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Condensation on windows!


sharvel's Avatar
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12-15-03, 07:48 AM   #1  
sharvel
Condensation on windows!

Hello folks,

I recently insulated my home with blown in cellulose. The walls were done from the exterior drilling 1" holes. I also did the attic floor. I accomplished my goal by cutting my gas bill in half........however after some research and noticable condensation on my windows I'm now a bit skeptical....last thing I want is wet insulation inbetween my walls! My windows are old wooden double hungs with aluminum storms. I plan on replacing the windows with low E vinyl's this spring. Will this solve my condensation problem? Now for the attic venilation.....UGHHHHHHH!......get this only one 4" vent at the gable end! I need a new roof where I plan on a ridge vent and putting in an additional gable vent. Nothing I can do with the roof at this point till spring. Will this inadaquate attic ventilation cause the the window condensation I have a floor below?.....Or my guess another animal. I'm well aware of the attic ventilation and I will fix it .........however I'm a bit miffed with the window condensation problem throughout my living area.......how can I fix this???......extra info: house is a storie and a half.....where I eventually plan on remodeling the attic for additional living area.

Thanks much!
Tom

 
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NJ

12-15-03, 09:05 AM   #2  
The condensation is a direct result of heat condensing on a cooler surface. With windows like yours, you can always tell which window is causing the cooler surface by which window has the condensation on it. For example, if the condensation is on the storm window, then heat is escaping around the wood window and condensing on the storm window. If the condensation is on the wood window, then the storm window is allowing cold air in making the wood window cool enough for the heat to condense upon. Both of these involve air leakage and the problem is with the window opposite the window with condensation on it.

So if the condensation is on the storm window, then weather-strip the wood window. Plastic will also work in this application, especially if the putty has failed or therre is a crack in the glass. You could also check the glazing (putty) by tapping on the glass. A quick fix for glazing is caulking around the glass. A lot of times it is just the latch that is making the window loose. Sometimes you can just insert cardboard in between the latch to make it tighter.

If the condensation is on the wood window, then 9 out of 10 times, the storm window is not properly closed. If the storm window glass is cracked, plastic will also work. A quick fix with broken glass is just to tape it.

 
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12-15-03, 09:28 AM   #3  
sharvel
Thanks for the help!......These windows are old no question there and like I mentioned I will be replacing. Last winter before the house was insulated the windows didn't condensate as much. So this is where my worries were. The condensation is on the inside of the wooden window(from the inside of the house)......obviously won't be long before the frame rots on the bottom.....my kids are having fun spelling their names on the condensation!...LOL.Technically you'll see it on both the inner storm as well as the inner double hung. So that being the case is this the aluminum storm creating this havoc or a combination of both??? The storms are closed and have chaulk around them from the exterior. Will new vinyl's solve this issue??? What can I do for the time being? Thought of plastic from the inside but my blinds get in the way from sealing properly. Plastic from the exterior is an option though I don't desire the look or staple holes that will remain.

Thanks again
Tom

 
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12-15-03, 02:50 PM   #4  
The new windows should solve your condensation problem. As far as a quick fix with your present condensation problem, it maybe when you caulked the storm windows, you covered the weep holes. Most people think the weep holes are there in the event you leave your screens in and it rains, the rain water has somewhere to go. This maybe true, but that is not the primary purpose for weep holes. What weep holes in storm windows do is allow for the expansion and contraction of the air in between the two windows. If you inadvertently covered them while caulking, condensation usually forms on both windows. A quick fix if this is the case is to scrape away the caulking by the weep holes.

 
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12-15-03, 04:57 PM   #5  
sharvel
Again thanks much for the info! I didn't chaulk the drain holes. My guess and probably a good one with the advice you gave me is.......real bad R-value with my current windows! My main concern seeing that was .....what's happening inbetween my walls! Last thing I need is peeling exterior paint,mildew & structual damage due to wet cellulose.I think with all the layers of paint on my drywall that I should be safe ......far as a vapor barrier goes. Another question...I heard that cellulose settles 10-20% after installation. Should I blow more in next yr to fill her up good???

Thanks
Tom

 
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12-15-03, 09:09 PM   #6  
If it was done by a professional, if it does settle it won't be anywhere near that much, more like 1 to 3%. The techniques in blowing in insulation has changed a lot over the years. That estimate of 10 to 20% was used over 20 years ago. I would not recommend blowing in insulation considering the percentage.

 
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