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Old 12-16-2009, 08:59 AM   #1
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Moisture on windows


I live in Minnesota. My house is 2.5 years old. i have a town house ed unit (so i only have windows on 1 side and the front). I would say over half the windows i have get a moisture buildup in the winter time. Being that they are new windows what causes this? what is a solution for this? do manufacturers have any warranty for this type of thing?

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Old 12-16-2009, 09:05 AM   #2
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Moisture on windows


Do you have a central humidification system (a humidifier at the furnace)? Id so, what is its control set to?

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Old 12-16-2009, 09:08 AM   #3
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Moisture on windows


No de-humidifyer or humidifyer
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:16 AM   #4
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Moisture on windows


Humidity is too high, warm moist air is condensing on the window

You need a dehumidifier
The one I bought has a LED display that shows the humidity level & you can set it to what you want
I also have an inexpensive thermometer that has a dial that shows humidity level

My house is around 40% (low) & I still get a little condensation every now & then
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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Moisture on windows


Condensation is caused by only one thing, the surface temperature is dropping below dew point. Two things will solve it. Drop the relative humidity in the space or warm the surface above dew point. Open the curtains/blinds so that warm air from the room can reach the window to warm it above dew point. Make sure that exhaust fans are used when showering and cooking to remove excess moisture from the air and lower the relative humidity.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:18 AM   #6
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Moisture on windows


All curtains are raised about 6" above the bottom of the window. Fans are already used for on average 10minutes after shower is finished.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:15 PM   #7
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Moisture on windows


In fact, the moisture on your windows says that the relative humidity very very close to the actual glass is 100%, and that the glass itself has a low temperature - not surprising seeing as how this is winter. The RH in the rest of the house may be normal for this time of year, so say it is 50% at room temperature but at the glass it is 100%...

So up here anyway, we try two things: to increase ventilation at the window (thereby changing that 100% RH to something below that) and by removing any moisture created is say showers by exhausting the excess humidity during, and for at least 20 minutes after, each shower or bath. We also exhaust dryer vents and kitchen exhaust when we're boiling water.

Dehumidify if all this doesn't work. But some condensation is normal; it's 5 degree F up here today and our house (which is relativelty dry) has the fan going 24/7 - and we still get 6" of condensation on some of the windows.
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:54 PM   #8
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Moisture on windows


It could be humidity, but it could be caused by heat loss with bad windows and a bad install. Typical in condos and multi family dwellings because they are constructed rather inexpensively and have different codes.

I have new windows and have installed plenty into many homes. Never had a problem with moisture. just under 40% humidity and my windows are as clear as in the summer.

Try a dehumidifier and see if that works. I would doubt the humidity level is that high running heat all the time. Temps have been below zero for a few days now. Drawing the curtains may help also.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:22 PM   #9
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Moisture on windows


Quote:
Originally Posted by MJW View Post
It could be humidity, but it could be caused by heat loss with bad windows and a bad install. Typical in condos and multi family dwellings because they are constructed rather inexpensively and have different codes.
Could be humidity? leaky windows and/or bad install are the causes of air and water inflitration, is that what you're saying? Like rain and snow?

It is humidity if it's on the inside. Where else do you think the water is coming from?
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:28 PM   #10
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Moisture on windows


moisture........cold air is coming in, hitting warm air and condensing on the window. I doubt it's because there is a high humidity level through out the home, especially this time of year and the temps we have had.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:30 PM   #11
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Moisture on windows


so what can i check as a homeowner to see if they were installed correctly? or to see if its a window problem?
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:37 PM   #12
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Moisture on windows


Quote:
Originally Posted by MJW View Post
moisture........cold air is coming in, hitting warm air and condensing on the window. I doubt it's because there is a high humidity level through out the home, especially this time of year and the temps we have had.
So, the cold air comes in, travels around a bit looking for cold windows to condense on, hits some warm air then condenses, is that it? does it turn 180 degree and condense on the window it came in on? or does it pick the window it wants?
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:44 PM   #13
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Moisture on windows


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Originally Posted by ccarlisle View Post
So, the cold air comes in, travels around a bit looking for cold windows to condense on, hits some warm air then condenses, is that it? does it turn 180 degree and condense on the window it came in on? or does it pick the window it wants?
You can't be serious.

The cold air is coming in around the window (lack of insulation and/or bad weatherstripping) Bad install or bad windows, like I said.. It condenses immediately. Usually on glass or metal surfaces.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:57 PM   #14
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Moisture on windows


"It condenses immediately...usually on glass or metal..."

So it just 'knows' what to land on too? why wouldn't it condense on wood or just condense on it's own in mid-air?

You have one smart moisture in Minnesota, don't you...

No, I am not being serious in a way, in another I'm pulling your leg. Look even the most airtight windows where no leaks come in can have condensation on them - and it has nothing to do with installation. The fact is that the moisture that condenses into water droplets needs a cold place to condense on and to do that, the relative humidity reaches 100% because the temperature of a surface is colder than the air.

Sure you can have leaky windows but too high humidity in the house and close to windows - even airtight ones - will give you condensation.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:06 PM   #15
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Moisture on windows


A poor quality window or poor installation (or a leaky window) could contribute to the problem by making the window surfaces cooler.

However, it is still all based on the humidity in the home.

I share my experience.

I live in Alberta, where winters can be cold and dry. Woke up Sunday morning with outside temperatures in the outlying areas of -46 Celsius. We have a combination of 20 year old dual pain windows and brand new triple pain windows. The humidifier (yes we need a humidifier to increase the humidity in our homes) was set at 20% RH. Now that is kinda low when compared with the rest of North America.

However, even at 20% we were getting condesation freezing on our windows. The older windows had the condensation covering most of the windows, especially in the bedroom. The new windows and new patio door only had a 1/4 inch of condesation frozen on the windows. So the relative Humidity in the home is the key here. Especially when you are dealing with less effecient windows.

And if we had our RH set at 40% during these cold temperatures I am 100% positive that the new triple pain windows would have plenty of condensation on them as well.

I suggest the homeowner check for air leaks/drafts around the windows. The next step is to determine what your RH is within the house and compare that the outside temperatures to determine the dew point.

And if necessary you may need a de-humidifier.

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Last edited by drtbk4ever; 12-16-2009 at 03:13 PM.
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