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-   -   Steel & aluminum window/door frames get very frosty (

Quattro 02-13-2008 09:29 AM

Steel & aluminum window/door frames get very frosty
This really cold winter is giving me lots of opportunities to "fix" stuff that would otherwise not be a problem. For example:

My non-heated basement (for now...) has 3 small windows built into the poured concrete foundation. These are crappy little aluminum jobbies with a screen, and they sit in painted steel enclosures. When it's below about 10F, this steel gets full of condensation that then freezes. When it warms up outside, or the sun's rays hit the windows, this melts quickly and runs down the foundation wall. Needless to say, when I finish the walls with insulation, this is going to be a problem. How do I prevent this from happening? Can I coat the steel with something? I realize a more efficient window will help...but the steel goes the full thickness of the foundation, and is therefore directly connected to the outside air. Any ideas here?

Second, my new sliding patio door has an aluminum threshold. The rest is vinyl-clad wood. When it gets below about 10F, the aluminum gets so cold that water condenses on the interior surfaces and freezes. When the sun then hits it on a warmer day, it melts and drips on to my new bamboo flooring. This is basically the same problem as the basement windows. Anything I can do about this?

The humidity in the house is low...about 35-40%.

Your thoughts are appreciated. Thank you!

inspectorD 02-13-2008 12:00 PM

The best you can do with the door threshold...get used to it. Maybe put down a towel when it gets really cold. You can't change physics.:(
Changing out the old windows to vinyl will help the others. Paint will do nothing.
Whatever you do, you need to stop the heat/cold condensation. Like when you put the beer holder over your cold drink in the summertime. No more condensation.
Good luck.:)

glennjanie 02-13-2008 02:03 PM

Hey Quattro:
The basement windows could use a frame of wood completely enclosing the steel frame and cover the wood frame with 6mil poly, thus making a storm window of sorts. Its only temporary but it should stop the condensation and icing.
I'm still thinking about the threshold, get back to you later.

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