Condensation on windows: How to prevent mold

A recurring phenomenon we see each year during cold weather is condensation on windows and even sometimes the growth of mildew or surface mold on walls, ceilings and window frames in apartments. We see it most often in bathrooms and around windows.

The mildew or mold needs the right temperature and moisture to form. When an apartment is having this issue it is generally due to higher than normal levels of humidity.

There are a variety of steps you can take to reduce the levels of humidity in your apartment. These will lessen the problem you might be having with condensation on windows and prevent potential mold growth.

  • Monitor humidity. You can buy an inexpensive monitor for a few dollars. The ideal range according to the EPA is between 30 and 50 percent. It should definitely be below 60 percent.
  • Keep the bathroom fan on after bathing or showering for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes when you can, and keep the bathroom door open when you are not using the bathroom. This will help keep the air moving.
  • Let as much light into your apartment as you can. Only close your curtains and shades when you really must.
  • Use an electric fan to circulate air.
  • Make sure your furniture is not directly against walls, heat convectors, or window coverings. Allow room air to circulate by keeping furnishings an inch or two away from these surfaces.
  • Plants and aquariums add to the humidity in an apartment. It is fine to have these items, you just need to know they are adding humidity so other measures may need to be taken to keep humidity in the normal range.
  • Humidifiers and vaporizers are designed to add moisture. Only use them when you absolutely must. Many doctors suggest humidifiers because most residences have forced air heat, which is drier. Our heat is from circulated hot water.
  • When condensation (water) does develop on your windows or glass door frames, wipe it down with a dry towel. Don’t let water get to a point where it is dripping off the glass and frames.

If you do have mildew in your bathroom or around windows, it can usually be addressed without too much difficulty. Numerous cleaning products are available and labeled specifically for mold or mildew removal. Follow the directions on the label. If you find that the mildew has gotten into the paint to the point where it leaves a stain behind, or if you are having a re-occurring problem, please let our office know so we can evaluate the situation. If you would like someone to come out and review the conditions in your apartment, please contact the facilities office at 608-262-2037. We are here to help.