How to Solve Window Moisture
LESLIE: Now I’ve heard about getting sweaty palms when you’re nervous and Ann in North Carolina has sweaty windows. So maybe they’re just nervous. What do you think?
ANN: Ah, they might be. (all laugh) I haven’t figured it out yet but maybe that is the problem.
LESLIE: Now is there moisture on the inside or is it in between the panes of glass or is it where you can touch it on the inside of your house?
ANN: It’s on the inside of the windows.
TOM: Well, you’ve got a lot of humidity and you have windows that are not well-insulated. Are these newer windows, Ann, or are they old?
ANN: Well, the home’s about five years old. We bought the house two years ago.
ANN: So they shouldn’t be over five years old.
TOM: Yeah, they should probably be insulated windows but they’re not working very well. Do you know if they’re double-pane glass?
ANN: Yes, they are.
TOM: Well, they’re not working very well.
LESLIE: Now could that be an installation problem; like maybe the window is good but they’re not installed right?
TOM: I don’t think so. I think they’re just junky windows. Because they should be insulated. I mean they shouldn’t be doing this. You have to have a pretty high humidity source inside the house as well. There’s really two things here. First of all, you’ve got poorly-insulated windows and, of course, those are beyond your control because you’re kind of stuck with them. But then inside of the house you have a lot of sources of moistures.
And so areas that you want to look to try to reduce that moisture in – it actually, believe it or not, started outside – look at the grading and the drainage around your house. Make sure your gutters are clean, the downspouts are extended away, and the soil slopes away from the walls because those things will actually reduce the amount of moisture that gets in and under the foundation and wicks its way up through the entire house.
The second thing you want to do is, inside the house, look at all the sources of moisture, where you generate moisture: like the stove – do you have a fan there that it vents outside; your bathrooms – do you have fans that vent outside.
And then, finally, your attic. You need to have good ventilation in your attic. It would be good if you had a ridge vent and soffit vents because all that moisture gets up into the attic and if the attic isn’t well vented, it sits more in the house and all of that leads to additional condensation.
So at this point, the things that you can do easily are try to reduce the moisture. But your long-range goal should be to think about getting a better-quality window because it definitely sounds like these five-year-old windows are not doing the job that they should be doing.
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