Thermal Camera and Moisture Meter Tools Aid Rapid Source Detecon and Damage Determinaon by Rob Raymer, strategic business development manager, Premium Products, FLIR Systems, Inc

raditionally, moisture remediation specialists have relied on moisture meters to help them find leaks and damage. While they’re easy to operate, hunting down the source of moisture leaks can be tedious, often requiring 30 to 40 readings of the area. The accuracy of these readings depends on users themselves finding and measuring every damaged spot – so identifying these spots fast is key. Enter the thermal camera: Thermal imagers display a colour-coded visual guide drawn from infrared radiation emitted by objects in the area. Tracking the source of the leak can be as simple as finding the low emission or “cold” spot in the scene. For significant moisture remediation, neither a simple moisture meter nor a thermal camera is sufficient alone, but together they improve


effectiveness, limit costs, and ensure peace of mind.

Once Floodwaters Recede, the Restoration Begins

Whether it results from a burst pipe or an extreme weather event, flooding can cause extensive

damage, especially if water levels rise multiple metres. Water remediation can seem like a daunting task given concerns about cost and the effectiveness of the restoration process.

When dealing with significant flooding, it’s critical to determine exactly what materials must be removed and what can stay. Removing more building materials than is necessary will hike up monetary and labour costs. Inspectors need to identify every single wet element in the area in order to make a correct assessment and then dry each water-damaged spot to avoid the risk of further damage in untreated areas. Once floodwater recedes, the primary objective is drying everything out and deciding for the insurance company what needs to be ripped out within the damaged area. While missing wet spots can lead to further untreated damage, removing everything in the area can also be inefficient if only some of it suffered moisture damage. It’s not cost effective to rip out the entire plasterboard wall to the ceiling when water only reached one metre up a three metre wall. Discovering the extent of what is wet in this situation is paramount before drying can begin. Once water vacuum equipment has removed all moisture, even beneath flooring, it can be

THERMAL IMAGING Achieving dualsystem moisture remediation

determined how far the water wicked up from the floodwater surface. This indicates how much material then needs to be removed. If floodwaters only reach a few inches above the floor, workers need to determine whether moisture wicked up under the baseboards and into the plasterboard, again determining how much material needs to be pulled out. Workflow with just a moisture meter on its own is akin to a hunt- and-peck method; this inefficient

strategy involves blindly testing areas with a moisture meter to see if they are wet. Being unable to see what the test is “pecking” at draws out the process and increases costs. It’s just as inefficient to use a moisture meter alone to verify that everything is dry after remediation, as inspectors can miss spots using the hunt-and-peck approach. Working without a thermal imager almost guarantees that wet spots will be missed, increasing the risk of untreated damage spreading.


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