Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Interior Improvement Center > Doors, Skylights and Windows
Reload this Page >

Heat loss bay windows with condensation and wood rot

Heat loss bay windows with condensation and wood rot

Old 06-24-13, 07:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Heat loss bay windows with condensation and wood rot

I have a 4 panel, double-paned bay window in my living room. It has rotting wood trim around the glass panes in the middle two sections of the bay window. The bottom of the bay has discolored wood. I used my laser thermometer this past winter, and when it was approximately 10*F outside, the window trim read at 35*F, with the home at approx 70*F. I know the cold window is causing condensation to form and rot the wood...

I'd like to ask, is this too far gone, or can I save the window?

How do I insulate it so it does not condensate like this anymore?

How do I repair the damage done to the wood? If I have to replace wood pieces, should I be able to find those in the wood trim dept at a home depot?

I'd really rather not replace this window, if it can be helped... $$$ repairs sure beats a new $$$$ window!
Name:  tn_DSC_0945.jpg
Views: 6369
Size:  31.8 KB
Attached Images  
Old 06-24-13, 07:41 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,827
Received 549 Votes on 471 Posts
Although the wood is not rotten, it is damaged by the water formed by the condensation. We have the same problem in our home. To repair it you can sand it down and re-finish it, although I doubt is will ever look like new.

To prevent it in the future, you need to lower the moisture in your home. I have also have very good success using that plastic insulating stuff you put on windows. It is easy to put on and take off.
Old 06-24-13, 08:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It's a small home. We keep the humidity that we can from showers in the bathroom by closing the door and running the fan long after we're done. We also got a new furnace and it has helped with the humidity..

My fingernail can pull apart the wood that has taken the dark grey appearance.. I think it's wet-rotted.

But I would like to fix the problem of the drastic difference in temperatures between ambient and window sill.. otherwise I think this will continue to happen..
Old 06-24-13, 08:41 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 28,947
Received 1,433 Votes on 1,291 Posts
You can probably get new sashes from the window mfg, which would probably prolong the life of the rest of the window. Same thing will likely happen in time. If you don't mind the way they look, they will probably last until the window falls apart on its own.

To help prevent condensation, you could add a 3rd storm panel to the interior, which would fit in one of the flat areas of your interior trim. A glass shop could probably make these for you if you gave them the right measurements. That would probably be the cheapest option that would give you the best results.

I would suggest you forget about repairing the wood, and just put the interior storm window over it and forget about it.

It's possible you could get something from the mfg... under closer inspection, I see they are made by Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork.

Last edited by XSleeper; 06-24-13 at 08:57 PM.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: