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These Wet Windows Are Driving Us Crazy!

Every Fall and Winter, when our house is closed up and the temperature drops, we get about an inch of window condensation on the bottom of each our of windows (with exception of the basement windows). That rim of condensation (a smaller 1/4" version) will also creep up the sides of our windows approximately 12-24" from the window base.

We've been in the house approximately 5 years (the house is 35 years old) and this has been a problem ever since we've been in here. We are now starting to see some damage in that the window trim is being stained with black mildew, window trim is also showing water damage and in some places peeling off. We are also seeing mold growth. The humidity in the house seems in the normal range for the cold months (between 35%-45%). We keep the indoor temperature between 68-70 degrees.

We've tried everything - clear plastic window treatments on the inside and outside of the windows during the Fall/Winter months, leaving our window blinds open 6" at night, the house fan running, the dehumidifier running, the bathroom fan running, etc. You name it - it seems like we've tried it. Our only sources of moisture is the shower (we have a fan vented to the outside – and we run it for a good 45 minutes even after a shower is complete) and our dishwasher in the kitchen. We don't know what to do - these windows are driving us crazy! Please help us!!

I have pictures...but I can't seem to get them to post :(

Re: These Wet Windows Are Driving Us Crazy!

Since it seems that you've done a lot to cure the problem, these are just thoughts:
1. could you have external leaks?
2. could you have poor window insulation that allows drafts in, which cause the condensation?

Re: These Wet Windows Are Driving Us Crazy!

I would say within our first year of being in the house - we did Energy Star improvements. We added additional insulation and leak sealed the attic.

The only thing I did not do is remove the window trim and spray foam around the window frame. Are you suggesting this? I also thought about running a bead of caulk around the inside of each window pane.

I really wish I could figure out how to attach pictures to this forum - the problem is I can't the the file size low enough! I will try again after work!

Re: These Wet Windows Are Driving Us Crazy!


What kind of heating system do you have????

If you happen to have forced hot air, get it checked out---FHA furnaces, either gas-fired or oil-fired often have humidifiers that add moisture to the heated air & can be misadjusted; the combustion of the fuel itself produces moisture that can sometimes mix with the air in the house & can be dangerous if there is a plenum leak.

Is anyone in the house complaining of headaches or flu-like symptoms????

Sometimes the change of seasons can cause the problem; moisture during the warm months when doors & windows are open can be absorbed by interior surfaces, carpeting & plush furniture; this moisture is then released during the first month of heating season when the house is closed up.

Re: These Wet Windows Are Driving Us Crazy!

It is forced air. We have the furnace checked annually. There is no humidifier attached to the furnace (there use to be when before we switched over to natural gas vs. oil...but we had it removed).

The health of everyone is fine...and this is a problem that continues beyond the first cold month...it last's all winter - every day!

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