Don't worry Dryfix can help. Dryfix surveyors are industry qualified in damp diagnosis with years of training and experience behind us. Pioneers in damp diagnosis with industry publications and 4 National Awards, we really are a local company setting National standards.
Our surveyors carry with them the latest diagnostic and inspection equipment. This includes specialist electronic moisture meters, calcium carbide meters, salt analysis kits, thermal imaging cameras and borescope cameras, so even the inaccessible or concealed can be revealed.
Our surveys also include a detailed assessment of the building including; orientation, method of construction, previous alterations, external survey and internal inspection. Our surveys are all undertaken in accordance with British Standard Codes of Practice and industry guidelines.
Most clients will request a non destructive survey, particularly during a pre-purchase inspection. In this scenario, we will obtain as much information as possible using non-destructive techniques.
Sometimes however, it is necessary to understand more about a building than the information provided during non-destructive inspection. Surveys are often conducted using non-destructive techniques and instruments such as; visual observations aided with electronic moisture meters. This is fine and totally acceptable in a pre-purchase scenario.
Non-invasive electronic moisture meters, however, do have their limitations. Most of these sensitive instruments are calibrated to be used on timber, meaning when they are used on masonry and plaster, readings taken are not quantitative they can only provide an equivalent of wood value. Electronic moisture meters also measure resistance and as such they can be affected by other building materials, minerals and salts which are electrically conductive. To the inexperienced this can result in miss-diagnosis.
There are other onsite investigations which can provide a deeper understanding and more accurate moisture content analysis such as, the speedy test performed with a calcium carbide meter. Undertaking this test, however, is disruptive and involves removing samples from the structure. As an onsite method of investigation, this method is quick and accurate and is used extensively during our water damage surveys and drying regimes.
The issue with a speedy test, is this process will only measure the total moisture content of a sample and is unable to differentiate against any contribution from potential hygroscopic loading. This would present a particular problem when examining older properties particularly those with a history of damp where contamination is evident.
The most accurate way to differentiate specifically between the hygroscopic moisture and free moisture is gravimetric analysis which requires laboratory facilities.
Gravimetric analysis is not a site-based method of assessment. The process requires specific laboratory equipment and involves removing samples from site.
Gravimetric analysis is a complex procedure which isn't instant, the whole process takes a couple of days to establish however, the results provided are precise and extremely accurate, capable of differentiating between hygroscopic and free moisture.
If you suspect a problem and require a survey, or simply need advice please contact us.
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