Tools

man on ladder
Visual

Oculi. Headlights. Call them what you may, but our eyeballs are our #1 tool.

Visual inspection is an integral part of every inspection we perform. A qualified inspector knows where roof flashing is needed to keep a home dry, where caulking should and should not be applied and knows the signs of moisture and where moisture issues occur. While a visual survey will help identify where problems may exist, it won’t tell you if there is moisture in the walls. A probe test is still required to accurately measure moisture levels and determine if cracks or stains are symptoms of trouble lurking.

 

Protimeter

The moisture meter. It’s to our inspectors as a stethoscope is to a doctor: it will confirm suspicions, rule out diagnosis and get us pointed in the right direction to give you peace of mind.

The protimeter is the only tool that accurately measures moisture content in materials. Depending on what we are assessing, we can probe from the exterior or interior through two very small holes, which we will seal up with a color matching caulk. Unless you know we were there, you won’t know we were there, but we will be able to tell you what moisture levels you have in your home. Probing also allows us to perform a damage assessment of the materials – critical in determining the basis for a claim and in developing a scope of necessary repairs.

More on how and why we use this tool for intrusive testing here.

 

Radioscopic Scanner

Commonly known as a wet wall scanner, we like to refer to this one as a glorified stud-finder on steroids.

A wet wall scanner works by reading the density – not moisture – of the material found in the wall cavity. Appropriate for applications such as vinyl, wood, cement board and EIFS, we us this tool to indicate areas where moisture may be present. From there, probe testing is necessary to determine moisture content and assess for possible damage.

 

Hygrometer

Simply, a hygrometer measures humidity, but with better accuracy than your grandmother on a hot Midwest summer day.

High humidity affects more than your ability to breathe in July or how cold “cold” feels. When combined with areas in a home where air can escape, it can wreak havoc on the structure of your home and/or serve as a source for mold to thrive. We can measure with a hygrometer to determine if humidity is the culprit behind your grief. This is also the primary tool in our holster when conducting concrete slab relative humidity (RH) testing.

 

Infrared Camera

These thermal imaging devices are, hands down, the best way to find insulation voids in walls and attic spaces that can lead to condensation and damage. How are they for detecting moisture, you ask? Not that great.

Infrared technology detects heat loss, nothing more. When put to use by an experienced technician, it is a very effective tool for finding areas in a building that allows air to flow from the inside out, or vice versa. Known as air-bypass, this can lead to moisture from the air condensing on the cold side of the wall cavity – not good. What infrared cannot do, however, is determine how much moisture is present or whether the materials in the area have become structurally compromised as a result. If you have ice dams or suspect that your brother’s cousin’s roommate’s uncle might have cut corners insulating your home, this fancy tool will come in quite handy. But if you’re concerned about moisture in your walls, an infrared camera won’t ever be our tool of choice.

 

Borescope

The borescope: effectively a flashlight and camera combo on the end of a flexible hose used to peek inside dark wall spaces. Getting eyes inside the wall is only half the battle, though.

A borescope is a verification tool with limited capability due, in part, to its small viewing area, which makes water damage assessment difficult. Also, if there isn’t access (i.e., a hole in the wall) where we need to look, we will have to create one. It is worth noting that, in most cases, electrical outlets are too far from a potential point of moisture entry to be a viable access point; meaning, the use of a borescope at the outlets won’t yield any findings unless the damage is quite pervasive. Bottom line: probing is the only way to accurately measure and assess moisture levels and damage.

 

Blower Door

Oh, if only there were a way to find those troublesome air leaks that decrease energy efficiency and allow for condensation build-up. Wait, that’s right, we can - with the use of a blower door.

Used to measure the airtightness of buildings, a blower door is a tool that employs a manometer (pressure gauge) to determine the number of air exchanges per hour occurring in a structure. It also allows us to find those pesky air leaks and put a cork in ‘em. Figuratively speaking, of course – caulk works much better.

icon read articles Read Articles on Moisture Intrusion, from an expert’s point of view.             » Back to Top

cmt logo

Moisture & Structural Assessments in Residential and Commercial Properties

 

PHONE: 651.272.5552
EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding Twin Cities areas throughout
Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.

 

REQUEST AN INSPECTION

No forms nonsense... just shoot us an email and we’ll get back to you via your preferred method. We’re here for you!