Is it Too Late to Test Moisture in Water-Damaged Areas?

Posted by Tom Laurenzi on Aug 23, 2017 8:05:00 AM

The short answer to the question in the title is: “Absolutely not!”

For professionals in the restoration industry, testing moisture in water-damaged areas of a structure is critical to their job. There are many reasons to test moisture in a water-damaged area, including:

1: Verifying Moisture-Compromised Materials

Home and business owners may balk at the idea of ripping out large sections of the structure to remove water-compromised building materials. However, keeping moisture-compromised materials on the site sabotages your ability to effectively and efficiently complete dry-out operations.

Using a specialized moisture meter to test building materials allows restoration professionals to accurately sort out moisture-compromised materials from non-compromised ones. This helps restrict dry-out/tear-out to only what is necessary, as well as prove the necessity of tear-out to the building’s owner.

2: Testing to Track Dry-Out Progress

By taking daily moisture measurements during the drying process, you’re able to evaluate the effectiveness of your drying efforts. If the %MC of the building materials isn’t coming down as quickly as expected, you are able to make informed decisions as to whether adjustments in drying and air moving equipment must be made, or if further moisture testing in other areas of the structure needs is required.  

With this information, you can focus your efforts where they’re most needed, which can help save time, prevent call-backs, and ultimately result in a better dry-out effort.

3: Testing to Provide Documentation to Insurers

When your restoration work is supposed to be covered by the client’s insurance, that insurer will want a thorough accounting of the work you’ve done and the necessity of it. By testing moisture in water-damaged areas of the structure, you’re creating the reporting groundwork you’ll need later.

After recording moisture content measurements from water-damaged areas, you can provide the insurer with detailed evidence proving the necessity of your work. This should help resolve potential billing disputes—making life a little bit easier for both yourself and the building’s owner.

4: Testing to Protect Your Professional Reputation

As a restoration professional, your reputation is critical to the success of your business. People have to trust that you’ll get the job done right the first time, so they can carry on with their lives rather than having to constantly call you back to do more tear-out and dry-out week after week.

Using moisture meters to test water-damaged areas of a structure helps you protect your reputation by:

  • Helping you accurately determine the extent of the moisture damage.
  • Improving the speed of dry-out operations.
  • Preventing call-backs by making dry-out more thorough.
  • Allowing you to document %MC readings for different parts of the structure.

All of these help you be a more trusted restoration specialist.

Getting Accurate Measurements in Water-Damaged Areas

Of course, to get quantitative measurements of moisture in water-compromised building materials, you need an accurate moisture measurement tool.

Restoration moisture meters, like Delmhorst’s BD-2100, can help you make sure that you’re getting accurate moisture measurements in a variety of building materials, such as wood, drywall, and insulation. This particular device can switch between wood, gypsum, and reference scales so you can test different materials without changing devices.

Learn more about how you can get accurate moisture measurements on the job by checking out some of Delmhorst’s other resources.

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Topics: restoration professionals restoration project