Why Is There Damp Near My Window?
31 August 2022
Damp is a pretty common problem in many properties, and the way it presents itself can often confuse people. This is especially true if you have never had to deal with damp before, and its appearance anywhere in your property utterly bewilders you, and leaves you with no idea on how to remove it and stop it from appearing again.
So, if you have discovered damp near a window in your property, what can you do to remove it, and just as importantly, what can you do to stop it from returning?
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Why Might Damp Be Near Your Windows?
There are plenty of reasons why there might be damp near your window, so if you have no idea where to start when it comes to damp, and damp remediation, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed.
Realistically, there are a couple of reasons that you might have damp near your properties windows, and none of these reasons are worth ignoring.
So, read on below for some of the main reasons that you might have damp near your windows.
Rising damp is a form of dampness that occurs when moisture in the ground enters your properties walls via capillary action. Windows, even ones on the ground floor of a property, are usually installed at a level that would generally be considered too high to be the fault of rising damp, as it only usually spreads about a meter upwards off of the ground.
If you have windows near the ground of your property, then you could well have rising damp. Make sure to contact a damp proofing expert to see about having a damp proof course installed, or fixed, to stop that damp from coming back.
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Condensation is an incredibly likely source of damp near your windows, and is one of the most common reasons that properties develop damp.
The simplest way of understanding this is through the explanation of how condensation is naturally formed.
Condensation comes about when the inhabitants of a property undertake an activity that creates warm air. Showering, washing, cooking – it all amounts to the same thing: Warm air that contains moisture in the form of a gas.
When this warm air comes into contact with lower temperatures, that gas is no longer going to be able to retain its state, and the moisture will revert back to its liquid state, coming to rest on the closest available surface.
This is how condensation is formed. It’s also why lots of condensation in usually found on windows. If they are only single glazed (or even on some double glazed), and often the thinnest part of a wall, its easy for them to have a much lower surface temperature than the rest of your property, making it one of the easiest places to find condensation.
That’s on the window though. What about condensation around your windows?
As the temperature around a window is often lower than say, an area of a home safely insulated properly alongside the aid of a nearby heater, then you can often find that the patches of wall surrounding a window are just as susceptible to condensation as the window itself.
It shouldn’t be a worry if your property is well insulated throughout, but if the window itself is compromised in some way, then you may notice that the condensation on and around the window getting worse over time.
This can be because of a failed seal, rotted frame, or even because the lintel of the window has failed – all problems that can be solved, but if they are left alone they can spread cause further damage.
Really though, if your window has these problems its more than likely that you are going to have a nasty case of penetrating damp before the condensation is noticeable, or worse.
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Penetrating damp is a cause of damp that is down solely to failings within the properties structure or damp proofing. Sometimes its because a drain is blocked, and the overflow is seeping into a properties walls.
Sometimes its because a properties pointing has failed, and as a result rain and other sources of moisture from outside can easily settle within your walls.
However, when it comes to penetrating damp appearing near your windows, you might find that the windows themselves are to blame for the damp.
A window is, after all, just a hole in your properties walls. If its not properly cared for all of the measures put in place to protect your property from the outdoor elements are going to fail. This means that even outside of damp you are going to have problems.
The reason why your window might have failed could be down to a number of things. You might find that the seal keeping the window as part of the wall has failed, and now there is a definite gap through which air can enter.
Or maybe, the window lintel itself has rotted or failed, meaning that the actual frame of the window itself is now compromised and not working as intended. This doesn’t just mean that moisture is going to be able to work its way into the window frame, but also that your wall above the window is at risk from damp and further collapse if not treated.
It might not be something you notice immediately either. Penetrating damp might take a while to set in, especially if your window fails in the summer. You might instead notice things like drafts, noise pollution, escaping heat, and other everyday annoyances, and these are good sings that you might need your windows checking.
If you do manage to have your window, lintel, or pane fixed before the penetrating damp sets in, then you may well have avoided lasting or recurring water damage. What should you do though, if you do get damp near your window?
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Treating Rising Damp Near Your Window
If you have rising damp near your window, then the chances are that its close to the floor. The only sure-fire way to put a stop to the rising damp, and secure your property from it reappearing in the future is to have a damp proof course installed, following a proper survey of the property.
Once one of our surveyors has visited your property and determined that rising damp is indeed the cause of the damp near your windows, we can set about sending a technician to your property to properly have a damp proof course installed.
The whole process is quick and simple, and involves our technician drilling a short way into your properties brickwork, just above ground level. Into these freshly drilled holes is where the injection takes place, and once dried, capillary action will no longer be able to take place.
This means the rising damp will stop, and your walls will dry out. It’s at this stage you will want to check any windows that were close to the rising damp to make sure that the seals are still in place, and any lintels or other connected timber isn’t affected.
If you, or our surveyor, find that the timber in your window frame has been warped or otherwise affected by rising damp, once the DPC is in place it will be safe to begin treatment.
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Stopping Condensation Near Your Windows
The most important step to take when it comes to treating any kind of recurring condensation is discovering the source of the condensation itself.
This means you have to examine your own behaviour. If the condensation is near a bathroom window for example, it could be that your showers are the source of the condensation, and that you should maybe consider shorter showers to reduce the amount of moisture on your walls.
However, there may be some instances where simply reducing your actions aren’t going to be enough, and its always a good idea to look into ventilation as a more permanent solution to condensation. This could be anything from trickle vents installed in your windows to improve airflow, to an extractor fan, or even a positive input ventilation system.
Any form of ventilation is going to help you reduce condensation in your property, but seeing as we are looking specifically at condensation near a window, it may be worth having a timber window survey carried out.
With the results of the survey you will find out whether you do indeed need to reduce your condensation output via your actions, or if you need to take further structural action through repair of your windows.
A colder surface temperature on the walls around your windows can contribute to the amount of condensation building up on your walls, especially if they are near a cooker or a shower during the winter. If a repair is needed, you might find that your condensation problems are vastly reduced once the window has been repaired.
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How to Treat Penetrating Damp Near a Window
The best way to discover the cause of penetrating damp in any property is through a survey conducted by an expert. A member of the Timberwise team can visit your property and determine precisely where and how the damp is entering your properties walls, and what can be done to stop it.
Again, we are talking specifically about damp near windows here, so it may well be the case that the surveyor discovers that a fault specifically to do with the window is to blame for the water ingress.
If this is the case then our surveyor will be able to suggest a course of action for you to take, which (if the window frame is timber) will be well within our technician teams wheelhouse.
We have plenty of experience in the restoration of timber window frames, renewing seals and rejuvenating rotting or failed timber making up your window, which may have been allowing moisture into your walls.
It doesn’t matter why a timber window frame might have deteriorated. Dry rot, woodworm, damp – our team will be able to help rectify the problem, and seal up the avenue through which moisture has been entering your walls.
It might even be the case that a lintel sat above your window frame has failed. In this situation damp is going to be just one of your worries, as without our technicians intervention you could see serious structural damage take place.
The best way to stop damp near any properties window begins with a survey from the property care experts. Call our team today on 0800 288 8660, or submit a form online, and we will be in touch to arrange a survey.