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        Ice on basement windows Sign In/Join 
        posted
        I have a newer house that has basement windows poured into the foundation. When the temperature drops to 5 degrees or colder, I get serious ice build up on the metal window frame. I live in South Dakota, so we have a lot of days with these cold temps. I realize that humidity is the main culprit, but the humidity in the basement is less that 25%. I have two dehumidifiers going at all times and I really can't get the humidity any lower.

        As you can see from the pictures, the ice is only on the metal frame, not the window itself. Are there any options to fix this other than reducing the humidity further?

        Window
         
        Posts: 2 | Registered: Feb 11, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        I agree, not much more you can do about the humidity.

        It's a basic problem in that even thermopane windows only have an R-value of about R-3 or 4. Add in a metal frame, probable lack of insulation between the frame and the block and mix with single-digit temperatures and you are going to get frozen condensation.

        Other than add another layer of exterior storm window or actually cover the window with foam insulation, there's not much you can do short of adding some heat directed at the window frame.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10477 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I want to make sure I understand the options you are presenting. Are you saying that I could add some sort of exterior window to cover the existing window and exposed metal frame?

        As for a heat source, I don't rally want a heater blowing on it all winter. But what about those heat wires like people put on their roofs to prevent ice dams? Is that an option? I'm just trying to get creative here. Thanks for your help.
         
        Posts: 2 | Registered: Feb 11, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Your aluminum window frame likely does not have a thermal break between the inside and outside so the cold travels in quite easily as metal is an excellent conductor of heat and cold.

        If you added an external storm window it would help a lot. Having a thermal break between the existing window frame and the storm window would help even more.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 888 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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