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The Right Tools for the Job

There should be no guesswork when handling water loss in a structure. There are many steps necessary to properly inspect, measure, and track the drying process to insure the restoration is complete. Using the proper instruments is your best assurance of the highest quality results. When first entering an area affected by moisture damage, a professional restoration company will employ both trained and experienced visual observation and professional measuring instruments to determine the extent of the migration of water. Time is critical. The longer water remains in contact with building materials such as carpet, wood, drywall, and insulation, the farther it spreads and the more it is absorbed into those materials.

  • Measuring Horizontal Migration

Horizontal migration generally affects areas relating to structural flooring including carpet and pad, and hardwood floors. The amount of moisture that may have migrated through carpet and into the padding below is often not readily apparent through visual inspection only. Padding has sponge-like properties that make it more absorbent than carpet and allows water to spread farther than it does on the surface of the carpeting. A moisture sensor (especially designed for detecting moisture in and under carpet) has metal probes that penetrate through carpet and into padding. The moisture sensor detects the presence of moisture (indicated by an LED and/or an audible tone). It does not, however, measure the quantity or “how much” water is present. 

  • Measuring Vertical Migration

Once horizontal migration has been determined, the next step is to find and map vertical migration. Most structural building components are hygroscopic - meaning they absorb water at different rates and in varying amounts. The density of a specific material determines its rate of porosity. For example, gypsum drywall is much more porous than the wood commonly used for structural lumber such as 2x4 or 2x6 framing materials. And insulation (within wall cavities) is more porous than gypsum drywall. A non-penetrating meter can be used to discover vertical migration of water. This device uses the principal of capacitance. When the sensor is places against a flat surface, pads on the back of the instrument detect moisture to a depth of approximately 5/8 of an inch.

  • Measuring Humidity

A thermo-hygrometer measures the temperature and relative humidity present in any given environment. A professional can then take that data and determine the specific humidity, the actual amount of moisture in the air. When evaluating a drying system, a professional must know, understand and use the specific humidity to determine its effectiveness in drying the air, and dry air is needed to achieve dry structure and contents. Tracking and recording the data from the thermo-hygrometer allows the restorer to modify the drying system and take the necessary steps to reduce the levels of moisture in the environment.

  • Summary

A trained, restoration professional in Columbus, has, understands and uses the appropriate instruments and meters to help insure that he/she is drying the structure and contents as rapidly and efficiently as possible. If you have water damage in Columbus, call PuroClean. We are ready to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 


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