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Condensation on several windows and one bedroom wall

Condensation on several windows and one bedroom wall


  #1  
Old 12-14-14, 05:07 PM
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Condensation on several windows and one bedroom wall

Having a condensation problem throughout the house. Almost every window has some condensation, some more than others. One outside bedroom wall was wet, so much so that the bedspread was soaking wet.

The windows are dual pane vinyl installed about 15 years ago. Attic is about 70% insulated because we have K&T wiring and I can only insulate areas where there are no K&T runs. Please no K&T lectures, it's allowed in California. And it's in good condition.

Single story home. We rarely run the heat at more than 68-69 degrees.

The windows have a lifetime warranty and I am thinking I have a legitimate claim to have them all replaced but I am wondering how I go about proving the windows are the problem.
 
  #2  
Old 12-14-14, 05:55 PM
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If you believe the windows are the problem, then using the same logic, the sweating wall must be part of the problem too....


Your humidity is obviously too high for the dewpoint inside your home. You should concentrate on lowering humidity and do things that promote fresh air exchange. Running the fan and/or opening a window for ventilation as conditions allow would be a start.

This is not a window problem.
 
  #3  
Old 12-14-14, 07:08 PM
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Start with a meter to put a number on that humidity. Also, if you rarely heat, is it very cold outside?

Older homes often had dirt floor basements which can produce a ton of moisture.

Bud
 
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Old 12-14-14, 08:04 PM
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Thanks for the input.

I have been doing a little research and learned that the problem is likely the humidity levels inside the home and not the windows. Over the last 2-3 weeks we have had a tremendous amount of rain after a long period of drought. This probably has contributed to the problem.

We do have a dirt floor crawl space where the floor is covered with plastic. I will try to get down there and take a look around to see if any water has seeped down into the space.
 
  #5  
Old 12-14-14, 08:10 PM
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The plastic needs to be well sealed and extend up the foundation walls a foot or so and then sealed to the walls. Ya, it is drought or flood for you folks out there.

Do pick up a meter as RH is a source of mold and you don't want to have to wait for the walls to rain to take action.

Also, pull that bed away from the wall and anything else that prevents the heat from warming the walls.

Bud
 
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Old 12-14-14, 08:30 PM
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Can you recommend a good humidity meter? I see they vary in price from $5.00 to "I'm not paying that much!".

I don't think the attic has good ventilation either, there are only two soffit vents on each side of the house, and no baffles in the attic near the soffit vents.

If I find that the crawlspace has become damp, is there a good way to quickly dry it out?
 

Last edited by Stumped1; 12-14-14 at 08:31 PM. Reason: spelling
  #7  
Old 12-14-14, 10:10 PM
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$5 sounds a bit low but I wouldn't go more than $15. I have a fancy one so haven't check what is available, but expensive is not needed. Many homes have inexpensive ones and they usually read the same as mine. The other needed reading is the temperature at the same location at the same time. That gives us the dew point and makes comparing locations much easier.

Are those soffit vents all that is up there? Any gable or ridge vents?

If the crawl space has vents or windows you can run a fan and try to move the moisture out. If no openings to the outside then a dehumidifier with some arrangement to drain it somewhere, or carry buckets up and out.

If you have water down there this may be the time to consider some form of sump pit and pump for the future. You really don't want water filling in under the plastic and waiting for it to find a way out.

Bud
 
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Old 12-14-14, 10:30 PM
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there are 2 maybe 3 ridge vents. I don't have the type that run all the way across the peak of the roof.

The crawlspace is too low to install any sort of pump. I have to move on my belly to get around under there. It is vented though. I will run a fan next weekend and see if this makes a difference.

Will get a humidity sensor as well.
 
  #9  
Old 12-15-14, 04:09 AM
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Your problem is that you do not have enough outside air change in relation to how much moisture you generate inside the house.
The quality of your widows will also determine how much humidity will make them sweat.

You can run any exhaust fans you have 24/7 to see how quickly the problem goes away.
Your solution will be to reduce indoor humidity to where the air change you need is manageable.
 
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Old 12-17-14, 11:38 PM
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One thing that has changed in the last two years is a change from a forced air furnace with floor registers ta forced air furnace with ceiling registers. Could this have something to do with the increased condensation. Also starting to see surface mold on ceilings.
 
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Old 12-18-14, 01:33 AM
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Yes, that could change a lot.

Air that comes from the floor is better suited to heating where warm air rises, causing there to be better more even circulation patterns.
Air-conditioning is the opposite with cold air dropping when discharged into a warmer space.

That being the case if you try running your furnace fan AND exhaust fans continuously the problem is likely to go away.
 
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Old 12-18-14, 04:17 AM
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You didn't happen to have a humidifier added to the new heating arrangement you did a few years ago, did you?
 
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Old 12-18-14, 07:01 AM
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No humidifier. I was reading about crawl space humidity fans that can be installed in the crawl space vents. I saw a model that could be plugged in, no need to run power. Any thoughts on these units?
 
  #14  
Old 12-18-14, 07:52 AM
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A crawl space is generally cooler than the outside air. Of concern is that the cool air ultimately replacing the air you blow out being too humid. CA has many climate zones, so I'll just give you the calculator, but take the outside dew point (day and night) and basement temperature and calculate a new RH. If that is higher than what is already there, no fan. The alternative is a sealed crawl, which in your case would be difficult, but adding more moisture would not be good. Of course you could be in a desert climate where it is warm and dry and the fan would work fine.

Temperature, Dewpoint, and Relative Humidity Calculator
Bud
 
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Old 12-23-14, 10:40 PM
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Humidity meter arrived today.

bedrooms where the problem is the worst are reading 78-80% humidity, which this meter categorizes as "wet".

I walked the perimeter of the house and the grade in a couple of areas seems to be sloping back towards the house. This is the side of the house where the rain falls the hardest, which would explain part of the problem.

Heading under the house tomorrow. Hoping I don't find any water, but I have a feeling I might need my swim trunks
 
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Old 12-25-14, 04:10 PM
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Inspected the crawlspace today. This is what I found.

Good news is there is no standing water on the plastic, but the ground is very moist. I could form a ball in some areas, sort of like clay.

There is quite of bit of staining and minor calcification on the foundation walls, up to about 12" inches in some areas. I can see where water is coming in at the spots I expected. This can be fixed by grading that area near the house.

One thing that does concern me is that the moisture has cause some calcification on some of the cement support pillars. I need to get a foundation professional down there to inspect this just to be sure it is not a safety concern.

The plastic was just laid down, it does not appear it was ever sealed up on the foundation walls. And we have had several contractors under there over the last couple years so it has been lifted off the ground in some areas, exposing the surface. I may need to hire someone to do this unless it can be done myself.

Have a fan running 24/7 now, although it is a household fan. I will get to the hardware store to buy a more powerful model.

Overall I think everything is correctable and should just be a matter of time for the humidity to even out.

Thanks for all the help.
 
  #17  
Old 12-25-14, 04:26 PM
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Use the calculator I linked to to correct that 80% RH for temperature. If the room is cooler the rh will be higher. Also, do the same with the crawl space, temp and rh and adjust to one reference temp. I like to adjust everything to 70. Use your rh and temp reading to determine a dew point. Then use that dew point and 70 to establish a corrected rh that you can compare with all others.

Yes, that plastic needs to be neat. sealed, and continue a foot or two up the crawlspace walls. Sounds like you are on the right track, keep us informed.

Bud
 
 

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