DF&A use gravimetric analysis to gain a quantitative measurement of the moisture content of a given material. Other methods of investigating moisture related damage, such as moisture meters, can often give erroneous results due to a number of factors, including: the conductivity of the material, salt content, as well as the construction method beneath the material being tested e.g. metals.
Gravimetric testing is the only means of getting a definitive quantification of the moisture retained within a material. A material sample (screed, concrete, plaster, brick etc.) is drilled from the surface, which is then placed inside the gravimetric balance. This essentially acts as a set of scales; weighing the material in its wet state, then heating it to a set temperature, then reweighing it. This differential is then provided as a moisture content percentage.
DF&A use gravimetric testing to:
- Establish if a material is wet
- Establish how wet it is
- Validate the effectiveness of a drying regime
- Understand the extent and severity of moisture within a property