Water Extraction – Part 4123

Like tools, instruments also aid the restorative process in making sure the structure is brought to pre-loss conditions.  In this session, we will discuss some of the instruments used in restorative drying.

Moisture Sensor
A Moisture Sensor is the most basic of moisture detection instruments.  It is designed to detect high levels of moisture in the carpet and underlay.  A moisture sensor will indicate the presence of abnormal moisture levels through an audible beep.  The wetter the material, the faster the beep.  Because the instrument has been designed only to detect relatively high levels of moisture in carpet and underlay, it is limited in other uses and also does not give numerical values preventing technicians from evaluating progress.  Moisture sensors may also give false readings if high levels of urine are present in the carpet, underlay or subfloor.   A weak battery can also produce false readings. 

Invasive moisture Meter
Pin Type
Unlike moisture sensors, moisture meters provide numerical value for moisture detected.  This numerical value can then be documented and used to monitor drying progress.  Invasive moisture meters offer a variety of accessories and attachments designed for various building materials and construction methods.  These attachments generally include pins or probes that vary in length, diameter, tip style and electrical shielding along their shaft. 

Non-Invasive Moisture Meter
Noninvasive moisture meters use radio frequency signals or conductive pads to measure either impedance or capacitance through a sample of the suspect material.  Higher levels of moisture produce higher transfers of signals through the material.  Because of their noninvasive nature and quick surveying capabilities, noninvasive moisture meters are the most effective tools for locating abnormal moisture behind and beneath finishing materials such as ceramic tile and vinyl floor coverings. 

A thermohygrometer measures air temperature and relative humidity.  This information is recorded in the Record of Drying Conditions and used to calculate other important properties of the air being monitored.  It is important to note that thermohygrometers can provide inaccurate information for a number of reason.  Operator error is often the cause typically because of inadequate acclimation time time.  Thermohygrometers are very useful for to verify equipment operation and to evaluate the need for additional equipment intended to reduce the humidity and control the temperature within a drying environment.

This concludes our four part series on water extraction.

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About the author: Joe Fiorilli