A vast number of industries across America routinely rely upon moisture meters to conduct their daily operations and ensure job quality and success. Undesirable levels of moisture in a flooring system which includes the surface material, sub floors, underlayment, and concrete slab can undermine an entire construction or restoration project. Getting an accurate moisture reading can make or break a job as well as your profits. Nothing but accuracy will do and using the right tool on the right job is an important component for success.
Delmhorst Instrument Co. is a private US company dedicated to manufacturing all of our moisture meters in the United States. Our dedication to durability, high quality, and exceptional service has made us a leader in this field for over 65 years. We have provided this guide for an overview of what moisture meter to use as well as why and when moisture measuring is required.
As concrete is a primary building material, measuring the moisture content when installing a concrete subfloor is a critical factor in the construction of office buildings, big box stores, residential structures, medical centers, and more. Excessive moisture in the subfloor can cause overlay and finished flooring to warp or buckle. Often this occurs after tenants occupy the building, resulting in an expensive, unwanted, and reputation-damaging need for remediation.
For example, let's say that a contractor does not allow a concrete foundation to cure properly before building on top of it, causing damage to the foundation. The cost to repair a concrete foundation that is damaged averages out to roughly $3,080 for a normal home according to homeadvisor.com. This figure does not even include the cost replacing the flooring itself. The final cost of re-installing a floor can vary wildly based on the total area being redone as well as the type of material being installed, but you can be sure that it will be more than what the initial installation price would have been, given the need for extra labor to remove the old flooring on top of installing the new floor.
Other contractors work with hardwoods, softwoods, air-dried or kiln-dried and hybrid wood products. Moisture levels in these raw materials are just as important as they are in the sub-floors. Incorrect moisture levels can impact the structural integrity, performance, and aesthetics of a job long after you have left the site.
Finally, since builders and contractors need accurate moisture readings every day over a long time, meter durability is equally as important. These meters get a workout on active construction sites. For a contractor working on multiple complex projects, quick access to top notch technical support can factor into which moisture measuring equipment to buy.
When disaster strikes, the structural, financial, and emotional damage can be devastating. According to Floodsmart.gov, "From 2003 to 2012, total flood insurance claims averaged more than $3.0 billion per year." The prevalence of flood damage in recent years is one reason why moisture meters are so critical in restoration work.
Floods, fires, and even remodels or restoration of older homes require special attention to measuring moisture levels. While some water intrusion damage will be permanent, much of it is repairable. Moisture meters are the most cost effective way to measure moisture for restoration specialists.
Many restoration contractors use an infrared or thermal imaging camera in conjunction with moisture meters to identify high moisture areas. Thermal imaging doesn’t actually measure moisture. It measures temperature, and there is a strong correlation between elevated temperatures and elevated moisture spots.
Moisture meters have saved contractors and their homeowner clients thousands of dollars and countless hours in finding the extent and precise location of water damage.
Restoration specialists trust Delmhorst’s American made moisture meters to give them the most accurate readings possible.
Flooring is the foundation of every project and wood is the ideal flooring raw material. It is structurally sound, beautiful in appearance, and a pleasure to work with. Flooring manufacturers, distributors, and contractors rely on moisture measuring instruments to maintain both the quality of their materials and the strength, longevity, and resilience of their finished work.
Saw millers, dry kiln operators, furniture and cabinet makers, and even serious home do-it-yourselfers and craftsmen all know that moisture content is the single most important factor affecting the quality of their wood. Years of experience, high-tech tools, controls, and premium grade lumber won’t make a difference to any professional if moisture content goes unchecked.
Whether these installations are taking place on subfloors in an industrial, commercial, or residential setting, it is important that the woods, laminates, and/or adhesives being placed upon the subfloor are adequately dry. This helps prevent floor cupping, buckling, warping, shrinking, cracks and splits that are easily noticeable.
A moisture meter is the reliable way to minimize defects like shrinkage, cracks, and splits. Whether your quality control program is a one-man show or a whole flooring installation department applying world class standards, a moisture meter — especially one with data analysis capabilities — is essential for successful floor installs.
While excessive moisture is not a significant problem in desert climates, people in coastal areas and regions that receive considerable wind driven rainfall or are living in extreme humidity need to be extra vigilant about moisture intrusion.
After a high water or extensive driving rain event, checking wooden beams, flooring, drywall, insulation, and other components of the structure for excessive moisture levels may be done with a portable handheld device. If the presence of moisture or mold is detected, it might be a good time to call a qualified remediation and restoration specialist.