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Official damp test reports

PostPosted:Sat May 19, 2018 10:46 am
by Carren
Does anyone know where we can get an official damp test done and a written report? My caravan is insured with Camper Care who apparently will cover any moisture damage but you need to have some kind of documentation to state your caravan had no damage at the time you took out your insurance. I have only just realised this 18 months after taking out my policy. Just wondering if there is somewhere (South Canterbury) I could get one done. Camper Care might be ok if I can provide a written report now, even if it’s late.

Re: Official damp test reports

PostPosted:Sat May 19, 2018 1:39 pm
by RaymonD
Maybe a friendly Building Inspector, as they Damp test houses.

Re: Official damp test reports

PostPosted:Sat May 19, 2018 8:24 pm
by mattn
You can buy your own meter for about $50-$100 for a non-invasive one. Download forms used in the UK off the internet and do it yourself. Do it every 6 months and keep each record of the check on file, so you will see a pattern if things change.

Not sure if this would be adequate for the insurance company, but it would not hurt to ask they would be satisfied with a DIY job.

Re: Official damp test reports

PostPosted:Sat May 19, 2018 8:47 pm
by Carren
Thanks for the suggestions. If one is living full time in a caravan, would there be an acceptable level of moisture considering the fact that there is everyday breathing, cooking, water use etc? I have my vents open every day unless it’s raining, and open the vent above the oven when cooking (I don’t have an extractor fan). From what I’ve read online there seems to be conflicting opinions on what “acceptable level” of damp really means. Realistically, no caravan could be close to 0% damp could it?

Re: Official damp test reports

PostPosted:Sun May 20, 2018 8:57 am
by mattn
Yes, you are correct that there is no 'Acceptable level' , despite what people on the internet discussion boards post. Read a post fro a dealer who does not take action unless its over 30%, been working that way for years and has never had a claim a leak was not detected. There is money to be made doing work that is not needed.

Here a commonly used guide.
Readings between (0-15%) no cause for concern
Readings between (15-20%) dealer to make a note of these readings and re-check at next service.
Readings between (20-24%) possible early signs of ingress, look for tangible evidence or ask for a re-check.
Readings between (25-30%) moisture evident, remedial work required; may not need stripdown unless surface damage (staining, pimpling, and softness) is apparent. (There is a risk of wallboard deterioration due to retained moisture in the structure if resealed only.)
Reading (31 % and above) structural damage is occurring, deterioration inevitable. a full stripdown of the affected area is required.

But this is an over simplification. The moisture content of wood (and other porous materials) is determined by the humidify (which is affected by temperature) water contact and past moisture levels. After a hot Canterbury summer it my drop below 10%, but a damp Northland Winter will easily see it close to 20% . Living in a caravan increase humidity so I would not be surpirsed to see a lived in caravan approaching 20% (apparently danger levels). The problem is not dampness caused by living it, its leaks. Leaks will be localized (unless its leaking everywhere), so you are looking for spots with higher readings, not the reading itself.

The way I use my moisture meter is A-B tests. I get 13 here, and 12 on the other side, looks good. I get 25 here , but the same spot in the other three corners reads 25 - either I have 4 leaks, or something about those corners makes it read high.

Re: Official damp test reports

PostPosted:Wed May 23, 2018 1:55 pm
by johnny
Here is a link to a cheap firewood moisture test unit , might help with location of moisture in the structure. They are what they are .
https://www.trademe.co.nz/building-reno ... 68caab0ffe

Re: Official damp test reports

PostPosted:Wed May 23, 2018 4:38 pm
by mattn
They are pretty good, but they leave little pin holes where you have tested (My caravan has a few). I use a non invasive one (which is way more expensive) as I cna test anywhere and leave no marks.

At that price, I might get one and see how the two compare.... But as they say, 'A man with one watch always knows the time, a man with two is never sure.' :D