brother and I started our water damage restoration firm in 1982, we have dried
over three thousand homes. Practically
every job we have had, we would always hear the same question from our
customers “How can you tell my walls are wet, they look fine to me?” I then introduce to them the moisture meter,
and they were all fascinated with it and how it works.
We use two
types of moisture meters - Penetrating and Non-Penetrating
moisture meters use two sharp pins or probes that are inserted into a material
or structural element which you suspect is wet. An electrical current passes
from one pin to the other and the resistance is measured and that resistance
determines the amount of moisture within the material. This type of meter is great for determining
the moisture content in wood and for checking carpeting for moisture as well.
moisture meters do not use pins, but rather sensors. These types of sensors
work by sending an electronic signal into the material and measures power loss. The benefit of using this type of meter is
that you do not have to put holes into your drywall to determine if it’s wet or not. Also you can check large areas
quickly to determine where the moisture is located.
How we do
it at Puritan
Flood Restoration we always check the drywall after a flood using a non-penetrating
moisture meter. The Technician will find
a known dry area in an undamaged area of the home or business. Then they will
use that reading to establish a “drying standard”. This drying standard is what the technician
will consider dry. They will then use
that reading as their “drying goal”. The Technicians then sets up our drying equipment
to dry those areas until the walls reach our drying goal.
meters run from inexpensive to very expensive. For a water damage restoration
firm like ours, a more expensive one is necessary. But for the home owner an inexpensive one will
work just fine. The inexpensive ones
will usually be a penetrating moisture meter that will show you whether something
is wet or dry.....................Good Luck and Stay Dry!
Wet concrete, how dry should it be? This is an area that is still a little controversial. After water damage has occurred in a home or building, in addition to the walls and carpeting being effected, wet concrete is sometimes involved. Some water damage firms believe that the correct way to dry the wet concrete is using air movers and a dehumidifier for a few days and then let it naturally. Other firms believe that the home should be restored back to a pre-loss state like the insured had it before the water damage occurred. While others will ask what type of floor covering was there before and what the owner plans on putting on the wet concrete once it’s dried.
All three views are correct but the later, in my opinion is the best option to follow. The water damage technician should ask what type of floor covering will be laid over the concrete and then determine how dry that wet concrete floor should be. (what is an acceptable moisture content percentage)
A wet concrete floor in an unfinished basement will definitely need some drying, but only enough to get as much moisture out of it in a couple of days as the Water Damage Technician can. But what if it’s a home with a wet concrete slab and the home owner plans on re-installing vinyl floor covering back on it? How dry then should the concrete be? Will the insurance company pay for all that extra time and expense to dry the concrete? This floor covering scenario will make drying the wet concrete much more of an important issue. Any vapor barrier put over a wet concrete floor will slow down the moisture escaping and greatly increase the potential for mold to develop and thrive. In addition, most of the glues used in public buildings today are water based, so excessive moisture can cause problems with the glue, causing adhesion issues and void many manufacture warranties.
Once a drying plan for the wet concrete is determined, the Insurance Adjuster should be informed of all these issues. The insurance adjuster is the one who is going to be paying for the drying bill so the Technician should justify to the adjuster, the need for spending the extra time and expense to dry that wet concrete flooring to a certain moisture content.
Thus, it is very important for the Water Damage Technician early on to try to determine what the floor covering is going to be, and formulate their drying goals for that wet concrete.
Some great links for drying wet concretehttp://www.cement.org/tech/cct_floors_moisture.asp http://www.itwresintech.com/pdf/library/mea_rem.pdf