LESLIE: Now, we’ve got Charlotte on the line with a leaky-window question that’s causing mold. What’s going on at your money pit?
CHARLOTTE: We have a problem with our double-pane windows. I go around every morning in the winter and dry out the windows. And we’ve got mold showing up in there. I’ve tried the ceiling fans running. I’ve also tried those deflectors. And we took the deflectors away because the manufacturer – the person we bought it from – said that was not a good idea. And we’re still going around wiping the windows out and I’ve got mold. I’ve tried cleaning them with a little bit of different things: peroxide, bleach water. Any suggestions on what can keep this down?
TOM: Wow. I’m sorry to hear that. And you know what? The reason that’s happening is because the windows are not insulated very well. Even though they may be thermal-pane windows, what’s happening is you have warm, moist air on the inside of your house striking cold glass and then condensing on the glass surface and then dripping down. So, the long-term solution here is to get new windows.
Now, a shorter-term solution might be to examine all the ways that moisture is building up inside your house. And it can build up in a surprising number of ways. First of all, cooking, right? If you have an exhaust fan that is recirculating that moisture back into the house, that builds up moisture. If you have bath-exhaust fans in your bathrooms, if those are not run during and say 15 minutes after showers, all that moisture gets into your house.
If the grading around the outside of your house is flat or sunken in, that lets more moisture under the house, which will eventually wick up. And finally, if you don’t have good attic ventilation, you get what’s called “vapor pressure” that can build up inside the house.
So if you try to reduce the amount of moisture that’s inside the house, that will control some of that. But unfortunately, the long-term solution here is to replace the windows. They absolutely should not be condensing. And if they were properly insulated, that would not be happening. Does that make sense?
CHARLOTTE: That makes a lot of sense. Thank you so much.