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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Do Inspection Devices Help to Restore Water-Damaged Spokane Homes?

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

thermal imagery device SERVPRO's state of the art equipment helps us to provide excellent service. We leave your home only when it is dry and ready for a build back.

Understanding the migration and path of moving water and absorption in your home can ensure that drying is as efficient as possible.



It is not always easy to understand the full extent of the damage to your Spokane home or business after a water disaster. There are dozens of factors dictating the movement of water, absorption, and moisture pockets existing in spaces beyond surface materials. While conventional drying approaches are always the ideal solutions, these efforts must often get modified to suit individual circumstances for more efficient results. 

To many, water damage in Spokane homes stops at the surface where the pooling or wet areas are easily spotted. Property owners assume that construction materials act as a deterrent for water migration, when in actuality, many of these structural elements are highly sensitive to absorption. When materials like drywall and carpeted floors become overexposed to standing water, moisture can move through surface layers to impact underlying elements like subflooring or wood framing. 

What Is Job Scoping? 

After a water disaster, job scoping for the upcoming restoration looks to identify areas in the structure where water has impacted. Also, the devices and technologies used for this identification can help to determine concentrations that show how much moisture has been absorbed. The overall objective of this assessment of the property is to create a tailored plan to efficiently and thoroughly restore and recover damaged residences with minimal tear-out and reconstruction by using specific equipment from our large inventory. Data collected through pre-job evaluations include:

  • Existing Conditions – Understanding the immediate damages caused by the water disaster shows the necessary work to return the property to a preloss condition.
  • Content Damage – Your personal belongings are often as impacted by saturation and water damage as structural elements. Identifying items that can get restored on-site or through relocation makes efforts like pack-out focused and deliberate. 
  • Moisture Pockets – With various detection devices, we can identify damp areas beyond the surface materials to focus drying in the appropriate places. 

Do Thermal Imagery Cameras Work Best for Inspections? 

Thermal imagery, or infrared cameras, is a vital tool to gather information about your residence's potentially damp areas. While infrared technology does not directly identify moisture, temperature differentials exist when materials become saturated versus unaffected by water. As commonly used as these devices are, they are not without their flaws and potential false positives. Misleading conditions that could indicate water damage without a pressing threat include:

  • Evaporative Cooling (Colder Materials During Drying)
  • Thermal Capacitance (Storage of Thermal Energy)
  • Atmospheric Changes 

How Do Moisture Meters Differ from Other Detection Devices? 

Unlike technologies like infrared and thermal imagery cameras common to job scoping, varying moisture meters often have a shared role in discovery and detection. We have multiple types of moisture meters, meaning that we can find more reliable information based on the affected materials, the location of the water damage, and how moisture readings should get collected. The choice in the technologies used during the job scoping phase is at the discretion of our experienced project manager, but can often include one or more of the following types:

  • Penetrating Moisture Meters – These devices function based on conductivity. This aspect is measured with two probes on the unit itself and a reading based on how readily electricity can pass between these two points. With only the probes' tips capable of collecting this data, individual layers of wall systems can get tested.
  • Non-Penetrating Moisture Meters – These units are also known as surface meters, and that is because no probing is necessary. These can measure moisture concentrations in damaged surfaces, and because of their non-penetrative design, they can be ideal for sensitive building materials like drywall or plasters.
  • Thermo-Hygrometer – Hygrometers are ideal for measuring moisture content and relative humidity in specific environments. The determination of moisture content in damaged and undamaged areas can be a point of measurement for drying successes. 

When Is Controlled Demolition Necessary? 

It is always a priority of our technicians to restore before replacing, making the data collected through moisture detection devices all the more beneficial. When oversaturation and degradation of materials exists, our in-house contractors can work to remove the compromised portions without discarding all of it. 

Water disasters can have an immediate impact on your household. However, with the right information collected with moisture meters and detection devices, our SERVPRO of Northeast Spokane team can be prepared. We can arrive with the appropriate tools and technologies to provide properties with the most efficient drying possible. Give us a call anytime at (509) 474-9144.

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