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mold and sweating windows

Posted by Lisa LeDoux on November 19th, 2002 01:18 PM

4 of 6 people found this post helpful

My house is a small ranch style located on Narragansett Bay in Warwick, Rhode Island (a damp, flood-prone area). The house was built in 1956 and completely gutted and renovated in 1992. It has no basement, but does have a 4-ft. tall crawlspace with a dirt floor. The crawlspace does take on water at certain times and a sump pump is in place to take care of that. The foundation is cinder block and stands about two feet above ground level. Included in the renovation were new plumbing, electrical, plaster over wallboard walls (replacing knotty pine), insulation, vinyl siding, gas baseboard heating system, wood frame windows, steel doors, and roof shingles. Flooring is hard woods, tile, and wall-to-wall carpeting in the bedrooms. One window was retained and reused, a double-paned picture window. The rest of the windows have no storm windows, just pop-out screens. There is also a brick fireplace (never used); we use one of those brass and glass fireplace screens to close off the opening. We are about 4 lots away from the beach.

Here is the problem I hope someone can advise me on:

As soon as Fall arrives and we begin using the heat, we develop excessively sweaty windows with a large midew problem and a mold problem on walls and floors in the living room. With the old picture window being the worst, the windows sweat so badly that the water collects on the sills and along the bottom edge of the wood frames. Curtains become stained and copious amounts of mildew appear. If forgotten for even 2 weeks, thick mildew will be all over the window frame and the wall below all the way down to the floor. Also, in the vicinity of the windows, mildew will grow on walls behind furniture.

In the living room, on the wall where the picture window (also the front door) is located, greenish-gray mold will grow on the wall, from end to end, just below and on the ceiling and on the wood floor under furniture and in corners. Fuzzy white mold grows on the face and hearth of the fireplace and on some furniture in the room. The picture window is so bad that the inside of the frame is beginning to become spongy and rot. I spend lots of time scrubbing and bleaching, but it is evident that we've got a problem that needs solving.

Any ideas, theories, solutions anyone has would be greatly appreciated as we cannot, at this time, afford a proffessional evaluation and repair and would like to try to solve the problem ourselves before it turns into a bigger problem. Thank You

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