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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    1

    Exclamation I have ice on my interior plaster walls! How do I fix it? Help!!

    I planned on painting my son's room today. I moved all the furniture out except his bed. When I moved his bed, I saw a moisture line on the bottom of the wall. As I looked closer I realized it was very wet and had ice on it in the very bottom corner. The moisture all seems to be at the bottom 2' of the wall. There is nothing wet above this area.All the walls are plaster in this area of the house. The house was built in the 50s. I live in Michigan. There is not a basement on my house and I have a large crawl (about 3') under the house. The bedroom is in the Southwest corner of my house. Currently I don't have floor moulding because I pulled it off when I refinished the wood floors and I planned on putting it back on when I painted.

    Now, I don't know what to do. I have a fan and heater running in the room trying to warm the wall and dry it up before I paint it but everything I read says I am going to have quite a wait.

    Can anyone give me any advise on this? How can I dry the walls out? How do I find where the moisture is coming from? Is the moisture safe? Can I save the wall? Can I paint the rest of the room while drying that wall out? Any help would be appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: I have ice on my interior plaster walls! How do I fix it? Help!!

    No insulation + high humidity in house + prolonged cold spells + no room heat reaching surface of walls = dew point occurring on the wall surface and freezing on contact; exactly the way frost will form on window panes.
    When I was a kid I would look at the screw head on our front door that attached the bottom of the iron door handle; if it was 10 below, that screw head would have a thick frost buildup on it, inside the room!
    Unless your son has a bedwetting problem (sorry, poor taste), the solution is to move the mattress away from the wall so air can circulate, warming the wall above dew point.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: I have ice on my interior plaster walls! How do I fix it? Help!!

    What Casey said.

    Move the furniture away from the walls in the winter. And leave the door open as much as possible.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: I have ice on my interior plaster walls! How do I fix it? Help!!

    The above responses answer your question "how to dry the wall out". But I have a feeling that it could be more, since you mentioned that the moisture is only in one spot.

    To answer your other questions:

    1. "How do I find where the moisture is coming from?" - If you can reach the area from the crawl space, do so. Inspect the area under the house. Are there any water pipes around the area? I would cut the wet drywall to see what's behind. Then inspect the exterior: is there a gutter spout near? is the exterior damaged in any way?

    2. "Is the moisture safe" - you prefer to have no moisture at all.

    3. "Can I save the wall" - Probably yes. You may have to replace the wet section that you cut out.

    4. "Can I paint the rest of the room" - You can, but it's better to wait until the wetness is resolved.

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