As many of you know the new RESNET Guidelines are being worked on and I am advocating for the use of Moisture Meters to ensure potential serious moisture problems in sidewalls and building substrate material is not being overlooked when identified as a anomaly with the thermal imager and hopefully confirmed as wet by the use of a moisture meter in the field. My questions are on the understanding of the use of moisture meters and the correct use of moisture meters so please sound off here on a couple of areas:

1- Do you currently use moisture meters with your IR imager to determine if moisture is present?

2- Do you report the % of moisture present or simply that moisture is present?

3- Do you find the meters difficult to use? second part- what type of meter are you using, pin or surface?

4- Did you have specialized training on the moisture meters use or would you feel additional training on the use of moisture meters with IR beneficial?

5- Anythign else to add?

 

Appreciate any and all comments on this technology interaction from users in the field.

Thanks-

Bret

MITI

http://www.monroeinfrared.com

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I have a protimeter.  So it does both contact and pin.  I carry it with my imager.  It gets used when I find an anomoly that could be moisture.  I would cite ." ...moisture present by IR image indications and moisture meter measure.  Further investigation is needed."

 

I am audit only therefore I could provide a list of contractors if requested.

 

 

Perfect info to know Johm, thanks for getting back to me!

I agree with John in terms of reporting both the observation using IR and confirmation using a moisture meter.  I also use the Protimeter. However, I present the worst case moisture % if done with the pin meter when its relevant to understanding the scope of the problem.    Its also important to note the relative scale (e.g., wood moisture equivalent) because each meter has its own relative measurement scale(s) - e.g., wood, plaster, concrete.  I have specific professional development training (more than a few courses) in diagnosing water and moisture problems, including certification in the use of IR, all of which I think are important in rendering credible professional opinions.

 

I would be interest in finding out if other people calibrate their moisture meters periodically.  There is an ASTM standard on that.  My guess is that most investigators don't do it and may not even know that field calibration is needed.

 

Re Bob's point on calibration, the Surveymaster has a calibration checker with it in the case. Worth using. For better or worse I own a lot of tools that need calibration by the manufacturer or a third-party lab. It's an expensive headache sometimes, but it's worth keeping a calibration record for all of your tools.
Thanks Bob- appreciate the input.

1- Do you currently use moisture meters with your IR imager to determine if moisture is present?

I use a Protimeter Surveymaster and a Tramex MEP.


2- Do you report the % of moisture present or simply that moisture is present?

I generally only report that moisture may be present. I take a photo of the meter and reading at any point of interest, and sometimes include one or more photos in a report.

 

3- Do you find the meters difficult to use? second part- what type of meter are you using, pin or surface?

Not difficult to use per se, but the difficulty can sometimes be in knowing whether or not a reading is accurate or not, and if not, why, and what the meter is or is not telling you.

 

4- Did you have specialized training on the moisture meters use or would you feel additional training on the use of moisture meters with IR beneficial?

No specialized training. Some would certainly be handy.

 

5- Anythign else to add?

Solid wood is the only easy thing to meter accurately. Everything else is harder. Some things are impossible with a meter, other methods are necessary. The tools we use give us clues, usually not answers.

Thanks also David!

I use a Protimeter Survey Master which had dual capabilities, contact and pins. If you don't  use a moisture meter to confirm your findings then you run the risk of misdiagnosing a problem. I typically don't quote the % but I do photograph the meter with the active reading.

I think moisture needs to be pointed out on these investigations.

Is this new territory for energy raters to add to their service and what would the liability be for missing such?

All raters should consider a signed disclosure by the customer that there are limits of liability here.

We are getting into the area that home inspectors are responsible for.

NOW: should a home inspector be adding the combustion safety and air leaking/undersized r-value of insulation to their reports.

I perform insurance IR for water/moisture damaged to homes. Should I mention air leaking, combustion safety, electrical issues that may show up in my IR report?

What about not seeing any co or smoke detectors when I walk through the customers home?

Oh Yea; I use a Fluke pin/radiometric moisture meter to confirm all heavy dark imagews that are suspect for moisture in all my work.

At a minimum your report should indicate the reason for the inspection (whatever the owner specifically asked you to investigate) and yes, you should try to limit your liability by using a signed agreement with the owner that does that in a reasonable way. There are lots of sample pre-inspection agreements out there on the web. My report includes a list of what I didn't inspect, a list of any obstacles that I encountered (like furniture against walls), and commentary on the distinctions between an energy audit and home inspection.

 

I don't think there's a lot of overlap between home inspections and energy audits. Are you looking at the condition of the roof, the plumbing, the electrical system, or the concrete foundation? I do think there are some things that home inspectors might be wise to look at (like CAZ depressurization) but don't due to the format and time limits of what they are asked to do. It seems likely to me that a hybrid home inspection/energy audit will become more commonplace in the future, and energy auditors would be wise to develop the necessary skills and licensing.

Thanks for the comments so far, keep them Coming in!

Please keep this on the easy track of are we curretnly using Moisture Meters and the information generally provided by the Energy Inspector. Once we get into the discussions on Home Inspectors, this is a great seperate topic of discussions.

I also agree that when Energy Inspectors are using thermal imaging, they should be extremly careful in what is disclosed about moisture, any readings they are providing and is the use of Moisture Meters causing problems with your Energy Inspection business. Liability is everyones concern.

If you have not reviewed the current RESNET Interium Guideline, please review at www.resnt.us

 

 

Hi Bret. Anything new to add concerning the RESNET IR regulations?

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