Ice is not a strange occurrence for Midwestern homeowners. Ice on your windows, on the other hand, is not something any homeowner should see, especially if that ice buildup is occurring on the frame and trim surrounding your windows. A small amount of condensation is normal on windowpanes (even in new windows), but ice buildup on the frame of your windows is a sign of something worse.
If you’re asking, “why is there ice on windows?” this is what you need to know (and what you should do).
Why Ice on a Window Frame is Worrisome
Ice buildup on your windows means one thing: moisture is getting into your home. While you’ll occasionally see some condensation buildup on the inside of your windows (which is caused by a high difference in humidity inside and outside your home), ice buildup on the frame of your windows is likely caused by an inefficient window that is leaking.
Ice should not be allowed to build up and sit on the frame of your window because it can cause several problems down the road, including:
- A degradation of materials
- Rot (if you have wood windows and trim)
- Mold growth
- Water damage to the windowsill, drywall, and even the flooring underneath the window)
Old or Inefficient Windows
If you see ice buildup on your windows, there’s likely something else coming in from the outside: cold air. You will certainly feel a draft near windows with ice on them. This means cold air is penetrating your home, which is also freezing the moisture buildup on your window frames (causing the ice). When windows age, they become less energy efficient. The seals and insulation, especially around the outer parts of the window, break down over time, which is why moisture and air are getting into your home. Ice buildup in the winter is one of the surest signs that It’s time to replace these windows. They are no longer doing a good job of insulating your home, they are raising your energy bills, and they are likely to cause water damage to your home if they are left untreated.
Window replacement not only gives you a brand-new window, it also involves stripping out and replacing the window components surrounding them. Replacing windows creates a strong seal that will help keep ice, moisture, and cold air out of your home.