Non-invasive moisture detection allows Restorex Disaster Restoration team members to find the amount/scope/extent of water damage without damaging finished materials of a home.

This allows us to give our customers the opportunity to understand the extent of the water damage first.

Then they can make an educated decision, with the expert advice from our trained technicians, on how to handle the water damage situation, without doing significant damage to materials inside a home or business.

We have a couple ways we can accomplish non-invasive moisture detection. These are explained below.


These types of meters are good for determining an initial extent and scope of water damage that do not cause any further damage to structural materials.
We use a GE Survey Master that has the ability to read the presence of moisture up to ½ to ¾ of an inch into a structural material.  Watch a quick video about the GE Survey Master.

This is a great way for us to do a quick check for the presence of moisture. It reads on a relative scale and gives a reading that we can compare to a dry piece of the same material to determine if that reading is normal or if it has absorbed excess moisture.


Infrared Thermography is a fancy way of saying infrared camera. We use FLIR infrared cameras as another non-invasive method to detect water damage in structural materials.

Infrared camera’s read temperature differentials to determine where water damage may have occurred. As materials become saturated with water they show up on our infrared cameras as a dark blue color or cooler material compared to dry materials.

This happens due to evaporating cooling. When water evaporates into a vapor is creates a cooling affect that will leave the wet materials cooler than they were before, allowing us to find water damage that may not be completely obvious to the naked eye

Picture of a ceiling that has been affected by water damage without using infrared camera
Image of an interior wall affected by water damage

Image of ceiling with affected by water damage using an infra camera highlighting the areas that were affected by water in dark blue

Figure 1: Image of wall using infrared camera showing in blue the areas that have been affected by water damage

Image of carpet and pad affected by water damage in the basement

Picture of a ceiling Image of the wet carpet and pad using an infrared camera exposing the areas that are affected by the water has been affected by water damage without using infrared camera


Invasive Moisture Detection involves penetrating a material to determine if it has absorbed excess water during a water damage event. Typically, invasive moisture detection occurs once the customer has determined that they need and want professional help with their water damage project and we are beginning to start a more thorough investigation of the extent of water damage in the structural materials.


We use a Delmhorst BD 2100 as our main penetrating moisture detection meter. The BD 2100 has two pins extruding from the top of the meter that are used to penetrate a saturated material to determine the amount moisture contained in it. The meter also has two attachments that allows us to detect moisture in insulated walls as well as hard to reach places.

In order for us to determine that the entire material has been dried back to its original moisture content we have to extend the pins on the meter by inserting screws through the entire thickness of the wet materials to ensure we are drying every layer properly. This is especially important in materials such as subfloor or when there are multiple wet layers such as 2 layers of drywall.

The Delmhorst penetrating moisture meter is being used in conjunction with two screws connected to wire that is penetrating two layers of 5/8″ drywall to read the moisture content in a ceiling that has been affected by water damage

The penetrating moisture meter is being used here to measure the moisture content of a wood subfloor that has just been dried from a previous water damage incident


After determining the initial scope of the water damage by utilizing less invasive techniques sometimes it is necessary to investigate by conservatively removing wet structural materials in order to discover the full extent of the water damage. We start by cutting “test holes” in materials to see what damage is behind the walls, in the ceilings, or under floors.

A test hole was cut into an insulated interior wall in order to determine if the drywall and the batt insulation was wet due to water damage

A test hole was cut in a garage ceiling to determine the amount of water damage in the insulated cavity above. After discovering saturated insulation, the decision was made to remove the insulation a minor amount of drywall.

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