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Serious issue with condensation ?


PaulSC's Avatar
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12-20-15, 06:26 AM   #1  
Serious issue with condensation ?

I have replaced windows in my entire house and have been doing insulation now.
I finished my main BR (new R19 in the walls and R30+R19 up on the attic over the BR area).
Last night my mom stopped by and was cooking a lot of food... the entire place got really warm but it didn't feel hot or humid.

After a few hours I noticed significant amount of condensation on all windows but the worst situation was in my BR...which is in fact farthest from the kitchen.
At some point I even noticed what looked like wet spots on the ceiling where the ceiling joins the walls....Up on the attic there was no sign of water anywhere....
In fact, once I turned on the heat (had to jack it up above my normal comfort level)....the spots disappeared leaving no marks, no discoloration on the ceiling.

Of course this entire experience was new to me and I am concerned....I mean, yes next time we can open the windows or use exhaust fans, but once I finish all insulation work.... Will the hose be really that susceptible to retaining water vapor and if so...how do I balance that ?

 
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12-20-15, 06:42 AM   #2  
R13 is used for walls. R19 is too thick. Do you have soffit vents & a ridge vent, in the attic? Did you use foam board?

 
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12-20-15, 06:46 AM   #3  
R 19 is fine for 6" walls. You do not want to compress insulation at all. Using an exhaust fan in the kitchen would probably have alleviated some of the moisture. You are in a new situation and have sealed your house. Somehow you will need make up air to prevent over condensation, especially when cooking a lot.

 
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12-20-15, 06:47 AM   #4  
Cooking and showers put a lot of moisture into the air. Bottom line is that window condensation is directly related to the humidity in the house and the temperature of the glass edge. (It was too high) Since the condensation went away when you jacked the heat up, it seems pretty clear that your walls and windows got cold from the heat being off. The added heat raised the temperature above the dewpoint... and the condensation stopped.

If your insulation had a vapor barrier on it, that is probably keeping the humidity higher than you have been used to... slowing the rate at which it can escape. Tighter windows eliminate drafts, and also contribute to a tighter house... less fresh air exchange... which could result in higher humidity.

Check your bath fans to make sure they didn't get blocked , crushed, disconnected. Make sure they exit outdoors. Same goes for any kitchen vents and dryer. Turn any humidifier on your furnace way down (20%) because you add moisture too.

I would assume her cooking just kept the furnace from running... humidity was high, rest of the house got cold because the kitchen and thermostat were warm, and the heater wasn't running. Maybe ppl took extra showers too if you have company.

 
PaulSC's Avatar
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12-20-15, 07:14 AM   #5  
thanks guys for the quick replies....I wasn't concerned with Attic ventilation as that is well done with the soffit vents and ridge vent and gable fan.
I was just surprised how much water vapor gets trapped inside the house and with low temps outside, how it just condenses on the windows.....never seen that before....

The inside of the house was warm enough that in fact the heat didn't kick on....and it was comfortably warm. All wall insulation is faced and the attic is also faced between the joists... the one that runs parallel is unfaced as per the instructions.

It kind of made me think: 'S...t - after I am done sealing the entire house and laying down all the insulation, I am going to get condensation just after making coffee lol

 
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12-20-15, 07:27 AM   #6  
When the heat doesn't run, the air isn't moving. (Assuming forced air heat) so while the air temp may be comfortable, walls can get cold just because that air isn't mixing. Windows with blinds shut get condensation because the heat from the house is blocked from reaching them.

 
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