The in's (as in inside the window) and out's of moisture
Updated: Mar 28, 2019
So, you've taken a look at your windows and noticed moisture on them. The question is - where exactly is that moisture? There are three places it could be, each has different reasons for being there, and only one of the three means you need to replace anything. Lets go through them one by one.
1. Moisture on the outside of the window. It's raining, or your sprinkler is on. In otherwords, its life. Nothing to worry about here. Windows are supposed to keep rain/sprinker water out. If it's on your window - the window is doing its job (as long as its closed).
2. Moisture on the inside of the window (by that I mean when you are inside the house and touch the window, you can feel the moisture). This means that there is a difference in humidity - nothing wrong with the window really...if it is a consistent problem (ie: the whole room). More likely your house, or that particular room is simply too humid. You'd notice this if you were boiling something on the oven, have a vaporizer on, things like that. There is also one thing people overlook relating to buildup of moisture on the inside of their windows. Shutters. If you have those nice looking and expensive shutters you installed closed often...the air actually gets "trapped" back there and becomes moist - causing moisture buildup. As I said, nothings wrong with the windows, but this could over time cause issues as consistent moisture buildup will lead to mildew, which could impact the windows over time. So...open those shutters as often as possible. As I said, moisture on the inside does not necessarily mean anything is wrong with the window necessarily, if it is consistent (multiple windows).. It could however, as if there is moisture only on certain ones...not all, then it could mean a seal is broken then (see below point #3 to confirm).
3. Moisture between the inside and outside of the window. If you see moisture, or fog, or a film of dirt that when you go to rub it off...it remains there, that is because it is between the outside and inside glass. This means the seal is broken. Bingo! The window glass is not doing its job of keeping moisture/dirt/air "out". It needs to be replaced...and likely that's all (not the whole frame). So, if you can't remove the fog/moisture or film of dirt, money (in the form of higher energy bills year round) is literally "flying out the window". It's worth replacing the glass. At a cost of roughly $150 per piece of window glass vs the average of $650 to replace an entire window...replacing the glass makes economic sense.
There you have it - the in's and out's (and the in-between) of moisture! 3rd one's the "charm" and needs to be acted on!