house moisture

this is something im constantly batteling and losing.
winter condensation on windows& in attic = seal windows and re roofed w ridge/soffet vents. minor helps
summer basement mildew /mold condensation on pipes, corners of rooms =run dehumidifiers help somewhat but expensive
what to do
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Condensation in the attic would indicate either insufficient ventilation and or no vapor barrier below the insulation in the floor (ceiling of the room below) .

This one is difficult. Dehumidifiers take the excess moisture out of the air, but it is better to stop it from getting there. If you are not air conditioning the basement, additional venting will help there also. Often it is coming in through the walls and floor of the basement. Proper drainage around the home is the best place to start. That means at least ten feet of slope of the ground away from the foundation in all directions. All walks and drives must drain away from the home. Expensive fix is to dig down to the footer all around and add drainage.
Good Luck.

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Joseph Meehan

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Condensation in the attic would indicate either insufficient ventilation and or no vapor barrier below the insulation in the floor (ceiling of the room below) .

as said we increased ventillation w new roof. sealed off around chimminey (magor air leak) but still have condensation. the only vapor barrier over the plaster ceillings is the rather brittle craft paper backed insulation
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As Joe said, it's not enough, on inspection. Mostlikely you need better sealing between attic and spaces below, and possibly better vapor-barrier. Maybe better attic ventilation: inlets at eaves to outlet at ridge. You need less coming in from below (job one) and more getting out above. Simple enough. Lest there be any doubt, kraft paper is NOT a vapor barrier.
All around, attack sources, not symptoms.
J
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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What kind of windows, are they double pane, low e, high efficiency or just old fashon single pane glass, do you have storm windows.

single pain w storm.
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Double pane would significantly increase the temperature of the inner pane thus getting it above the dew point and preventing condensation.
Storm windows reduce heat loss but not enough to keep the window warm. Mostly they keep the wind and rain off the inner window but not the cold temp.
To prevent condensation, either reduce the dew point below surface temperatures by reducing humidity or increase the temp of the objects above the dew point.
A good electronic thermometer with humidity readout should also be able to calc dew point, else you can get a wet bulb thermometer and read it directly.
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Is the attic sealed living space or open attic space? If open, increase ventalation with a powered roof vent. Passive ridge vents may not be enough. Did you calculate the size of the vent area or did you let a contractor recommend the proper number of vents?
What kind of heating and A/C equipment do you have. Some solutions can be added to a forced air system but if you have hot water or steam the solutions will be more limited. In fact if you use steam, it may be your very problem in the winter at least.
Sounds like your house is very well sealed. Allowing some air leaks would encourage air exchange with the outside (which in winter should be quite dry) and although this will result in a net energy waste, it may reduce your maintenence costs for the windows in the long run.
What kind of windows, are they double pane, low e, high efficiency or just old fashon single pane glass, do you have storm windows.

Ventilate to the outside. Condensation is caused because the basement (walls, floor furniture) is colder than the dew point. Circulating air from outside during the summer will warm these things up above the dew point. You can close the window at night to reduce morning condensation due to things cooling overnight.
Insulate the pipes. The cold pipe may always condense water on humid days.
Again, you will sacrifice the cool basement in summer for lower maintenance costs due to moisture damage.
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Lest there be any doubt, kraft paper is NOT a vapor barrier.

isnt crafed fased insul usually used as the vapor barrier. is the solution ripping up insul and putting plastic underneath?
<<<Ventilate to the outside. Condensation is caused because the basement (walls, floor furniture) is colder than the dew point. Circulating air from outside during the summer will warm these things up above the dew point. You can close the window at night to reduce morning condensation due to
things cooling overnight.>>>
i was told that inc ventilation to the basement would increase condensation on the cold basement walls from the humids summer air?
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The crux of my point was to raise the temp of the basement. Instead of letting warm humid air in, you could actually heat the basement in summer (just a little). If you could keep the surface temperatures of the basement just above the dew point, you will not have dew. Check a weather website for the average dew point in your area year round.
If you want to control the condensation, you need to control your environmental conditions in the house more closely. That will cost money either in terms of new stuff like double pane windows or an A/C upgrade or in energy like running a heater when you normally wouldn't even think of it.
One more suggestion for the basement. Cover the concrete walls with framing, insulation and wallboard. This will moderate the temperature difference between the wall and air and reduce the likeliness of condensation.
An oscillating fan to better circulate the air down there might be enough if the problem is slight.
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Air exchanger or a heat/air exchanger will cure the problem.

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Where are you located? Climate has a lit to do with the correct answer. More infornation is needed. How far below grade is basement?
Stretch
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Where are you located? Climate has a lit to do with the correct answer. More infornation is needed. How far below grade is basement?

NY, 5'
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Air exchanger or a heat/air exchanger will cure the problem.

is that a DIY or a pro job?
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WIndow condensation problem need to observe indoor RH and dewpoint as well as inside surface temperature of the glass. Look for indoor sources of moisture such as hang drying laundry in the basement or incorrect use of a humidifier. Avoid creating excessive indoor humidity.
Could also be a lack of ventilation causing the problem in the first place or an NP humidifying scheme.
Most likely solution, ventilation
Attic condensation - most likely lack of ventialtion.
Summer problem, you need to lower the RH so you can dehumidify. A fresh air intake into the return air of a central AC with fan in 'Auto' mode will provide some positive pressure with dry air in summer which will reduce infiltration of humid air. Positive pressure may not be desirable in winter in your climate.
Post approximate location for better advice.
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