Moisture Problems on Aluminum Windows
LESLIE: Alright. Aaron is calling in with windows that are sweating. Tell us about it.
AARON: Yes. In our house, we have regular aluminum windows. I imagine they’re low-end …
TOM: Aaron, it sounds like you’re having a party there.
AARON: Oh, yeah, we’re at a restaurant. (Tom and Leslie chuckle)
TOM: Alright, see? Home improvement questions can happen at any time, so tell us about your aluminum windows.
AARON: OK. They’re probably low-grade or low-end and moisture accumulates on the metal part of the windows and it runs down and puddles up on the stupid window. We have to mop it up. Is there anything I could do to keep that from happening?
TOM: (overlapping voices) Right. Yep. Well, the problem here is really physics. You have a certain level of humidity inside the house and that humidity is condensing against the cold, exterior window surface. And as the air is cooled, it releases moisture and washes it down to the sill where you have to mop it up.
So, there are only two ways to fix this. The first way is to reduce the humidity in the house. That may be somewhat doable; more so than you think. If you look to improve your drainage on the outside of the house – your gutters; your grading; make sure soil slopes away; add a whole-house dehumidifier; make sure you use bath fans when you take baths and kitchen exhaust fans when you cook – you can actually try to slow down the amount of moisture that’s in the house. That’ll reduce the condensation or you can also add a dehumidifier.
And the other thing to do is to replace the windows and old aluminum windows like that are probably not very energy-efficient. And if you do decide to replace the windows, now is an excellent time because you can qualify for a $1,500 federal energy tax credit thanks to the TARP program.
And if you want more information on how to do that, there is a window replacement guide online, for free, at MoneyPit.com that’s about 10 or 15 pages that walks you through step-by-step. It’s actually a free download of the chapter of our book, My Home, My Money Pit, that will give you all the tips that you need to know on how to replace those windows.
So, hope that helps you out, Aaron, and thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.