Forum Title: Horrible window condensation in a business
Hello there! I work in a music store, and because we carry many types of wooden instruments, we always need a humidifer running to keep the wood at optimum moisture. We have about 7 very large windows which I suspect are single-pane glass. They look like they are caulked. My problem is: in the winter, everytime I open the store all the windowsills have puddles on them. The corners and bottoms of where the window frame meets the sills are coated in ice. I realize that we have extra moisture in the air from our humidifiers, but without it we would have no instruments to sell. The landlords are aware of this problem, but will not do anything about it. I literally spend an hour everyday, mopping up these sills...and in the process, wasting papertowels, sponges, time, name it. One contractor said if there was a way we could heat up the windows, that it might work. (ie. buy tube lighting and put it around the windows to see if it might put out enough heat to help alleviate the problem) I am at my wits end. It makes our business look bad, because the paint on the windowsills is peeling off, bubbles form, and our once beautiful business looks shoddy. Can anyone help me find a solution to this problem? I read about saran wrap and window insulators, but I'm not sure anything would work. Please help, and thank you so much for reading this. I would hate for any of our music students to be inhaling mold or something of that sort.
Category: Windows & Doors Post By: ANDREA REYES (Madison, WI), 01/13/2019

I assume the screw is frozen??? If yes, spray it with some PB blaster or similar penetrating oil and let it soak a few days, then try again. It should free up. If you are going to repair.replace a 19 yr old threshold, I would consider a new door. Much more energy efficient, and probably more secure.

- ROGER TORRES (San Mateo, CA), 02/19/2019

Hi Jess, pictures would help: Dividing the window display area from the rest of the space would allow you to de-humidify and heat the window area. Don't over humidify the rest of the space, measure the relative humidity. The fan idea will help, but single pane windows will get cold and the cold will pull that moisture right out of the air. Plastic film is available, but if it gets soaked it can become a worse problem. Divide and conquer. Bud

- DARRYL HALE (Richmond, CA), 02/08/2019

I do some museum hvac and your conditions are identical. You are expecting a commercial building to maintain conditions it was not designed for. The technical explanation of the solution is that you need to have the surface of the glass below the dew point temperature of the air. Dew point is the temperature at which moisture in the air will condense. This means, as what has already been said, that you need to have warm glass which is accomplished in modern buildings with dual pane glass units. Here, triple pane is now the standard. One possibility which has been suggested is to separate the window from the rest of the shop but if you do have single pane glass you would need this space to be sealed well and you would use a lot of heat to warm it enough to prevent condensation. Likewise, a fan would have to move a tremendous amount of air against the window which could tax your heating system. You could check more carefully to see if they are possibly dual pane which would be obvious if you looked at the edge of the window glass to look for a spacer. Another issue is that you are only aware of moisture on the windows because it is blatantly obvious. Another concern is the likely hood that the the entire building will be forming condensation within the attic and wall space. For smaller residential windows there is a shrink plastic available that gets securely taped to the window frame and will shrink and be nearly invisible when you heat it with a hair dryer and it shrinks and tightens up. To my knowledge they don't make this large enough for commercial windows and would be difficult to install. The bottom line is that your space does not meet the requirements of the business you are in. There really is no simple solution.

- DEAN SANTOS (Lawrence, MA), 03/04/2019

Homeowner Remodeling Guide & Helpful Links

requestaquote Get Free Quotes callnow 888-506-9527