- How do I find someone local with expertise to help me solve our problems?
- What can I do in the meantime?
We get some condensation on our windows (not enough to wipe up), and some mold growth on our ceilings especially in one bathroom and the adjacent master bedroom. Worse, though, the exterior wood of the windows (described below) just won't hold paint - it jumps off after a season. This leads me to believe that there is moisture inside the walls.
I have a 32-year-old house. It was built during one of the first "energy crunches", and there were several things done to make it energy efficient by folks who didn't know what they were doing. The house has a full basement, attached unheated garage, and full attic (in two sections). The furnace is forced air gas, original equipment, and I suspect it is actually oversized because even in the coldest weather it tends to run for short periods and it's like someone opened an oven. The house was built with aluminum siding, which is still there.
The windows are mostly Anderson double-hung single glass, with triple-track or fixed in place storm windows. A few of the windows are casement style, with built-in storm windows (but just a glass insert, not sealed double or triple glazing).
The basement has a wetness problem: under certain conditions water will come in around the bulkhead and then go out a drain in the floor (to who knows where). The problem has gotten less as various things have been tried, and it now only happens a few times a year.
When we first moved in the house was around 13 years old. We added lots of blanket insulation to the attic and along the top of the foundation; we also installed ridge and soffit vents (whereupon the wood in the attic finally started to dry out).
We run a humidifier on the hot air duct in winter, and a dehumidifier in the basement year-round. (That was suggested as a way to mitigate the problem.) The air in the main part of the house stays pretty dry, enough to draw sparks in the winter, and the basement runs around 40% so far as I can tell.
The bathroom in question does have an exhaust fan, which vents towards the soffits; we never did get a real vent installed in the roof, the fan was an afterthought. We use the fan during showers, and I try to let it run for awhile afterwards.
It might be that letting the house temperature drop at night and during the day when we aren't home might add to the problem, although it's hard to figure.
My suspicion is that when the house was built, any vapor barrier that might be under the siding was either insufficient or not properly installed. Replacing the siding is on the list, but hard to justify when it still looks okay.
So, if you're still with me -- any suggestions?
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