There certainly are situations in which water and moisture issues in a home or business are obvious. On the other hand, there are instances in which harmful levels of moisture in a home or business may not be as readily evident. In addition, even when a water issue is obvious in part of a home or business, there can be moisture elsewhere in a structure that is not immediately apparent and which can cause extensive harm if not identified and remediated in a timely and appropriate manner. There are different ways in which to meter and measure moisture depending on what area in a home or business may be at issue. The areas in which different testing moisture meters and strategies in a commercial or residential property are used include:
- Wood flooring
Floors in a home, business, or other structure represent the element of a building’s interior that are most exposed to the prospect of moisture on a day to day basis. Floors are most exposed to everything from accidental spills to more significant leaks. When it comes to testing for moisture in a home, business, or other types of structure, a particular focus must be on flooring.
When it comes to moisture and flooring, carpet presents a particular problem. Carpeting itself presents a particular problem when there is a water incident in a home, business, or some other location. Drying and restoring carpeting itself can present a challenge in and of itself.
The challenges associated with carpets and moisture literally goes deeper than the carpeting itself. The carpeting itself may look and feel dry but the padding under the carpet can be damp and moldering.
The issue of carpets and moisture extends lower still. A carpet itself may appear dry to the senses. However, at the same time, the subfloor can be damp. If left unattended, moisture in the subfloor can result in expensive structural damage to a residence, business, or other location.
The testing in regard to flooring with carpeting truly must be comprehensive. It must not only focus on the carpet but also the padding and subfloor. The carpeting can be used as a baseline when it comes to testing flooring for moisture. However, it cannot be the end-all when testing is undertaken to identify moisture issues in a building that may impact flooring.
When contrasted with carpeting, wood flooring presents a bit less of a challenge when it comes to the need to identify and measure harmful moisture in a home or business. When it comes to measuring moisture in wood flooring, the first measurement should occur directly after the initial water cleanup has completed. Follow-up measurements can occur every two to three hours after that point in time.
Unlike carpeting, with wood flooring a person doesn’t have the added challenge of dealing with padding. With that said, depending on how long water was present in a home or business, the possibility does exist that water has made its way down to the subflooring. Thus, when the initial measurement is undertaken as to the wood flooring itself, a similar measuring must be taken to ascertain the state of the subfloor.
A myth surrounds laminate flooring. That misconception is that laminate is totally impervious to water. The fact is that laminate truly is highly water-resistant, but it is not impervious to moisture. The possibility does exist that moisture can get through and under laminate flooring. When that occurs, the bonding material can be impacted. The net effect of that can be for the laminate to pull away from the subfloor. For this reason, even when a situation arises involving water on laminate flooring, a thorough measuring needs to be undertaken to ascertain the extent of potential movement of the water beyond the laminate itself and downward towards the subfloor of a home or business.
Tile is another substance that many people wrongly assume is impervious to water. The fact is that in the case of flooding or a significant amount of water otherwise invading a home or business, tile can be impacted by the moisture. This most often comes in the form of damage to grout and adhesive used to affix tile in place and attach it to the subfloor. As a consequence, even in the case of a tile floor, undue amounts of water can negatively impact the tile itself as well as potentially cause damage to the underlying subfloor.
Walls are not immune from water and moisture damage. Indeed, even a small or moderate amount of moisture or water can have the end result of mold growth behind a wall in a home or business. For this reason, as part of an overall effort at testing for persistent moisture following a flood or some other type of water-related issue in a home or business, walls must be part of that examination. As an aside, the most likely area to be impacted when it comes to water, moisture, and walls is the baseboard area.
When it comes to water, moisture, and drywall, actually using measuring equipment or devices many times is unnecessary. The reality is that even when a more minimal amount of water makes contact with drywall for anything but a truly minimal amount of time, the impact or damage will be obvious. Drywall nearly always must be replaced when it experiences anything but a negligible impact from exposure to water.
Quite like the case with drywall, when insulation has been exposed to anything but a negligible amount of water or moisture, the fact that such exposure occurred can be seen and is apparent. In some instances, and depending on the material comprising the insulation, this element of a home or business might be able to be dried. On the other hand, depending on the age and extent of water infusion into the insulation, replacement very well may be the recommended course.
A ceiling in a home or office should be checked regularly for moisture issues, and not just after some sort of major water-related event (like a flood). The fact is that issues with the roof can result in water damage to a ceiling. Initially, the damage might not be detected without monitoring the state of the ceiling with an appropriate moisture measuring device.
An attic also needs to be monitored regularly for the presence of moisture or water in the area. The reality is that a moisture issue in an attic can translate in fairly short speed into structural issues with the structure.