Moisture Measurement Guide for Building Envelope Applications

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TypeTechnical Report
Series titleResearch Report (National Research Council Canada. Institute for Research in Construction); no. RR-190
Physical description34 p.
Subjectmoisture sensors, field measurement, building envelope
AbstractMoisture measurement is an important consideration in building envelope investigations because of moisture impact on the performance and durability of buildings. This document reviews literature and describes moisture measurement methods for field monitoring applications of building envelopes with emphasis on continuous monitoring applications. Example measurements and guidance on applications of moisture measurement methods are also presented. Reviewed measurement methods are grouped according to measurement principles (resistance-, voltage-, capacitance-, microwave-, or thermal-based methods). Moisture measurement methods have various capabilities. Some moisture measurement methods are used to warn of excessive moisture conditions in the building envelope particularly in hidden or difficult to access areas. Other methods can quantify moisture content for some materials such as timber, while providing comparative moisture measurements for other building materials. Calibration data and temperature correction factors are readily available for various timber species. For other building materials, calibration data are quite limited, and in this case, sensors could only indicate changes in material wetness.Resistance and voltage-based sensors are most suitable for continuous monitoring applications. They can be readily connected to a data logging system. Voltage-based moisture sensors are usually used to measure time-of-wetness of surfaces. Their main weakness is durability, which can be quite short in outdoor applications. Resistance-based sensors are used to monitor changes in wetness level within materials as well as time-of-wetness of surfaces. They are durable and can be fabricated in-house. Their challenge is for an instrumentation system that can measure a wide range of electrical resistance from few ohms to several hundred M . Alternatively, electric resistances can be measured indirectly in terms of voltage using a half-bridge electric circuit.
Publication date
PublisherNational Research Council Canada
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC numberNRC-IRC-16886
NPARC number20377603
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Record identifier04229a2b-9acc-46bd-ac36-f8022dd50818
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2017-06-15
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