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How Moisture Readings Are Made And Recorded

The most common way to measure dampness in buildings in the restoration industry is with moisture meters, of which there are many types. A moisture meter is also often referred to as a damp meter.

There are two different types of moisture meter available to damp proofing contractors when they are assessing levels of dampness in buildings and looking at the extent of dampness removal that may be required. However some higher quality damp meter devices can contain both of the most commonly used features and associated software that restoration companies are familiar with. Some even have other functions built into their capabilities such as hygrometers which measure humidity in air.

measuring dampness in buildings

Measuring Dampness: Damp Meters

Electrical resistance is measured by an electrical current which is passed between the metal electrodes of a hand held damp meter. These metal electrodes, or probes, are pressed onto the surface of the damp wall or damp ceiling to be measured for water damage. As water conducts electricity, the electrical current from the positive probe on the damp meter to the negative probe can be measured and a reading is given. A low reading will indicate that the building material is dry and a high reading would indicate a higher moisture content which could well require damp proofing services. Other visual signs such as mould on walls will direct damp proof contractors to areas that will most likely need testing with a damp meter.

The electrical signal is measured and recorded onto an associated software program application. It is also recoded with location information so the entire damp areas can be assessed. If the readings are higher on a lower part of a wall, this could indicate a problem with rising damp. The software converts the electrical data to moisture content against known and calibrated scales that are widely used in the building reinstatement industry to build up a picture of the extent of water damage repair is required.

Measuring Dampness: False Readings

Any experienced building restoration company technician will be aware that false readings can be obtained when using any type of damp meter as there are other factors to consider which can affect the electrical properties of the materials being measured for damp proof services.

For example salt, electrical cables, building materials which contain clinker and concrete can all affect damp meter readings. Salt water is a better conductor of electricity than pure water.

When testing if a building material is wet or dry the building restoration company will look for the readings that are below:

1. A level that could cause damage to the material being measured 
2. A level that could secondary damage to building contents (eg goods or stock) 
3. A level that may sustain mould growth. 
4. A level that could lead to or contribute to injury or health issues for occupants (eg slippery floor) 
5. Any level that would prevent the building restoration of the property to its pre-loss condition.

Having problems with dampness in your building?

Paradigm Reinstatements is a specialist building restoration companies based in Central Scotland. They are regularly appointed by several of the UK’s leading insurance companies to deal with dampness in buildings, flood damage, damp proof services, fire damage and building reinstatement services in general.

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