Water on the Window Sill – What Does it Mean?

It’s natural for homeowners to feel concerned when they notice water on their window sill. However, it’s important to understand why the water is there in the first place before deciding which action to take. The most common source of a water leak include water coming in through the window frame, around the edges of the window’s glass, or from around the window itself.

How to Resolve Common Problems with Windows and Moisture

Sometimes water is only present on the window sill due to condensation on the window. If so, this typically points to a problem with humidity control. Removing the water promptly helps to prevent future issues with molding and rotting of walls. Condensation occurs due to high humidity or a problem with the window’s seal. The best way to resolve this issue is to install an air exchanger or humidifier to increase air circulation and provide better ventilation.


Window Repair May Be Necessary

It’s possible that the outer exterior contains holes or cracks due to the homeowner opening and closing the window numerous times. Homeowners should inspect the area around the window outdoors and spray it with a garden hose. If holes or cracks are present, it will cause water to appear on the window sill. Removing the old caulking and filling the hole or crack with new caulking should fix the problem.

Some Water on the Window Sill is No Cause for Concern

Sometimes seeing water pooled on a window sill or the tracking of a window means that it’s doing exactly what it was designed to do. One case in point is water collecting in the corners of a window after a storm as it waits to exit the drainage weep system and onto the ground. It just takes some time for this process to complete.

Condensation on the exterior glass happens most often in the spring or fall. It is especially common when a cool night follows a warm day. Homeowners don’t need to worry about replacing the glass because this is completely normal. The condensation should disappear once the outdoor temperature starts warming up again. This same process can also cause indoor condensation as can having too much humidity in the home.

Tips for Preventing Window Condensation

Condensation on windows occurs when the temperature of the window is cooler than it is outside. Exhaling when breathing, showering, cooking, and running the clothes dryer all contribute to excess condensation on windows. Homeowners can determine the relative humidity in their home by purchasing a humidity meter from a hardware store. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends aiming for a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent. Some other simple ways to reduce condensation include:

  • Run a shower fan for 15 minutes after taking a shower
  • Leave drapes or curtains open at night to increase the temperature of the window glass
  • Replace the windows and look for a high EPA condensation resistance rating

Windows are valuable assets because they protect people from the elements and allow them to view the outdoors. By following these few simple tips, homeowners can ensure that their windows last as long as possible.

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