Bring in the Dynamic Duo to Prevent Moisture Related Flooring Damage

Previously published by CFI eNews

Who or what is a Dynamic Duo? You’ve no doubt heard, watched, read about, or eaten many examples throughout your life. It’s pretty much any two people or things that work great together for amazing results. Whether it’s a Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder putting the kibosh on crime, peanut butter and jelly giving us a childhood to remember, Converse and high socks setting the trend at High School, or Sherlock Holmes and Watson reducing complex criminal clues to “Elementary my dear….” Well, you get the picture. But what you may not get is that there is such a duo available to assist the professional flooring installer in avoiding moisture-related flooring failures.

Orion 930

The Orion 930 is a dual depth pinless wood moisture meter.

We’ll start by introducing the Orion® 930 Dual Depth Pinless Wood Moisture Meter. This super-powered unit does not scale tall buildings but instead helps you determine the moisture content in the wood flooring to be installed and confirm whether the wood planks have reached an equilibrium moisture content that conforms to the manufacturer’s specifications. But there’s a big challenge that may still threaten the outcome of your flooring job. Ambient temperature and relative humidity conditions may change when the contractor is not on site. The installer may have no means to control the environment while they’re gone, but that doesn’t mean they can’t keep an eye on it.

Smart Logger with app

The Smart Logger can be placed at various locations on the job site where the installer may suspect or want to monitor ambient conditions.

That’s where the other member of our Dynamic Duo can save the day. Wagner Meters sells a sidekick-sized compact and discreet temperature and relative humidity data logger known as the Smart Logger™. The unit can be placed at various locations on the job site where the installer may suspect or want to monitor ambient conditions. The Smart Logger provides real-time monitoring and recording of ambient temperature and relative humidity with the capability to send up to 12,000 readings or 300 days of readings to the free Smart Logger app on your smart device. The Smart Logger app allows you to set recording intervals, program high and low alarm thresholds, and email reports directly from your device.

So, maybe this duo doesn’t taste good on bread or solve incredible mysteries, but they’re definitely a powerful team to have on your side in the battle against moisture-related flooring failures. Together the Smart Logger and Orion 930 Dynamic Duo can help you prevent moisture damage to a newly laid hardwood floor.

The Orion® 930

The Wagner Meters Orion 930 is a dual depth pinless wood moisture meter featuring the same near-legendary accuracy that has defined Wagner products for more than 50 years. It combines the features of the Orion 910 ¾” Deep Depth Moisture Meter and Orion 920 ¼” Shallow Depth Moisture Meter.

In addition to the features of these two moisture meters, the Orion 930 includes, in the ¾” deep mode, IntelliSense™ technology which significantly minimizes the impact of surface moisture on your readings. So, if your wood has collected a bit of rain or mist on the surface, you don’t have to wait to get accurate moisture readings, just simply wipe the moisture off the surface and take a reading. In the ¼” mode, the meter reads the moisture from the surface level down to ¼” inside the wood. When determining hardwood moisture content, the dual depth function gives the installer flexibility to read thinner flooring pieces.

Pinless moisture meters can be used to quickly scan large areas and indicate moisture content differences across the wood. Another advantage offered by pinless meters is accurate wood moisture readings without the damaging effects of pins used to puncture the wood surface to retrieve moisture readings.

Perhaps the most significant feature of the Wagner Orion meters is their ability to be calibrated to factory standards by the user, on site. This capability, featured by no other meter on the market, is the insurance policy that every flooring installer, woodworker, and quality inspector needs, but didn’t know it until now. The gist of the story is that, at any time, for any reason, the user can perform a one-minute procedure to ensure that their Orion moisture meter is accurate and calibrated to factory standards. This capability goes beyond the other meters’ “calibration reference” capability that merely tells you how far out of calibration the meter is before you have to send it to the company to be recalibrated. This is true calibration, wherever you are, whenever you want to.

There are many causes for temperature and humidity fluctuation at the job site that may influence ambient conditions during wood acclimation and flooring installation.

Site Conditions

Let’s paint a picture of a job site where the flooring installation is among the last stages of work to be performed on the construction project and you, the installer, walk into the installation site feeling the wet cold of a draft flowing through the room. The GC says “Yeah, sure… the guys always keep the HVAC going. It feels nice in here to me.” Feel free to substitute a residential homeowner if it’s more applicable. Would you proceed with the hardwood flooring installation with confidence that your floor won’t buckle or crown? Maybe if you had the means to monitor ambient conditions and prove whether service conditions were or were not optimal, this question might be a little easier to answer.

While the GC or residential homeowner is usually instructed to store the hardwood in the same ambient conditions that it will experience when laid as flooring, there is no guarantee that will be the case. The hardwood may be exposed to rain, flooding, intense heat or cold and other conditions that did not prevail when the contractor made the measurements during the site visit. If the hardwood flooring is laid under these adverse conditions, it is very likely that it will be subject to moisture damage.

Enter the Smart Logger

The Smart Logger can be used to monitor and record ambient temperature and humidity conditions when the flooring installers are not on site. It can also be used to monitor conditions during the flooring acclimation process and wood floor storage.

It uses Bluetooth® technology and, in conjunction with the Smart Logger app, can be used with mobile devices to transmit and record data. When necessary, it can be used to email reports.

Each Smart Logger is capable of recording and transmitting 12,000 readings or 300 days of temperature and relative humidity data for each job site, before the battery may need to be replaced.

The Smart Logger is mounted out of sight at a location such as a wall or a column to minimize the possibility of damage or tampering during site construction. For large areas, a number of loggers may be required to ensure adequate coverage.

The Dynamic Duo combination of the Orion 930 and the Smart Logger provide the flooring contractor powerful tools to ensure that the hardwood flooring is installed when wood and environmental conditions are within specification limits. This will minimize any potential moisture damage to the flooring after installation. Additional information on the Dynamic Duo devices may be found here. And, no, they don’t sell capes.

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