Moisture is a dirty word when it comes to homes and cottages.
After all, evidence of excessive moisture can be a warning sign that problems either exist or are imminent. It’s why when people see condensation forming on their windows, there is a tendency to panic.
While this could be a warning sign, it could also mean your windows are doing their job, says Paul Travis of George Kent Home Improvements.
“It’s important to determine the cause of the moisture and where it is on the window,” he says. “Condensation is especially evident in the winter when the interior warmth meets the exterior cold.”
Daily activities such as cooking and showering produce moisture inside homes and cottages; well built, properly installed windows will provide a good seal that traps the moisture. That can cause a small amount of condensation to form on the window.
In this situation, the condensation is a good thing: it shows that your windows are performing their duty. The amount of condensation can be affected by the type of heating system being used, your insulation and vapour barrier, and the number of windows you have.
If the condensation is bothering you, it’s relatively easy to decrease it with a few tips from George Kent Home Improvements. These include using exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms; opening your windows for a few minutes on mild days; and checking the humidity settings on your humidifier system (if one exists).
“These will likely only work if the seal is in good working order,” explains Paul. “A broken seal will mean moisture is being trapped between the panes.”
To determine if this is the case, attempt to wipe away the condensation when your windows are looking wet or foggy. If it wipes away and the window is clear, then the seal remains intact.
But, if not, then it’s time to change your windows. Moisture trapped between the panes can lead to mould and damaged frames.
Other signs your windows may need replacing include indications of sloppy installation, such as messy caulking or gaps, noises or squeaks; warped frames, which will cause heat loss issues; and cracked or broken glass or hardware.
What’s in a door?
Paul says when it comes to front doors for your home or cottage, there are really only two viable options: insulated steel or fibreglass.
Insulated steel doors are the budget-friendly option that provide great practical attributes like security and durability. However, for the best combination of form and function, Paul recommends fibreglass.
“Fibreglass doors are more energy efficient and provide a near limitless variety of styles, colours and grains,” he says. “I often recommend fibreglass to homeowners and cottagers wanting a real wood look but with added durability and low maintenance. Fibreglass doors can match almost any look you want.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN