Welcome to Delmhorst’s first article in a new, exclusive series exploring water damage restoration and the importance of moisture meters within this industry. Water damage affects hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in America every year. Floods, weather events, and faulty plumbing all contribute to this, keeping water damage restoration professionals very busy indeed.
The true extent of water damage can go far beyond the destruction visible on the surface. Seemingly whole timber and flooring sections can harbor insidious water damage that will only worsen over time. Moisture meters are the only way to accurately detect the internal ravages of water damage. Here, Delmhorst Instrument explores the pivotal role high-quality moisture meters play in water damage restoration.
Water Damage – The National Impact
As weather patterns become more unpredictable and the number of severe storms increases, more homes and businesses are at risk of water damage. Hurricane season is a particularly tricky time, especially for buildings that may already suffer from water damage from previous inclement weather. Hygroscopic materials like wood and drywall can lose their strength and integrity if exposed to high levels of moisture and even increased levels of humidity in the atmosphere. This can put buildings at risk of further damage or even destruction once the next bout of strong winds and rains comes around.
iProperty Management reports that 14.6 million homes in the U.S. are now at risk of flooding, with water damage costing households around $20 billion annually. That figure doesn’t even consider the value of damage to businesses and industrial facilities. Even a minor flood can cause water damage that is invisible on the surface and only detectable using specialist tools like reliable and highly accurate moisture meters. Floods can occur due to landslides, soil erosion, heavy rainfall events, and other natural disasters. Of course, water damage can come from more mundane causes such as burst water pipes within and outside a property, faulty appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, or even blocked drains and gutters.
Water Damage Restoration Challenges
Evaluating the extent of water damage is an absolutely critical step for restoration professionals. Some materials may dry out independently without assistance, but without measuring the moisture content in these materials, there is no way to monitor this progress. Other materials may be soaked beyond repair and need stripping away. Only an accurate assessment of moisture levels can confirm this.
Preparing for hurricane season could involve checking for existing water damage or finding the source of a persistent leak. For example, a visible damp patch may emanate from a loose tile on a roof. Without a way to trace where that moisture is coming from by evaluating the moisture levels in surrounding materials, that leak could compromise the integrity of the entire roof once gale-force winds hit.
Beyond the physically practical points of assessing the extent of water damage and understanding the next steps in your restoration project, you may need to provide detailed moisture level information to insurers. The only way to do this is with a high-quality, accurate, reliable moisture meter.
Why Moisture Meters Are Essential in Water Damage Restoration
Investing in a top-end moisture meter lets you know that you’re always equipped to fully assess and understand the extent of any water damage. This empowers you to keep clients apprised of progress and set any timescales for water damage restoration projects. Detecting water damage is simpler when you can use a finely tuned instrument to create a map of anomalous moisture content readings.
Creating this visual impression of where moisture damage exists allows you to set out your drying equipment more accurately and for better results. Fans and dehumidifiers are more efficient when positioned correctly. This helps save power, which is better for the environment and less costly; plus, your water damage restoration jobs get done faster. You can use your moisture meter to track the drying progress and note any materials hanging onto moisture that may need replacing altogether.
Some of the best moisture meters can help with your reporting and documentation by providing storage and data transfer capabilities or exporting your readings to a computer or smartphone app. Detailed figures like these are often required for insurance purposes, and the right moisture meter can be critical in furnishing complete and data-backed information for smoother claims processing.
Types of Moisture Meters
When choosing a moisture meter, it’s important to know that there are two main types. Pin-type moisture meters use two pins inserted into a material. An electrical charge passes between the pins, and the level of resistance it encounters indicates the material’s moisture level. Pinless moisture meters use a flat sensor and electromagnetic signals for measuring moisture content and are ideal for larger, flat areas. Each type has its uses for detecting water damage, which we’ll explore in greater detail in future articles.
Look out for our next piece, in which we’ll examine how reliable, high-quality moisture meters help professionals deal with water damage and water damage restoration projects to a better standard. If you need more information about using moisture meters or any of the topics in our article, contact Delmhorst Instrument and talk to a member of our friendly and knowledgeable team.
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