When plumbing problems such as leakage occur within a building’s walls, structural damage can take place out of sight until it becomes evident and must be remediated.
Water leakage into a structure can occur for a variety of reasons. Heavy rain can soak a building’s interior during the construction of a new building or during remodeling whenever the structure is open to the natural environment.
Older home appliances such as washing machines, water heaters, dishwashers, and refrigerators can all leak water into a building’s interior when hoses or connections weaken or crack.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units can also accumulate moisture from the ambient environment and leak when not properly maintained or serviced.
A hurricane can loosen shingles enough to allow water to creep in and rot the structure of a structure from the top down. A contractor’s visual inspection of the roof can quickly assess any preliminary damage. But as contractors make necessary repairs after a major storm, they will also want to quickly discover any moisture seeping in before it causes too much damage.
“A contractor can use a moisture meter to learn whether or not water is working its way through a roof that has been compromised by gale-force winds and heavy rain,” says Bogart.
For example, one portable moisture meter that contractors have found to be effective to instantly check a roof for water damage is Kett’s HI520-02, which can measure through shingles and deep into the sublayers to evaluate roof sheathing for moisture. The versatile unit also measures drywall, concrete, and mortar.
Inspect Drywall, Frame, And Insulation
If a structure was exposed to serious amounts of water, chances are, much of the affected framework behind walls will need to be replaced, as will any drywall and insulation that has contacted the water. Drywall and insulation will need to be removed and replaced well above any visible watermarks left after the flooding or standing water subsides. Exposure to water will weaken drywall and cause swelling, bulging, and crumbling, while insulation may quickly become a host to dangerous mold.
Drywall may seem fine at first glance, but the contractor will want to use a moisture meter to ensure that the structure’s walls are free from moisture damage. Contractors can rely on a universal moisture meter or even a near-infrared moisture meter to provide reliably accurate moisture readings throughout a structure.
According to Bogart, Near-Infrared (NIR) light is a highly accurate, non-contact secondary measurement method that can deliver immediate, laboratory quality moisture readings.
“NIR moisture meters follow the principle that water absorbs certain wavelengths of light. The meter reflects light off …….