Tools of the Trade
When checking for moisture levels in homes during a home inspection it is important to know which tools can be effective for measuring the moisture levels.
As stated in other articles increased levels of moisture in a home can lead to mold and mildew issues. This can in turn lead to an unhealthy living environment. Utilizing tools to detect moisture levels can help you determine which steps are going to need to be taken to correct the problem.
Mildew is a fungus it is similar but slightly different from it’s cousin mold. Mildew is typically a white substance that is prone to growing in moist conditions.
Mold comes in many different types and varieties some forms of mold can be very lethal if exposed to over a long period of time. Common side effects of mold exposure include Asthma, Allergies, and other lung and breathing disorders.
The old fashioned way to test for mold and mildew was to simply cut into a wall and perform a visual inspection. This is a costly method as you will have to repair the area cut into and perhaps cut into several areas.
Fortunately technology has evolved and given us the tools to perform a much less intrusive test. From simple mold testing kits to much more high tech electronic moisture meters.
Moisture meters are made by several different manufacturers but they all have common traits. Many moisture meters have pin probes at the top for taking moisture readings in wood and other building materials, such as drywall. It also has a scan mode that can be used to look for moisture in drywall, wood, behind vinyl and wood siding, and many other places. As mentioned before it is very non-intrusive and can perform a moisture analysis in a matter of minutes. These units are typically hand held and not much larger than the cell phone we all carry around.
As far as accuracy it really is going to depend on the surface you are testing. Drywall and wood can be tested for moisture fairly easily, however vinyl flooring and concrete can take a little more patience.
Overall these hand held testers can really save a lot of time and help you narrow don a moisture issue quickly.
Mold testing kits, these are pretty basic and can be purchased at most big box retail stores. A professional home inspection company can also place these tests in a home and give a complete report not only as to the levels of mold but wow to deal with the issue if it does exist.
As a home inspection professional we do recommend you hire a trustworthy inspection company in your area. Knowing you have a mold or mildew issue is a long way from knowing exactly how to deal with it.
In Minneapolis contact Inspections Plus Guru, Complete inspections from Mold to foundations. Inspections plus Guru is your professional Home Inspection Company in the Twin Cities area
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