What Tools To Use For Finding Water Damage In Your Home?

If your Cary, Raleigh, Durham or Chapel Hill home has serious damage due to fire, wind, or water, call us immediately at 919-467-1991. We will show up soon and work fast to stop any further damage and begin the restoration process. We can work with your insurance company to make sure you pay as little as possible. We’re available around the clock, 7 days a week.

We’re often asked what kind of tools we use to locate and measure water in walls, floors, or any other part of a house that’s been flooded. Since it’s not always easy to spot places with water with just the naked eye, we have specialty tools designed to do the spotting for us.

The first tool we use is called a FLIR gun (forward looking infra-red), which has a digital screen that uses colors to show different temperatures on a surface. The FLIR gun is aimed at a surface of a potential wet area, and the warmer areas show up as red, and colder areas show up as blue. The sensors are incredibly sensitive and detect even a fraction of a degree difference. Why is temperature relevant to water? Well, as water evaporates, it cools the surface it’s evaporating from. If we see that there’s an area of a floor or wall that’s slightly cooler than the rest, it’s likely that there’s a bit of water in there.

To confirm, we use another tool called a moisture meter. It’s a small handheld device that has metal prongs that point out of the end. When placed against a surface, a small electrical current is passed through, and the resistance is measured. This allows it to accurately measure the moisture in surfaces, even as deep as an inch or two, depending on the material.

All surfaces will report a small level of moisture in them, even if no water damage is present. A wooden table top or section of drywall may report 5-10% moisture, but that’s normal. When the numbers come back much higher than that, it’s clear there’s a serious problem.

These tools are rather expensive, ranging between $500-$1000 each. You won’t find them at your local big box hardware store, either. If there’s ever any kind of water damage to your home, rather than try to buy these tools and handle it on your own, it’s recommended that you contact a professional. We’re available 24/7 through our emergency hot-line at 919-467-1991. Our trained and certified professionals will be able to determine the severity of the damage and work with your insurance company to keep your out of pocket costs to a minimum. As licensed contractors, we’ll not only be able to rip out all of the damaged drywall, and any other affected structure, we can rebuild your home as good as new.