Moisture Problems Window Surface

The Old House Web

Here aresome tips on diagnosing and correcting moisture problems. Parts of this story: ~~Introduction~~ Attic andmechanical ventilation ~~ Houseson crawl spaces and other moisture sources ~~ Caulkingand weather-stripping ~~ Basementwall condensation problems

Window surface problems

Caulking windows
Caulking and weatherstripping windows helps with both condensation and heating problems

Condensation on window surfaces in cool or coldmonths can be controlled by adding layers of glass in theform of storm windows or using double- or triple- glazedwindow units, installing a plastic film on the outside orinside of the window frame (a less expensive way to addstorm window protection), repairing broken glass, and sealing any leaks in and around the window withweather-stripping and caulking on both the inside andoutside.

Exterior peeling paint and ceiling/wall discoloration problems

Peeling exterior paint and discolored interior wallsand ceilings (usually in the form of mold or mildewgrowth) are good indications that condensation isoccurring inside wall cavities and attics. During winter,cold outside air collects in these areas and can coolattic, ceiling, wall cavity and interior wall surfaces tothe point where condensation occurs. Adding insulation tothese areas will warm these surfaces and thus helpprevent condensation. Vapor retarders should be used inconjunction with the added insulation to prevent themigration of vapor into these areas from the interior ofthe home. Note: specially formulated vapor retarderpaints are available on the market. They seem to be theleast expensive and the easiest way to create a vaporretarder on the winter warm side of the ceiling or wallwhen insulation is added to these areas.

Sealing interior cracks and holes

When you add insulation, be sure to repair, caulk or weather-strip any holes or cracks in ceilings, walls andfloors and along baseboards. These are prime areas formoisture migration to occur. Moisture vapor moves withair, and any cracks or holes that allow air to flowfreely through them are potential trouble spots. Recentfindings indicate that the sealing of these small, oftenoverlooked areas can be a major factor in solvingmoisture problems occurring in attics and wall cavities.

The information in this articlecomes from Michigan State University Extension bulletin E-2109, MoistureProblems in the Home.

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