July 1, 2022

Manual vs. automatic moisture monitoring

Manual vs. automatic moisture monitoring
Automatic moisture monitoring
Woodsense automatic sensor on construction site

If you are using timber in constructions, you must be aware of the moisture content of the wood, as the amount of moisture can give rise to rot and mold growth. Moisture measurements help to prevent the wood from being damaged and is typically done through either manual or automatic solutions.

This article contains:

  • Moisture in wood
  • Signs of moisture in the house
  • Manual solutions for measuring moisture in wood
  • Advantages of automatic moisture measurement
  • Automatic solution eases the workload of moisture measurement and documentation

Moisture in wood and timber constructions

If wood is used in timber constructions, it is important to be aware of the moisture content of the wood, as the properties of the material are affected by its amount of water. If the moisture content is too high, the wood may be at risk of being damaged by rot and mold growth.

Often, a minor impact on moisture level will not have a significant influence on the building structure. If, on the other hand, there is a major moisture impact over a longer period of time, significant damage to the structure can occur.

A greater moisture impact of the timber can also occur in connection with a number of situations such as an undetected water damage in the house, building moisture due to insufficiently dried timber or rainwater which creeps into the materials during storage on the construction site.

Signs of moisture in the house

  • Condensation and moisture in windows can be a sign of insuffiecient ventilation and can lead to damage that requires major repair, if left untreated.
  • An odor of moisture in the house can be a strong indicator of an excessive level of moisture, and perhaps even incipient or existing mold, in the house.
  • Visible stains and visible water are also signs of water damage or a buildup of moisture.

How to measure moisture in wood

To get rid of moisture damage, it is necessary to test the moisture content in the wood both before, during and after using it in construction.

The moisture content of the wood is typically measured with electric moisture meters either with or without insertion needles. Often, the methods for measuring the moisture content of the wood are manual - here, it is necessary to physically measure the wood with the insertion meter to keep an eye on the wood moisture content.

Manual measurements require a relatively large workload, as the measurements must be carried out continuously and the moisture content of the wood must be documented thoroughly. It is sometimes necessary to also note weather conditions which may affect a possible causal explanation in the event of moisture damage.

prevent moisture damage
The Woodsense sensor for automatic monitoring is easy to use.

Advantages of automatic moisture measurement

In the case of moisture damage, it is important to react quickly, as the damage over time becomes increasingly difficult and expensive to repair. There are great advantages to continuous moisture monitoring, as it is possible to react to abnormal fluctuations and changes in moisture content much earlier. Thus, the automatic moisture monitoring enables an extension of life-expectancy of existing buildings.

In seasonal houses, it also makes sense to use an automatic moisture meter. Many cottages are closed and cold during the winter, which are ideal conditions for moisture and mold growth. If there is sudden water damage, damage to the roof or a broken window, it can change the conditions for the humidity level of the cottage.

Unless you visit your holiday home on a regular basis, it can take a while before the damage is discovered and can be repaired. With automatic moisture monitoring, you can continuously monitor your holiday home and be notified by the intelligent moisture alarm, if situations arise to which you must react.

With a wireless moisture sensor from Woodsense, data collection is carried out from both the timber elements and from the surrounding environment, including temperature and precipitation conditions. This makes it possible to catch moisture damage before or when it occurs - and not only after the damage has already occurred.

Automatic solution eases the workload of moisture measurement and documentation

Automatic moisture monitoring is also particularly advantageous in constructions where it can be difficult to perform moisture measurements manually, such as in attics or in roof constructions. With a battery-powered sensor, one can make precise measurements in difficult constructions which would not otherwise be possible to access manually.

With data collection from the timber and the surrounding environment, it is possible to localize the exact location of the damage and under which conditions it occurred. If the damage occurs in the factory, during transportation or during storage at construction site, it can be determined through the data collection.

Automatic moisture monitoring can also ease the workload of moisture measurement, as it is not necessary to perform manual moisture measurements. You can easily be notified by the intelligent moisture alarm if changes or abnormal fluctuations occur. In addition, with the intelligent data collection, you can draw reports for documentation in connection with quality control and insurance cases.

If you want to hear more about the automatic solution for moisture measurement, you can contact us here.

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