Condensation in Closet


Old 02-24-09, 06:42 PM
Woody10's Avatar
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Location: Canada
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Condensation in Closet

I have a closet that is on an outside wall. It has always been cold in there and I keep a towel on the floor to keep the cold air in. I recently pulled the framing and insulation off the wall in the basement and found that quite a bit of moisture is building up.

I then took everything out of the closet and noticed mildew and that the walls were wet. Not knowing what was going on I took two pieces of the plaster out to try to get behind it.

It is insulated with a vapor barrier. I covered the plaster holes up with plastic for now and have noticed there is a lot of water on the inside of the plastic that is running down to the floor and through the floor to the basement wall.

What can I do to fix the moisture problem in the closet?
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Old 02-24-09, 08:33 PM
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Keeping the closet door closed and putting a towel under the door may be keeping your other rooms warmer but its exacerbating the moisture problem in the closet by reducing ventilation, lowering the temperature inside the closet and it's confining the humidity.

I would guess that there is air leakage between the basement and this closet wall. Basements are somewhat warm and damp compared with the temperatures outside during the winter... so if the closet wall is cold, and a lot of basement air is finding it's way up there, it would probably cause a lot of condensation.

From the basement, look to see if there are any penetrations under the closet like electrical wires, and seal those with spray foam. Look to ensure your rim joist is insulated. Cut pieces of XPS foam to fit against the rim joist, as needed. Try to air seal any penetrations against the subfloor above. XPS foam against the subfloor may help. Use spray foam to seal gaps. Tuck fiberglass around the rim joist too, if there is space for it.

It could be that the floor is so leaky that a lot of moist air is coming up through the floor, around the sole plates of the closet walls, so examine the perimeter of the closet walls as well (from below). It might help to install XPS foam between the floor joists under the closet, if that's the case, sealing all the edges.

And keep the closet door open for a while so it can dry out!

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