To measure moisture, a water damage specialist uses a moisture meter. Buildup of moisture is enough to damage structures and cause other problems in homes and buildings. Usually, it is difficult to know whether water damage has occurred or not if there are no visible stains or mold growth. In such cases, it is essential for a water damage specialist to use moisture measurement equipment.
Water Meter Types
Commonly used moisture meters include the one with the pin, the one without a pin and all-in-one moisture meters. All types of water meters have special purposes and are uniquely applicable to detect moisture in buildings.
Pin Type Moisture Meter: A pin type moisture meter can penetrate the surface with its two pins. This type of moisture meter makes use of principles of electrical resistance. The pins are sharp and easily penetrate into the surface for a reading. Hence, this process is quite invasive. The pin type moisture meter measures the electric current strength. The flow of current can be measured to estimate the moisture content in the material. The moisture content present is expressed in percentage by the moisture meter.
The biggest advantage of using a pin type moisture meter is that it helps to identify the exact location where the moisture is building up. Shell and core moisture content can be differentiated by using a pin type moisture meter. However, the water damage specialist must also keep in mind that pin type moisture meters can cause damage to the materials.
Pinless Moisture Meter: As the name suggests, these moisture meters are noninvasive and don’t cause damage to materials. This type of moisture meter operates on principles of electrical impedance to estimate the presence of moisture. The pinless moisture meters are especially useful when moisture cannot be detected by visual indicators. The pinless moisture meter can detect moisture behind tiles and under the floor.
Pinless moisture meter has a sensory plate that projects electrical fields into the test surface. The amount of moisture present is proportional to the current flow detected. The measured moisture content can be presented on a scale of 0-100.
All in one moisture meter: As the name suggests, an all-in-one moisture meter contains features of both moisture meters mentioned above. Therefore, one meter can be used to detect moisture content while the other meter can determine the exact location of moisture buildup. All in one moisture meter has diverse uses and is used by water damage specialists to detect various problems.
Interpretation of moisture meter readings
A color indicator can indicate whether the material is dry or not. Green indicates the material being tested is dry. Yellow indicates the presence of some moisture. Red indicates that the moisture content is very high. Thus, the color indicator allows you to interpret the results of moisture meter readings. Just by knowing which color suggests moisture or dryness, a water damage specialist can interpret the results.
Reasons to test moisture in water damaged areas
- Before water damage specialists can begin to fix the damage, it is essential for them to figure out the building materials that are moisture compromised. This allows the water damage specialists to only tear out and dry what is necessary instead of ripping out large portions of building material.
- Water damage specialists can estimate their progress in the drying process by using a moisture meter. If the percentage of water content is not coming down as you might have expected it, it allows you to make informed decisions. You can make adjustments in your drying equipment in order to dry efficiently.
- Measuring the moisture can help build the reputation of water damage specialists. Moisture meters help to estimate the amount of damage and improve the speed of drying out the moisture. Moisture meters help you record moisture in different parts of the damaged structures.
Two separate locations should be used to conduct moisture sampling indoors. One location is where moisture is suspected while the other location should be moisture free. This provides a control setup that can help make accurate measurements by comparison. To determine the exact moisture content, moisture sampling is an important part of the process.
How to detect moisture using a moisture meter
- Check the spread of water
The first thing to identify is how far the moisture has spread in the material. This will tell the amount of drying equipment you will need to dry up the moisture. You can start with the center of the room and test every few inches until you get readings that are consistent. Next, mark the area where the reading increased. Repeat these steps until you have marked the area containing moisture.
- Dry it up
After you have marked the area, the next obvious step is to dry your house. For this you need high volume fans and dehumidifiers. Check after every four hours if the area has dried until you get consistent readings on the moisture meter. If some areas still give high moisture readings, focus your fans on the area by repositioning them.
- Test if your home is dry
24 hours has been reported to be enough to dry a house. It is always recommended to use a pin type moisture meter to check your final results. Try testing all the areas you marked as wet. Keep in mind the readings of your carpets can be different from walls and cabinets. Make sure all the readings of carpeting are the same even if the readings don’t match with walls.
Water structure damage is evaluated by water damage specialists. The best way is to use the relevant moisture meter to detect moisture. A water damage specialist should be hired to test and track how much water damage has occurred in your home. Unless and until you know the exact location and extent of damage, it would be difficult to get the water damage fixed.