Why is there water/ice on my windows?

Condensation takes place when airborne water vapour condenses on cooler surfaces, such as windows, basement walls, and toilet tanks.  In the winter when that moisture condenses on a window and its very cold outside, the water can freeze.

If left unchecked, that moisture can run down onto the window sill, drywall, and then to the floor, causing water damage along the way.  Over a longer period of time, pooling water may cause mold growth, which is why condensation must be monitored and cleaned.

Water and ice forming on windows is not an indication of a failure of the window seals or a leak from outside.

Condensation

“I’ve never had this problem before in other homes I’ve lived in”.

Modern home construction methods involve sealing up of the gaps that in older homes allowed them to breathe.  This is for energy efficiency and to better control heat loss.

The downside is that the house doesn’t exchange its air with the outside as well as an older home does, requiring more diligence on the part of the homeowner to make sure the excess moisture does not cause any damage.

How do I prevent condensation build up?

Simply allowing the affected area to ‘breathe’ is the best strategy for preventing moisture build up.  Removing screens in the winter will help, as will opening blinds/curtains periodically, opening windows even a little on mild days, and running your furnace fan (fan switch to “On” on your thermostat).

If the problem persists, you may want to consider the purchase of a dehumidifier.

Is the damage caused by condensation warrantable?

Per the guidelines of the Tarion Warranty Corporation, the cleaning up of condensation and repair of any damaged caused by it are considered to be a homeowner maintenance responsibility.

That said, if you encounter fog or water between the panes of window glass, this is considered ‘water penetration’ and is considered a two-year warrantable item and should be reported immediately.

Condensation 2

What do I use to clean up mold?

While you may wish to use bleach or ammonia, these are only effective on non-porous surfaces, such as glass or plastic.

We recommend using either a natural cleaner, such as vinegar, tea tree oil, baking soda, or a dedicated chemical mold cleaner.  You may wish to check your local hardware store to find the appropriate product.

Further Questions?

You may wish to read the articles at the links below, however you are always welcome to contact us at the Customer Care Department.

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/61033.pdf?fr=1361372454250

http://www.tarion.com/_Layouts/ConstructionPerformanceGuidelines/CPG_Detail.aspx?id=137

Mark Adamson
Director of Customer Care
mark@pratthomes.ca
705-721-9912