During a moisture inspection after a flood or water damage event, not all moisture measurements have to come from a moisture meter.
While it’s natural to think conducting an inspection for moisture only requires pinless and pin-type meters, there’s another tool that allows for a more comprehensive moisture investigation.
A complement to a moisture meter, a hygrometer provides a different type of measurement for moisture within a space. For the flood damage restoration professional, a hygrometer’s readings can mean the difference in creating a final report that truly represents the extent of moisture damage.
From a functional standpoint, a hygrometer not only helps a surveyor locate spaces impacted by a moisture intrusion, but also verify the effectiveness of the drying process.
A moisture meter of sorts, a hygrometer gives you important readings of relative humidity, temperature, and grains-per-pound (more on these later). These readings are essential to know how the drying process is progressing and when to reposition or remove your drying equipment.
During a moisture inspection, a hygrometer is often used first to gauge where moisture most likely is. The higher a space’s RH, the greater chances there’s a moisture issue that requires further investigation.
While a hygrometer doesn’t locate moisture in the same way as a pin-type or a non-invasive moisture meter, it does help the user better understand where moisture is present and the ambient conditions of a space.
Taking the device a step further, a thermo-hygrometer integrates a thermometer into a hygrometer, allowing the user to also capture temperature readings. Because of their dual functionality, thermo-hygrometers are considered the most accurate indoor hygrometer and are a favorite device of flood damage restoration professionals for moisture surveys. With both humidity and temperature readings, the device provides measurements of a space’s relative humidity, which can be converted to specific humidity and grains-per-pound measurements.
When taking moisture readings with a hygrometer or thermo-hygrometer, there are three types of measurements that typically come up:
Though serving a different purpose during a moisture inspection, hygrometers are an important tool for getting a comprehensive understanding of moisture intrusion throughout a building and its rooms.
A hygrometer’s usefulness comes at all stages of remedying a moisture incursion.
During the initial part of an inspection, the device’s readings help an inspector determine which areas of a building are most likely affected by moisture.
After the source of moisture is located and drying equipment is put in place, a hygrometer’s readings can help crews determine if the equipment is working properly to dry out the space. Long after corrective measures have been implemented, a hygrometer’s measurements can be used to confirm that moisture is no longer posing a problem.
A thermo-hygrometer is particularly useful for the later stages of moisture remediation. In flood damage restoration, it’s almost a given that a dehumidifier will be running to help dry out a space. The best way to gauge if efforts are working is by taking temperature and humidity readings in several spaces:
By comparing the readings and using them to calculate grains-per-pound (or grams-per-kilogram), an inspector is able to determine a space’s specific humidity and accurately gauge if moisture remediation is working.
Of note, because both hygrometers and thermo-hygrometers are sensitive to temperature changes, it’s important to take measurements that climb the temperature scale. Start where temperatures are likely the lowest and work your way to where they’re the highest.
In some respects, a hygrometer is no different than a moisture meter.
There are many different types of both devices. Depending on their manufacturer, both boast a variety of features.
But perhaps the biggest similarity between both moisture measurement tools is that you get what you pay for. In other words, purchasing a cheap hygrometer is an investment in a poor-quality device that won’t perform as well as one that’s professional grade.
Aside from the price point (usually several hundred dollars), there are several features that are a must in a hygrometer that pays dividends:
While it may be tempting to opt for a more … cost-effective hygrometer, remember: saving money now may mean spending more later. In other words, a cheap hygrometer will more than likely require replacement, costing both time and money.
Despite taking a different type of moisture measurement – one that’s broad – a hygrometer provides important readings for flood damage restoration.
Paired with measurements taken by moisture meters, a hygrometer helps a restoration contractor provide the most accurate representation of moisture intrusion and the impact of moisture remediation.
Our Hygromaster 2 boasts the latest in hygrometer technology.