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  1. #1
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    Nov 2008
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    Default Moisture at bottom of windows

    I live in Michigan and this morning it was 15 degrees outside. I noticed that almost every window in the house had moisture at the bottom or in the case of double hung at the joint where the lock is. I know this is condensation. What is causing this? Can I repair this? This house is 130 years old, two story. All the windows have been replaced within the past 35 years. Most are double hung and double glass. They have not lost their double glass seal. I expect I'm losing energy here. With the price of Propane so high I need some answers. Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Moisture at bottom of windows

    The temperature differential between the outside and the inside is what's causing the condensation, not a lot you can do about that. Air flow on the inside will help keep the condensation from building up or pooling on the sills. If you can leave blinds and curtains open, at least during the day, this will help greatly. Short of that, laying white towels on the sill will absorb the moisture and prevent damage as well as give the wicked moisture a place to evaporate from.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Moisture at bottom of windows

    What is causing this? Can I repair this?
    Actually what's causing this ...... high indoor humidity.

    The warm humid air inside the home is attracted to the colder window surface and condensing.

    Lower the humidity inside the home along with improving air circulation as A . Spruce mentioned and this will control the condensation on the windows.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Moisture at bottom of windows

    A few thoughts in addition to what has already been offered as reagrds too high of an RH inside the house.

    Do you have exhaust fans for the kitchen and bathroom(s) which vent to the great out-of-doors?

    Any aquariums? Storing firewood in the house or similar?

    Also...there is the possibility that the high RH is being caused by a leak in the exhaust flue,firebox or heat exchanger of a furnace, boiler or gas-fired water heater. Do you have a quality carbon monoxide detector (or more than one) in place? Don't take any chances cause CO kills.

    Moisture might also be coming from a leaky clothes dryer vent.

    If there is a humdifier installed on a forced-air furnace...it might be set too high.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    731

    Default Re: Moisture at bottom of windows

    Quote Originally Posted by icepappy View Post
    I live in Michigan and this morning it was 15 degrees outside. I noticed that almost every window in the house had moisture at the bottom or in the case of double hung at the joint where the lock is. I know this is condensation. What is causing this? Can I repair this? This house is 130 years old, two story. All the windows have been replaced within the past 35 years. Most are double hung and double glass. They have not lost their double glass seal. I expect I'm losing energy here. With the price of Propane so high I need some answers. Thanks for your advice.
    I would start off by fully opening and moving all operable sashes, in the case of the double hungs that would include moving the upper sash, then reseating them to their weatherstripping and re-locking them. if that doesn't take care of the problem, i would inspect the weather stripping both on the sashes themselves and where they meet the sides, top and bottom of the window opening. in the case of the double hungs where they meet near the locks where you usually have an interlocking/lapping matching weatherstripping, with casements check that the hinge closing hardware hasn't worked loose so the sash is slightly out of square or plumb. Since you mentioned the collection is just above where the locks are it sounds like you might be getting air infiltration there and the area there is chilling down more. 25+ years old weather stripping might be showing some wear, compression patters or damage and windows, especially double hungs, can appear sealed and locked even if the upper sash isn't exactly seated in its sealing position and when this happens the engaging of the lock can actually splay or gap between the upper and lower sash if the weather stripping isn't lined up right. if the sashes are of the tilt-in variety when operating them it wouldn't hurt to tilt them back in and re-set them in their tracks before re-closing and locking them and make sure that any debris and/or water collections are cleaned and removed. also make sure any drains on the outside of the sill are clear.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Default Re: Moisture at bottom of windows

    Thanks for your comments. Yes the humidity is high, 60%. Don't really know where that is coming from. I did reseat all the windows and even installed some thin tape backed foam at the bottom and top of the windows. I haven't found anything I can put in the middle where it locks but, it looks tight. Just trying to rule out any air leaks. Thanks again.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Moisture at bottom of windows

    Many times the source is from daily activties .... showers , cooking , laundry , plants , aquariums, etc..

    Using things like bath and kitchen exhaust fans longer and frequently helps.

    There is plenty of information available on the internet redarding controlling the humidity in your home .... Google things like condensation or controlling humidity in the home.

    here is some other information as well ... https://advice.thisoldhouse.com/show...t=Condensation


    Hope this helps.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Moisture at bottom of windows

    If your RH is already at 60%....that won't likely disappear overnight even if you totally eliminate any and all inputs.

    If *some* daily input continues, but is less than it has been...it will still likely take a few days, a week or more before you will see the condensation on the windows cease.

    Running a dehumdifier would be a way to reduce the RH even faster.

    Head for something around 40% RH... max. Might take 30 or lower to prevent condensation depending upon outdoor temps of course.

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