While we are in the midst of the 2019 hurricane season, you may find that you have avoided the effects of a major storm at your home or workplace so far, but if you’ve lived in the path of some of the major storms we’ve experienced already, chances are you aren’t without some wind or water damage.
Even when a storm is downgraded to a post-tropical storm, like Dorian, there is still lots of damage that can happen. In fact, that was the most powerful tropical cyclone to hit parts of the Atlantic. Powerful gusts of wind and water devastated some regions, and even where the storm didn’t do nearly as much damage, Dorian knocked over trees, took shutters, loosened shingles, and more.
But where some of the major damage can truly lie is where unresolved moisture wreaks havoc on your home. The best tool you can have on hand to combat damage from rain and flooding? A reliable moisture meter.
Check Your Roof
Whether the damage is visible or not, a hurricane may have loosed shingles enough to allow water to creep in and rot the structure of your home from the top down.
A visual inspection of your roof is a great way to discover any preliminary damage. But as you make necessary repairs after a major storm, you will also want to quickly discover any moisture seeping in before it causes too much damage to your home.
You can use a moisture meter to learn whether or not water is working its way through a roof that has been compromised by gale-force winds and heavy rain.
Roofs are especially susceptible to wind damage from a hurricane at their corners, perimeters, and joints. A thorough investigation of these areas, along with the areas surrounding any loose or damaged shingles, are all great places to start to locate damage that can allow water to seep into your home.
The best moisture meters to use to check your roof for water damage? Kett’s HI520-02 not only measures concrete, drywall, and mortar, but they also measure through shingles and deep into the sublayers to evaluate your roof sheathing for moisture. The HB300 universal moisture meter is also able to read below the shingles and test the roof sheathing for moisture.
Inspect Your Drywall, Frame, and Insulation
There’s a lot going on behind your walls: insulation, cables, ducts, and plumbing, not to mention the actual framework of the home itself. If your home was exposed to serious amounts of water, chances are, much of the affected framework will need to be replaced, as will any drywall and insulation that has come into contact with water.
Drywall and insulation will need to be removed and replaced well above any visible watermarks that may be left after any flooding or standing water subsides. Exposure to water will weaken drywall and cause swelling, bulging, and crumbling, while insulation may quickly become a host to dangerous mold.
Drywall may seem perfectly fine at first glance, but you will want to use a moisture meter to be totally sure that your walls are free from moisture damage. You can rely on a Universal Moisture Meter or even a Near-Infrared Moisture Meter to give you consistently accurate readings of the levels of moisture throughout your home.
However, the very best moisture meter to use to assess the extent of water damage to drywall is the Advanced Instant Concrete Moisture Meter, which has specific calibrations for checking moisture levels in drywall.
Wood that has been exposed to water and flooding can be susceptible to dry rot, so checking with a Wood Moisture Tester that wood has properly dried can save you from losing structural integrity as a result of dry rot. Be sure to check carefully around window and door frames for moisture, where powerful winds can shift joints, and water can find its way in.
Major Structural Damage
If you’re lucky (and prepared), a few loose pieces of siding or flapping shingles will be the extent of the damage to your home. But if powerful winds, downed trees, or major flooding have caused extensive structural issues, chances are your home has been exposed to a significant amount of water from rain or flash floods.
When homes are ripped open or flooded, it’s important to discover the extent of the damage: Just how far did the water creep into your home? Is only one area of the home affected? What all needs to be replaced?
If your home has incurred major structural damage, the best way to discover what is salvageable is to check what is dry, and intact. A moisture meter will be able to give you many of these answers.
Using a moisture meter can help you locate exactly just how much of your home has been exposed to moisture, so you can save what is dry and safe, and rebuild only what is necessary. Since not all water damage is visible to the naked eye, a moisture meter can tell you exactly what needs to be replaced as you rebuild after the storm.
You can weather the storm of rebuilding, just as you weathered the actual storm--if you have the right tools on hand. Contact us today to see which moisture meter is best for your needs, so you can repair your home after hurricane season, and life can return to dry, safe normal.