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Steam Build Up on Windows

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I need to know how to get rid of old steam build up on windows.

Karen from Smiths Grove, KY

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By lola (Guest Post)09/19/2008

Harry has got it right! Cyinda, take heed. The soda-can effect has got to do with how much moisture is in your HOME - it will cling to the coolest surface, hence, the soda can OR the window. Yes get a dehumidifier, or crack a window to pull the moisture out. Your windows themselves are fine. Actually they must be doing "too good" of a job, since no air (or moisture) is leaking out of or around them.

By Harry (Guest Post)09/19/2008

I might also add I have double paned windows through out the house and I get condensation on my bedroom windows because I use a humidifier in the winter becuse the bedroom air gets too dry. So, cool windows and too much moisture equals water on the inside of the glass. And the reason the air in the bedrooms get so dry is I use electric heat in those rooms.

By Cyinda [214]09/18/2008

What do you mean? Is it the minerals from old steam? Have the minerals actually "etched" themselves on to the glass, or is the steam BETWEEN 2 double panes, or what? Because if it's just the minerals from the water sitting on TOP of the glass, I would think that plain old rubbing alcohol would work to clean it.

* I've been told that regular steam can be prevented by taking a cloth (or tiny thin bag) & filling it with salt (then wrap a rubber band around it) then wet the salt & rub it back & forth all over the window or mirror. The mirror or window is not supposed to fog up for a quite some time after that.

---> If you're talking about what I'd call the "soda or beer can effect" or condensation that keeps building up on windows because it's colder outside than inside (or visa versa) then this is what's been happening to me... I have 4 HUGE picture windows in a sort of "sun" room (turned craft room) that constantly drip condensation on to the floor all winter long. My adult son said this is because they are single paned windows & it's the pop-can effect because one side of the glass is much colder than the other side. I tried putting 2 inch foam insulation on the inside, then calking around the foam inside the windows & I'm STILL getting at least a quart of water that drips on to my floor each day during the winter time. (be sure to put in plastic window sills, like I did & calk them well or it will run down in to your walls & mold will form, like in my room. I got rid of the mold & sealed the walls).

I've been told that the only fix for this mess is to put plastic on to the outside of the windows making them more "double paned" with the plastic layer. Supposedly that will help. I found the plastic at Walmart in the fabric department for half the price of the fabric store. I was told that the thicker the plastic, the longer it would last... If you put up cheap plastic up, the UV rays will break the plastic down & you'll need to replace it every year. The CLEAR plastic I bought comes in 3 different thickness & is sold with the plastic table cloths in the fabric area... Just ask "Where is the plastic table cloth material" at any place that sells fabric. You can also use that shrink plastic that's made for windows, but it will only last one year, maybe 2 or so I've been old. Then you'll need a safe ladder & a staple gun (or STRONG double backed tape) or both to attach the plastic to your windows.

Please let me know how this works for you... as I'm just getting ready to do this to my windows, so I don't get a quart of water a day on my craft room floor... Not to mention all the moisture inside that room full of my special yarn & fabric... I may just have to buy a dehumidifier!

By Harry (Guest Post)09/18/2008

I don't think it is steam rather I think it is the moisture in the warm air that condenses on a cool surface. You have too much moisture in the house and you have to ventilate by opening windows to allow the moisture to escape to the outside. Also cut down on the amount of things you do to add moisture to the house.

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