When you work in the water damage restoration business, it’s important to have knowledge and experience. But it is almost impossible to deliver the desired results if you do not have the right equipment for the job. A restoration moisture sensor or meter is one of the most valuable tools a professional in this field can have at their disposal for assessing water damage and putting together plan for restoration.
A water restoration moisture meter measures the amount of moisture in and environment and specific materials, such as flooring, drywall or other structural components. Restoration moisture meters are to water damage restoration professionals what a compass is to an airplane pilot. Without one, you would be flying blind and have no idea what to do or where to go next.
WHY ARE MOISTURE METERS ESSENTIAL FOR RESTORATION WORK?
Any client whose property has suffered water damage typically wants a quick assessment of their situation. How bad is it? A moisture sensor can help you put numbers behind your answer to that question. When you first get to a job site, you can use your restoration moisture sensor to gain a quick understanding of that situation and then to convey the situation to the home or property owner.
A moisture sensor is important for identifying damaged materials and for assessing the success of your work. For example, you will need a moisture sensor to track your progress and confirm the space is back to normal before you pack up your tools and equipment.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF MOISTURE METERS
There is more than one solution available when looking at moisture sensors. Here is a look at different types of restoration moisture meters. You may find that you need only one of these or your work may require several different types:
- Non-Penetrating Meters: Non-penetrating meters are among your easiest-to-use options. They are popular because there is no risk of causing damage to flooring or other structural components. These meters feature two flat sensors, typically located at the bottom of the device. These two sensors measure the amount of moisture between them. Non-penetrating meters are best for situations in which you need to quickly compare moisture level readings between affected and unaffected areas.
- Penetrating Meters: Penetrating meters feature a series of prongs that actually penetrate into a structure’s surface to take a reading of moisture content. Choose a penetrating meter if you desire accuracy, as they tend to take more accurate measurements of moisture content. They are perfect for finding trapped moisture after flooding, burst pipes or similar events.
- Hydrosensors: Hydrosensors are a subcategory of penetrating meters and can be used to check how far moisture has traveled from the source. While hydrosensors do not work on drywall or similar materials, they can be used to test how far moisture has migrated beneath carpet or carpet padding.
- Thermo-Hygrometers: Thermo-hygrometers are used to test whether or not an environment can be effectively dried with the tools at hand by examining the conditions of the affected space as well as the conditions of the environment surrounding it. Thermo-hygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity, both factors that affect how equiment like commercial dehumidifiers work. These measurements can help you gain an understanding of whether or not your dehumidifier is working properly. Some thermos-hygrometers also provide GPP (Grains per Pound) and dew point calculations.
- Accessories – Slide Hammers: A slide hammer is used in tandem with a penetrating meter to test whether or not moisture has migrated under a floor made of wood or wood sub-floor. Pins are driven into sub-flooring provide readings that indicate how far water has penetrated into sub-flooring and other structural components.
HOW TO USE MOISTURE METERS DURING A RESTORATION JOB
Restoration moisture meters are essential to water damage restoration work for several reasons. First, when you initially meet with a client, a moisture meter provides instant data that you can share and use to discuss the work ahead. A moisture meter can also help you understand the scope of a job and to provide a scope of work contract to your client.
Once the work begins, you can use a moisture meter to demarcate where your work will take place. You can actually tape off a work area based on readings from a restoration moisture meter. Finally, you can use a moisture meter during your work to test progress. The last thing you want to do is leave a job incomplete. When you use a moisture meter to test your progress, you know for certain when the work is done.