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Moisture Inspections

561 BUILD Forensic Engineering inspections can find and analyze patterns of high moisture to locate leaking components. Many potential kinds of leaks can expose a home or building to a range of moisture contents. A slow roof drip causes low-volume, intermittent moisture intrusion, while a sudden plumbing leak may result in saturated conditions in affected areas. The built environment also presents a range of substrates that may be encountered. Most South Florida structures are built with reinforced concrete, concrete block, and applied stucco, with many wood components, such as wood trusses. Gypsum wallboard and interior finish plaster are commonly found interior finishes.

Moisture stains on wood truss from roof leak

Pin-type moisture meter exhibiting elevated moisture content in wood wall

Moisture content (MC) is measured by weight of moisture over material. MC = weight of water divided by weight of material. Building materials in a structure can not be taken out to be weighed, so we utilize moisture meters which estimate MC without disturbing the material and display the result as a percentage of Wood Moisture Equivalent (WME). WME is the moisture content that the material would have if it were wood.

Non-penetrating moisture meters consist of a pad touched to the material surface. They work by emitting a frequency into the material and measuring the material response. Pin-type moisture meters consist of two pins inserted into the material and function by directly measuring electrical resistivity (R) or its reciprocal conductance (C). The mathematical relationship of the reciprocals is as follows; C=1/R and R=1/C. Water is an natural conductor of electricity so conductance and resistivity correspond to water content. The meter is programmed with formulas to calculate the precise MC based on the material and its respective conductance/ resistivity behavior.

Thermal Imaging Inspections

Our modern equipment and training enable us to inspect your property for hidden conditions that may go unnoticed by occupants. 561 BUILD may detect latent conditions long before damage becomes extensive, averting costly repairs.

On this site assessment, our modern equipment and moisture mapping were able to locate a washer drain leak without removing appliances and walls. The leak was affecting three floors of a luxury condominium in Boynton Beach and unit owners were able to implement a repair and settle the issue amicably.

Thermal cameras were able to read the surface temperature of the walls. Cooler temperatures may correspond to wet conditions, but may also indicate variations in finishes or concealed building components. As a doctor reading an X-ray, images must be interpreted by a trained professional.

Thermal Image of cooler temperatures from plumbing leak inside of a wall

Concrete floor moisture seepage through grout

Concrete Floor Moisture Seepage

561 BUILD inspection services can help you determine if any plumbing leaks are present, identify contributing moisture sources, and recommend practical solutions to moisture seepage issues. Under certain circumstances, moisture will migrate through concrete floor slabs. Moisture vapor transmission occurs when temperature and humidity differences above and below the slab create a vapor drive. The moisture vapor then condenses between the slab and flooring material.

If the flooring material allows air circulation or movement, most of the moisture will evaporate and not cause a problem. When the flooring is relatively impermeable, accumulated moisture eventually will seep up through grout or flooring transitions. Over time, the moisture may dissolve or degrade the adhesives used to adhere the flooring. In addition, fungal spores may be activated and allowed to grow. In most cases, these processes are controlled through good design and construction techniques. Once a moisture vapor problem has developed, several techniques are available for controlling and possibly reversing the process.

A relatively common source of moisture for this process is the soil under the slab. High moisture contents in the soil can be related to site drainage, a high water table, broken or leaking plumbing lines under or near the house, and/ or site landscaping. Properly installed vapor barriers are intended to reduce the potential for soil moisture vapor transmission through the slab. However, vapor barriers often are omitted beneath the slab, punctured during construction, or degrade with time. Openings through the slab, such as cracks related to concrete shrinkage, differential foundation movement, or holes for plumbing pipes are other potential locations for moisture to enter the building interior. Plumbing leaks beneath the slab or sprinklers located close to the home may contribute to high soil moisture content.

Moisture seepage through concrete grout joints

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2787 East Oakland Park Blvd. Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33306

Serving All of South Florida Broward Miami-Dade Palm Beach County