Condensation Inside Your Home
I love your site, but I cannot find the answer to my problem. I am getting condensation on all my aluminum window frames, causing black mold. What can I do to prevent this... a dehumidifier or what?
RT in Vancouver, B.C.
Your mission... seal the windows more tightly and/or decrease the level of moisture in the room air any way you can. If your windows are leaking outside air, this air could be cooling the frames sufficiently to produce condensation. Weatherstripping at the locations where leaks are felt can be beneficial and in some cases may be the only effort needed to stop the condensation. However, if your aluminum frames are continuous from inside to outside, they are likely acting as conductors for the cold, leaving you with the options of either reducing the moisture in the air or installing some barrier inside to keep room air away from the frames.
Sometimes, the source of moisture may not even be in the room... for example, moisture from a damp basement or crawlspace can rise within the walls and condense on the cold windows or metal frames. So as you see, condensation problems need a "shotgun" approach. For example, a dehumidifier in the basement or in the affected room, opening a window a crack to let in cool dry outside air (I know if sounds like a contradiction, but sometimes it is worth a try), using the ventilator fan in the bathroom while taking a shower, installing and using a vented stove range hood, etc., can all help to minimize this problem.
That having been said, it may not be possible to totally eliminate the problem, depending on the construction of your home, the type of windows, etc. Replacing the windows with double insulated glass can help, too, since the inner pane is warmer and less likely to attract condensation.
A more economical (albeit temporary) alternative would be to install plastic "shrink-wrap" style interior storm windows with good result. This temporary shield will keep moist inside air away from the cold windows and frames, plus decrease air infiltration. If you don't mind the appearance (which is actually not too bad if the installation is done neatly), this could do the trick for you.
COPYRIGHT 1998 G.G. ALONZY
Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here www.naturalhandyman.com/aitikia
For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links www.naturalhandyman.com
If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page www.naturalhandyman.com/friends
The Natural Handyman Site Directory
- Home Repair Articles www.naturalhandyman.com/iip
- Home Repair Links Library www.naturalhandyman.com/linkslibrary
- NH's Bookshop www.naturalhandyman.com/bookshop
- Find a handyman at www.naturalhandyman.com/network
- Win unique home repair gifts and prizes at www.naturalhandyman.com/contest
Please read the important copyright and disclaimer information is located at www.naturalhandyman.com/copyright
Also in Home
- Ways to reuse an entertainment center
- The cost of using your clothes dryer
- Hay bale gardens
- Priortizing home repair projects
- Great ideas for decorating your entry on a dime
- Easy, inexpensive ways to grow from seed
- 10 ways to save money on your utility bill
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Top 10 DIY mistakes made by home 'handymen'
- 6 ways to save on home heating
- 7 ghastly critters that will eat your house
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Mortgage refinance break-even calculator
- How much money can I borrow for a mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?