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Newly built home and Window Frames are Sweating #381583 - Ask Extension


Newly built home and Window Frames are Sweating #381583

Asked January 10, 2017, 2:53 AM EST

Hello - I need some help and unbiased answer please. We have purchased a newly built house in MS and it hasnt been a year yet. When it snowed the other day (first snow this winter season), all of our window frames is sweating - just the frame connecting the window to the wall and the bottom of the window is wet. Basically no sign of condensation on window glasses. Already called and inform the builder and explained that it was condensation (without anyone coming to check it) not covered by one year builder warranty and just wipe it. ( yeah that is what they told me). But this is not the first time we lived in a newly built home and we never encountered issues like this. And it is too bad that the builder never even care at all..I am kind of convinced that it is not condensation and something else like the poor insulation or caulk. I called the company who did the window. Luckily i was able to convince him to come over and check it but he claimed that he wasnt the one who installed it- it was the builder. To make it short, please someone advice of what can i do. I do not want to have this issue next time we'll have snow specially the warranty will expire this june.. I cannot afford to have molds inside the house. i have a child who has asthma and severe allergies. Thank you in advance for your help..

DeSoto County Mississippi

Expert Response

It looks like condensation. That occurs when the temperature of a material gets cold enough to drop below "dew point", which is determined by the humidity of the air that contacts that surface.  It's common in winter with metal window frames that do not have a "thermal break" built-in. I can't tell if your frames are metal or vinyl. If vinyl, it may be that the framing design allows cold air inside. It's possible that cold air leakage around the unit could make it colder, and result in more condensation.  Feel for cold air leaks to check.
In either case, short of replacing the window units,, you can reduce condensation by lowering the indoor relative humidity and/or keeping the framing warmer. That means run your heating system a little warmer (that will both reduce RH and warm the materials), avoid blocking the heat from reaching the windows (avoid heavy draperies), and take steps to reduce indoor humidity -- use exhaust fans when bathing and cooking, minimize damp mopping and houseplants, etc. Of course, if you feel cold are leaks around the windows, get them caulked.
Claudette Reichel Replied January 10, 2017, 7:27 PM EST

Hi Ms Claudette. Thank you for your response. Our window frame is made of aluminum. We can feel the difference on the temperature of the frames and the glass itself. 

The Question Asker Replied January 19, 2017, 6:05 PM EST
I suspect the metal frames don't have a "thermal break", a plastic insert to reduce conduction.   Not a good choice for your climate.  
Another, more expensive, solution would be to install exterior storm windows.  You may wish to try reducing indoor RH and keeping your home warmer at night, to see if that will suffice.  If not, then consider storm windows, especially on the north side.
Claudette Reichel Replied January 20, 2017, 2:45 PM EST

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