We all know that moisture issues in our homes and businesses can lead to a myriad of issues, up to and including structural damage and even concerns about occupant health. There are so many things linked to excess moisture such as mold growth, water stains, and indoor air quality degradation to name a few. However, did you know that you could not only address these issues, but potentially prevent them from ever taking place by doing one simple thing? It’s time to talk about moisture in your roof, how to detect it, and how to solve your moisture problems!
We’ve gone over the importance of roof inspections in previous articles (check out our articles at greencoservices.com/blog to learn more), but let’s hone in on an important aspect of these inspections that GreenCo Construction Services offers: Infrared, Electrical, and Impedance Moisture Surveying.
Electrical and infrared moisture surveys are methods used to detect and assess moisture content in various materials, particularly in building structures. Each technique utilizes different principles and equipment to identify the presence and extent of moisture. Let’s explore each method:
Electrical Moisture Survey:
Principle: This method relies on the fact that the electrical conductivity of materials changes with moisture content. Moisture enhances the ability of a material to conduct electricity.
Equipment: Typically involves using moisture meters or electrical impedance scanners.
Procedure: Electrical probes or sensors are placed into the material being tested, and the electrical conductivity is measured. The readings are then used to estimate the moisture content.
Application: Commonly used for assessing moisture in building materials such as wood, concrete, and insulation.
Infrared Moisture Survey (Thermography):
Principle: Infrared thermography detects temperature variations on the surface of a material. Moist areas often have different thermal properties than dry areas, leading to temperature differences.
Equipment: Infrared cameras or thermal imaging devices are used to capture heat signatures.
Procedure: The infrared camera captures the surface temperature of the material. Moist areas tend to retain or release heat differently than dry areas, creating thermal patterns that can be analyzed to identify moisture.
Application: Widely used for identifying water intrusion, roof leaks, and other moisture-related issues in buildings.
These methods are largely non-destructive and provide valuable information for identifying and addressing moisture-related problems in structures. Depending on the specific requirements and the nature of the material being tested, one or a combination of these techniques may be employed for a comprehensive moisture assessment.
Moisture surveys play a pivotal role in identifying and mitigating potential problems before they escalate by proactively assessing and managing moisture levels. Through this, businesses and families alike can prevent structural damage, mold infestations, and other health hazards associated with damp indoor environments by catching it early. Or, in the case that the moisture has already built up, one can find out where exactly the problem is and how bad it has become so that your roofing company can more accurately fix the problem at its core.
Today, we’re aiming to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of moisture surveys, their importance, and their role in maintaining a healthy and structurally sound building. From defining moisture and its impacts upon your building to detailing the tools used in surveys and remediation strategies on your roof, we’re aiming to empower you with the knowledge needed for effective moisture management.
Understanding Moisture and Its Impact
When we’re talking about moisture in buildings, we’re talking about the presence of water in various forms: liquid and vapor. Understanding the differences between these states and the effects they can have on your building is essentially for identifying when you have potential moisture issues that should be addressed by a professional. This moisture can come from many different sources, including leaks, condensation, and poor ventilation.
Liquid moisture typically manifests as water droplets or visible leaks, often originating from plumbing issues, roof leaks, or other structural failures. Another common liquid source, condensation, occurs when warm, humid air comes into contact with cooler surfaces, leading to the conversion of vapor into liquid water.
While liquid moisture is what most people would consider when discussing moisture in a roof, there still exists the gaseous form of water present in the air we mentioned when discussing condensation: vapor. It becomes problematic when it condenses back into liquid under certain conditions, such as temperature fluctuations or inadequate insulation. These states of moisture can be intricately linked within a structure, with vapor turning into liquid and potentially causing issues like mold growth, rot, or compromised structural integrity. Identifying the specific form of moisture and its sources is pivotal for effective mitigation and prevention, as the different states of moisture will present distinct challenges and require tailored solutions.
Signs of Moisture Issues
As we mentioned earlier, identifying these issues is an important part of preventing future problems, and to do so you should first know what to look for. Mold growth and water stains are two of the most common visible indicators of moisture problems. Other visible signs include blistering, sagging paint, and fracturing of building materials caused by swelling.
Additionally, unpleasant odors and poor air quality can also indicate that there is a moisture problem present in your building, which can lead to a negative effect on the health and well being of the building’s occupants.
When you see or smell something that could potentially indicate a moisture problem, it is best to reach out to professionals who are certified to use the appropriate technology in order to find the problem. It is important to do this so that the potential moisture problem does not worsen and damage your property beyond restoration or repair. The last thing you want is to have to fund a full replacement of a part of your structure such as the roof because of a moisture problem that snuck up on you.
You don’t have to just sit back and allow these issues to happen, though.
“A lot of prevention comes in at the re-roof stage” said Jacob “Jake” Bush, the resident thermographic moisture survey professional at GreenCo Construction Services, “you want positive drainage, good ventilation, and properly functioning HVAC systems to ensure that you minimize your chances of moisture damage taking place in the future.”
As Jake states, many of the solutions to preventing moisture build up need to be done either during the initial construction of the roof, or should be factored into a re-roofing plan for your building. This includes installing a moisture barrier such as spray polyurethane foam that prevents water intrusion as well as the use of one way vents that let evaporated water exit the roof deck and don’t allow anything back into them.
When a moisture problem has been discovered in the roof after it has been built, however, there are many remediation options available to you. These include solutions such as mold remediation and structural repairs and restoration. If the damage is not bad enough to warrant a full replacement of the damaged portion of the structure, repair and restoration are your most cost-effective options for moving forward to ensure that your structure does not deteriorate any further, costing you more in the long run. You can find more information about roof repair and restoration here.
In conclusion, understanding moisture-related issues is crucial for the longevity and health of your building. By recognizing early signs, implementing preventive measures such as positive drainage and ventilation, and conducting regular inspections, you can ensure a structurally sound environment. Don’t wait until problems escalate; reach out to professionals like GreenCo Construction Services for expert moisture surveying and comprehensive solutions. Your building’s resilience and your occupants’ well-being depend on it.