The most commonly installed replacement windows are made of vinyl, which has definite advantages. Vinyl is easy to clean, easy to work with, and lasts for a long time without requiring repair.
One of the issues with vinyl windows, perhaps even more pronounced than with other types of windows, is that they can encourage condensation. This can make the area around the windows wet. Over time, the dampness can lead to mold and mildew problems or even cause rot and decay inside the walls.
A feature on newer vinyl windows that can solve this problem is a "weeping" system or weeping holes. If you look carefully, you'll see small holes built into the sill, located under both the sliding and operating sash, in addition to the screen.
These weeping holes don't allow air exchange so you aren't losing your interior heated or cooled air. Different manufacturers utilize small flaps to cover the holes or create a system where the interior and exterior holes don't exactly line up to prevent air from coming directly inside.
Caring for Weeping Holes
In order to make sure that weeping holes do what they are supposed to do and reduce troublesome condensation, you can do some easy maintenance to keep them operating as intended.
- Keep the inside sill wiped dry if you notice water building up. When it's especially stormy, water can accumulate but should drain soon.
- Clean the inside sill and track and make sure that dust and debris doesn't accumulate.
- Use a small brush, like a bottle brush, to clean the holes and make sure they are open.
- Clean the outside holes and make sure there's no dirt, paint or building materials blocking them.
- Make sure windows are properly sealed and leak-free so that water and dirt don't get into the holes.
Eliminate Excess Condensation
Your windows will function better and last longer, as will the area around them, if you can reduce condensation. Weeping holes are one feature that do this, but there are other steps you can take to further prevent excess condensation.
If you have a lot of condensation throughout the house, you may have higher humidity. When the extra water vapor in the air hits the cooler surface of the window glass, it shows up as water drops. Here's how to remove the extra water in the air:
- Use a dehumidifier.
- Install and use exhaust fans in high humidity rooms like bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.
- Circulate air with ceiling fans.
- When you can, open windows and doors to let moisture out.
Keeping your home free of excess moisture and condensation can be easier with features like "weeping" holes on your replacement windows. Talk to a window and door contractor such as the Window Repairmen for more information about reducing condensation in your home.