A homeowner was referred to me as someone who might be able to help him solve a serious moisture problem in his home here in Central New York. The caller’s home started out in the 1950s as what we near the Adirondacks refer to as a “camp,” but it had been greatly expanded and improved over the years, and such places are often really lovely.
He mentioned that the moisture problem is so severe that he has a commercial dehumidifier going 24/7/365 (366 in leap year), and he “sometimes opens all the doors to let the humidity out.”
“I see,” was the only thing I could possibly say.
My next move was to explain that I would need to visit the site and do a thorough evaluation in order to come up with what he could do to take control of the moisture level. Once we had met and discussed the situation, I would provide him with a detailed written workscope to resolve his issues (God willing and the creek don’t rise). This service would cost $X up front.
“$X!!!!” he exclaimed. “Yes, sir," I replied. (My ear is still ringing a little bit.)
Once he stopped spluttering, he continued: “Now you’re going to do one of those tests with the big fan, right?”
“Well, Sir,” I replied, “the blower door determines how much air leakage there is, and where those leaks are located. In your case, we are looking for sources of moisture. Based upon your description of what’s going on, I believe that the primary culprit is liquid water rather than air-borne water vapor. My first step is to determine why there is so much moisture that a commercial dehumidifier does not control it.”
“But I need one of those air exchanger things,” he grumped.
“I’ll be happy to come up and go over all this with you,” I said.
“$X and no big fan?? I’ll get back to you.”
I’m surprised in retrospect that he never asked if I was going to bring an infrared camera.