensation is good ventilation. Opening those trickle vents can do a lot to help stop condensation build up. If you have an issue with condensation in your bathroom, get into the habit of opening the windows after you shower (and closing the doors to keep heat in the rest of the house).

To stop condensation in the kitchen, fit an extractor hood or fan over the cooker so that it can vent moisture to the outside.

Open the trickle vents in your bedroom. If you don’t like sleeping in a cool room, leave the windows closed overnight, but open them slightly when you get up in the morning. Two sleeping adults can produce as much as a pint of moisture between them per day, so you need to make sure that you get rid of it somehow.

If you can’t ventilate the house properly, consider getting a dehumidifier. These are quite inexpensive to run and will go a good job of getting rid of excess moisture. Dehumidifiers are particularly useful in parts of your home where youfafa don’t have a lot of natural air flow.

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