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Condensation on frame but not glass problem

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knitty15

Shenley Church End, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

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29-Nov-12 22:31

We've discovered that the bottom frame of our patio door is wringing wet with condensation in the morning and have just managed to save the carpet and curtains from mould damage. The glass is fine, no excess condensation there and we're a bit stumped as what to do. The frame is really cold to touch so something has gone wrong. Oddly it is right against the carpet, there is no window sill but we didn't have this problem last year. Should we call a window company or a surveyor and has anyone else cured this?

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thedragon

HP22

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30-Nov-12 11:15

You do not say what the door is made from. A problem we found in the 90's with some aluminium framed patio doors from Sweden, was that although the double glazing worked well, there was obviously no insulation inside the aluminium frame and in cold weather the frames condensed quite easily whilst the glass remained clear. I should think that an uninsulated plastic frame would have the same problem. Even with insulation there is always the problem of cold transfer across the framework from outside to inside because of the method of construction. I have seen thin lines of condensation on the inside of plastic window frames which correspond with the connection across the frames. Both materials seem to transfer the cold very well! I think wood frames are probably better. I don't think that many manufacturers insulate their plastic frames but there may be some. I doubt it would be practical to insulate existing frames but it might be possible by injecting an expanding foam. You would need to take advice on that. A dehumidifier running inside to dry the air would help a lot but not cure the problem, my guess is that you will have to keep wiping. I will be interested to hear if anyone knows better.

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knitty15

Shenley Church End, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

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30-Nov-12 14:46

Thanks thedragon, I have no idea what the door is made from, just assumed it's uPVC like the rest. I guess aluminium could be coloured dark brown to match the house or is it always silver coloured? It's a logical answer though I would have thought the other patio doors would have had the same problem (we have two in this house). For some reason it is conducting the cold very effeciently!

I think I'll have to ask a local window company to come and look at it sooner than later or we risk damage to the floor.

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DAVE,Newcastle-upon-Tyne

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5-Dec-12 12:39

 (Changed by W?Arnie  why?)

With regard to your area of condensation as a temporary measure and if it is not too big, try insulating it with matching carpet stuck on with Evostick or Copydex both of which are easily removed in the Spring!

Aluminium is a very good conductor of heat and should be avoided in double glazing, wndow frames and door frames. If the bottom of your door contains steel you can detect it with a magnet.Aluminium has a thin surface oxide which can be dyed. Gold coloured internal door thresholds are examples

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soopercrip

18-Dec-12 14:06

If the bottom of the frame is wet it is probably an aluminium frame, which is white powder coated (a baked on paint finish). The problem with older types of ali, patio doors is that they have no thermal break in them to prevent the the cold from the outside 'bridging' to the inside. Heat rises, so the bottom of the frame is probably the coldest point in the room and if you have a large moisture input in that room or nearby (i.e. kitchen diner) from cooking for example, the air in the room becomes laden with moisture which condensates on the coldest point in the room, which in your case sounds like your patio door. Try to reduce the input of moisture in the room from kettles, cooking etc by using your cooker hood or extractor fan if you have one. While there is excessive moisture in the room, it will always condensate at the coldest point, whatever type of door you have. The Glass and Glazing Federation website has lots of info on condensation if you need further clarification.

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knitty15

Shenley Church End, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

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14-Jan-16 14:01

Apologies for the ridiculously late update but in case anyone else has the same problem I thought I'd post. We eventually had the patio door replaced and the condensation problem ended. The fitters couldn't see any reason why the old door was so cold but presumed that, as the posts above said, there was no thermal break. The carpet survived and the room is still cold but much improved by the new door.

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Jadyo

3-Feb-16 19:57

We are seeing the same issue with a door/window installed a couple of months ago (Origin) - Knitty15: we also feel there's some problem with the frame. Did you do anything specifically to prove there was a problem?

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Jadyo

3-Feb-16 19:59

one further thing - the other room has bi-fold doors of the same make installed at the same time, but no condensation problem there

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leon10

6-Feb-16 22:00

I have origin bi folds installed a few months ago and have a problem with condensation on the frame at the bottom or threshold . It's driving me insane!! We never got condensation before although the previous was upvc..any help would be greatly appreciated. .

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knitty15

Shenley Church End, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

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7-Feb-16 17:25

The patio door that was a problem for us looked old and was in place when we moved into the house so we had no way of establishing the age, construction or make etc. We also couldn't figure out how to test what the problem was caused by - the room is adjacent to our kitchen but I was already cooking with saucepan lids on, using an extractor fan that vents externally to try to minimise moisture in the air. The lower corner of one side of the frame was really cold to touch when the outside temperature dropped and that's when water would bead up on the frame, eventually soaking into the carpet and curtain. But there was nothing that we could see inside or out that indicated any failure - no cracks etc.

The door was mentioned in the buyers survey as being a weakness because the runner was external and it only had one lock, so we always knew that it needed replacing. The fitters had a look at the old frame when they took it out but there was nothing obvious to the eye so we presume it must have been either the construction was always a poor design or something had failed inside that meant there was no thermal break as Soopercrip suggested.

So not much help really but I would strongly suggest that you take it up with your fitters Jadyo & Leon10 because in our experience it won't resolve and your problem may be covered by the warranty. Best of luck.

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