Moisture Testing and Inspection
Moisture Meter and Your Home Inspection
A moisture meter is an electronic device designed to measure the moisture content of materials, such as roofing, siding, insulation, drywall, plaster, wood, and fiberglass. Structural and safety hazards, such as mould, rot and decay are all potential consequences of elevated moisture levels in these materials. An inspector can use a moisture meter to locate moisture that not visible to the naked eye.
Mould is a common problem found when there has been water intrusion into the home. Typically is only takes 24 to 48 hours for mould spores to begin growing on damp surfaces. This is why it is important to identify any areas where water has entered into your home and cause the growth of mould. Some common examples of water sources are: leaking basements, leaking roofs or bathroom leaks. Usually by the time the leak is discovered, mould has often already begun to grow.
Just like any type of water damage, the best way to prevent mold after a flood is to keep your home clean and dry. Clean up any water damage immediately, and use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air
Common Causes of Mould in Home
- Condensation on the inside of a window. ( this is caused when blinds or curtains are left closed. Dew point moves from outside to inside as heat cannot warm glass surface )
- Blocked roof gutters ( water can overflow causing moisture damage to fascia and soffits. If not resolved can even enter into ceiling areas. )
- Pipe Leaks ( leaks under sinks can sometimes go unnoticed. Water lines and drain lines in walls can develop pin hole leaks, or be punctured by nail. )
- Spills that aren’t properly cleaned up ( any moisture left on a protein surface will eventually cause mould growth )
- Rooms without sunlight exposure (i.e. basement, attic, storage)
- Exterior walls ( placing furniture or boxes against an exterior wall will prevent heat from reaching area which will create moisture and then mould. )
- High humidy in a home can indicate a hidden moisture issure somewhere. Testing with a Psychrometer will indicate any issues.
Typical Places to Test with Meter
Most Professional Home Inspectors will use their moisture meter to check areas around pipes, exterior wall penetrations, A/C units and other appliances that may cause leakage or condensation problems. Any exterior wall penetration is a possible area for moisture collecting inside your walls. Likewise, when there are small drywall or ceiling stains — or signs of past repairs in a basement, attic or other area commonly susceptible to moisture — a moisture meter allows the inspector to quickly determine whether a problem is still active behind that patched wall or dried-up outer surface.
Mould Health Effects
Exposure to certain species of mold can also be dangerous to your health. Common mold-related symptoms include headaches, fatigue, rashes, allergic reactions, and other respiratory problems. Proper moisture control is the key to preventing unwanted mold growth from damaging your home and your health. If your home has recently suffered any water damage, you should take steps to prevent mold from growing.
Infrared Camera Inspections
Thermal imaging cameras see temperature changes and differences in real time that are invisible to the naked eye. Thermal cameras cannot see inside walls or ceilings. This allows testing without requiring destruction or contact. Infrared cameras are used for mold inspections as no exterior or interior finishes need to be taken down, and large areas can be inspected in a short time. Thermal imaging cameras have become a common inspection tool.
While infrared detection does not specifically detect the presence of mold, it does provide mold inspectors with an overall view of local conditions that may provide the opportunity for mold infestation.
Thermal Imaging is also used for post-mold remediation to verify that all building materials and structures are thoroughly dried out before any reconstruction work begins. If the affected mold areas are not completely dry, mold growth will reoccur.