FCI Floor Installer Magazine article
|Detection is the first step to prevention, here is an inexpensive solution |
If it would not be for mold growth on one hand and shrinking and warping on the other hand, nobody would worry about moisture in wood. Shrinking and warping look ugly. Mold however, is a hazard for a building, home or office and a health hazard for the people who live or work in the building. Mold in our homes can cause major health issues. Many people live with mold and do not even realize how it is affecting them. Mold can cause upper respiratory problems such as coughing, wheezing, red itchy eyes and asthma like symptoms. Some people with immune system issues will be much for susceptive to mold. Mold will grow in moist conditions that can arise from leaks in a roof or window, pipes, water from plants, or even flooding. Mold remediation can get very costly. It is important to fix the problem and to make sure it does not come back. Sometimes it can be a seasonal problem which occurs when there is a lot of rain. We have a cost effective package that will help you monitor hard to reach areas such as in a crawl space, in a wall cavity, or behind a sink. The S-11 package comes with our mini-Ligno SD/C moisture meter which can read wood and sheetrock in MC%. The meter has a wide measuring range 6-45% which allows the user to measure and monitor the moisture of problem areas. Here is an example of a specific application: How to check moisture levels in a crawl space without having to “crawl” into the space. You need a moisture meter and a long enough cable to reach down to the crawl space. After installing the cable in a floor joist of studs in the crawl space, the other end of the cable is left in a place on the first floor, easy to reach. For measurements, the cable is plugged into the meter and instantly a moisture value is indicated. That value should stay below 16% to prevent mold growth. Items to be ordered are package S-11 (moisture meter mini-Ligno S/DC) or package M-11 (moisture meter mini-Ligno MD/C) includes one cable 6ft long and 1 pair of probes for wood or pins for drywall.
S-11 package wood and drywall – List $178.00
M-11 package wood and drywall – List $105.00
How one customer used the S-11 package to monitor moisture damage.
Here is an example of how one of our customers used the the S-11 package (moisture meter, cable and wood probe)After setting the probe in the wood and connecting the cable (photo 1), the cable was runup through the floor to a closet in the center of the first floor. That way, the moisture content can be checked any time, without having to go back under the house (Photo 2).
The moisture can now be monitored throughout the seasons and it can be noticed weather or not long periods of rain will affect the moisture content in the joists. I will also show if any steps taken to reduce high moisture are actually working. For instance, with a broken water pipe, you can all of a sudden have a very high moisture content in the crawl space. With the monitoring system you can make sure that over time the moisture content falls back to “healthy” levels. Moisture meters can be used in many different ways when working on restoring houses. This is only one of the many applications besides measuring flooring, furniture, siding, moldings, decks, etc. Essentially all materials which absorb and loose moisture should be checked.
Photo above shows another application of meter using built-in pins: the low value clearly shows that at this time there is no moisture in the area and repairs can be done instantly after moldy drywall is removed. The main advantage of Lignomat’s cable system is to be able to measure places that are hard to reach otherwise. I personally had a leak behind the sink and when the new cabinet was installed I put 1 pair of screws in the drywall to monitor behind the back wall of the cabinet. Every once in a while I am able to reassure myself that there is no more problems by quickly testing the site.