Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>Exterior Door Dripping Condensation - HELP!
5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Exterior Door Dripping Condensation - HELP!

I live in an old house in East Tennessee. The front door is solid wood - stained on the inside; painted on the outside. During the spring/summer we keep the interior of our house very cool at night (66 degrees). On humid days, the exterior of our front door is literally dripping with condensation, so we fight a continuous problem with mildew. Our house has a large wraparound porch which keeps the door from ever getting sunshine.

For the past few years, I've cleaned the door with bleach and repainted. This week I cleaned with TSP (which did a better job of removing the stain), and now I need to repaint. I'll use a mildew-resistant paint, but I really need to remedy the condensation problem. This morning humidity was 91%, and my front door looked like a waterfall.

I've considered sealing the interior, but the edges would still be unsealed, so I'm not sure that would accomplish anything. I've also considered installing ceiling fans on the porch, but I really don't want that look -- and I'm not sure it would help. Any other suggestions? I'm totally stumped.

Re: Exterior Door Dripping Condensation - HELP!

Tell us a little about your A/C unit:

- Is it central or wall unit?
- Where is the condensation discharge pipe/tube located?

Tell us a little about the moisture:

- Is it on the front door only?
- what about on windows and other parts of the house?

Re: Exterior Door Dripping Condensation - HELP!

Central A/C. Unit is nowhere near front door. Body of house is brick, but condensation (when the humidity is high) also occurs on the exterior front storm windows.

Re: Exterior Door Dripping Condensation - HELP!

When your A/C is on, it dries up the air and the humidity/moisture is discharged to the outside via a pvc pipe line.
Do you know where it exits the house?

Re: Exterior Door Dripping Condensation - HELP!

You are simply keeping the interior of your house too cold. If this is an old door with stiles and panels, some of the panels can be as thin as a 1/4", and this is almost no insulation. The door will get very cold due to conduction from the interior of the house. The problem comes when the exterior surface of the door is colder than the dew point outdoors.

Lately, the western part of Tennessee has had dew points up to 72°F, which is quite high. The dew point usually does not change much during the day/night even though the temperature and RH do. So at night, when there is no heat being applied to the exterior side of the door due to sun/daytime temperatures, the exterior side of the door can start to approach the interior temperature. This is especially true if you don't have any weatherstripping around the edge of the door. It can also be aggravated further if an HVAC outlet is close to the door.

The best solution would be an insulated door and increase your interior temperature. Increasing the interior temperature would also save you some money. An exterior storm door will not help.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.