Condensation behind cover plates


Old 09-16-12, 05:04 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Condensation behind cover plates

I live in a concrete block house (with stucco in Florida). Our home is 5 years old and in excellent condition. I caulked any hairline cracks on the exterior walls this spring and repainted the entire wall with Sherwin Williams paint made specifically for this type of home. I noticed a little mold on the drywall around the outlets on the east wall (kitchen and laundry) last year. I sprayed bleach/water on the affected area and it cleared right up.

About 2 weeks ago I noticed mold again. When I removed the outlet covers, there was condensation behind some of them (not all) and rust had formed on the wiring and receptacles. I installed the gaskets suggested and replaced 2 of the receptacles with new. Today I removed 4 of the covers to inspect and was surprised to see a little condensation behind the cover (in front of the gasket) on 2 of them. No evidence of moisture anywhere else. I would certainly appreciate some advice.

Last edited by Nashkat1; 09-16-12 at 05:24 PM. Reason: Clarity for new question.
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Old 09-16-12, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,104
Hi wet dog and welcome to the forum,
You are headed in the right direction, air sealing those receptacles, but the little foam gaskets often don't do a 100% job. The moisture you are seeing is from the outside air. Stop the air flow and the condensation will stop. Insulation would also help, but it would be hard to install a meaningful amount without some destruction.

Is there a gap around the electrical box that is not being covered by the current foam gaskets? If the inside wall is smooth drywall, I have used contact paper to cover everything. Cut out the device shape, switch or receptacle and trim to fit under the wall plate or, in some cases, 1/2" larger all the way around. Color selection is up to you. I left one of mine about 3" larger to allow cleaning of the kids fingerprints.

But the air flow is the primary source.

Old 09-16-12, 06:13 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Welcome to the forums (again)!

If there is any real gap between the edge of the receptacle box and the drywall, filling that gap with an expanding foam such as Great Stuff might also work well. If you've never used something like this, I'd advise you to start with a very light touch. It's called expanding foam for a reason!

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