Andrew Rynhart – Tramex Limited – Measuring & Documenting Moisture Content

Air Date: 11-22-2019|Episode 565

This week on IAQ Radio+ we welcome Tramex Ltd. CEO Andrew Rynhart. Moisture detection and measurement is vital to understanding building science, indoor air quality, disaster restoration and home performance. Nothing causes more building related issues that moisture! Join us this week to LEARN MORE about how moisture is detected and measured particularly in difficult to assess situation such as moisture in concrete.

Andrew Rynhart is the CEO of Tramex Ltd. He was taught from a young age about moisture in buildings from his father who was the founder of Tramex meters and inventor of the first commercially successful nondestructive moisture meters for building inspection. Andrew has been fortunate over the years to have learned a great deal about moisture in the building envelope from many of the world-leading technical people in Roofing, Flooring, IAQ, Water Damage, Pest Control and other industries who use these meters, in the United States, the UK, and Europe.

For more than 40 years, Tramex, has been an international leader in design and manufacturing of moisture and humidity meters Tramex’s heritage in innovation began with its foundation in 1974. Today Tramex continues to innovate, design and manufacture moisture meters for building inspection with the latest range of meters currently being launched. Andrew has been involved in their development every step of the way.

Z-Man’s Blog:

This week on IAQ Radio+ we welcome Tramex Ltd. CEO Andrew Rynhart. Moisture detection and measurement is vital to understanding building science, indoor air quality, disaster restoration and home performance. Nothing causes more building related issues than moisture! Join us this week to LEARN MORE about how moisture is detected and measured particularly in difficult to assess situations such as moisture in concrete.
Andrew Rynhart is the CEO of Tramex Ltd. From a young age, he was taught about moisture in buildings from his father, the founder of Tramex meters and inventor of the first commercially successful nondestructive moisture meters for building inspection. Over the course of his career, Andrew has learned a great deal about moisture in the building envelope from many of the world’s leading technical people in Roofing, Flooring, IAQ, Water Damage, Pest Control and other industries who use these meters, in the United States, the UK, and Europe.
For more than 40 years, Tramex has been an international leader in design and manufacturing of moisture and humidity meters. Tramex’s heritage in innovation began with its foundation in 1974. Today Tramex continues to innovate, design and manufacture moisture meters for building inspection with a range of meters currently being launched. Andrew has been involved in their development every step of the way.
Nuggets Mined from Today’s Episode:
Tramex’s roots are in moisture measurement in roofs, seeking an alternative to nuclear measuring devices. Worked in conjunction with Trinity College in Dublin to develop the roof scanner. Handheld devices followed.
Tramex’s largest market is the US, where contractors are focused on getting the job done and open minded to thinking outside the box.
Moisture ingress into buildings is usually weather dependent. Opines that the focus shouldn’t be on the volume of moisture ingress, but rather upon where the moisture came from and how far it’s spread.
Two requirements of product success, Tramex meters must read much and be easy to use.
Readings and measurements are different. Measurements are more accurate.
Tramex’s nondestructive moisture measure work by impedance utilizing 2 electrodes; one electrode sending and the other receiving.
Accuracy of meters is improved with shallow readings which are unaffected by underlying materials. For an accurate reading, the meter must only read one material.
In the water, damage restoration field moisture mapping is often more important than moisture measurement.
Saltwater holds moisture in place. Dried salts attract moisture.
Moisture Encounter 5- extension bracket for attachment of selfie stick so readings can be taken without bending or standing on a ladder. Bluetooth capable. Ability to make APPs. Has an extra small electrode pad which works at higher frequency for shallow readings that are unaffected by underlying materials. Can also be used on baseboards and carpets.
Concrete:
  • Measure air, measure surface temperature, measure RH of air, measure RH of material.
  • Concrete can take 20 years to dry. Some super concretes don’t absorb moisture.
  • Moisture moves through concrete in vapor form.
  • When water gets into concrete, it will come out at a similar rate.
  • The dielectric constant of water is 80 times what’s in concrete.
  • Surface modification through polishing, abrading or scrapped concrete, and uneven concrete pose challenges during measurement.
Mitigating New Concrete:
  • Most of the moisture found in concrete is from airborne sources.
  • Concrete is usually 1⁰F-1.5⁰F cooler than the air.
  • Concrete is prone to dewpoint problems.
  • Don’t waste money on sealers, create conditions for optimal drying: heat, air movement, dehumidification.
  • Create conditions for optimal drying: heat, air movement, dehumidification.
  • Measuring the top .75” of concrete is the most critical.
  • Concrete is moisture saturated at 4.5%-5%. RH may be saturated at different RHs of a material.
  • Some moisture needs to be removed from concrete so that the moisture contained in flooring adhesives will penetrate into the floor.
  • Measuring RH on concrete involves drilling a hole into the concrete, inserting a plastic sleeve, allowing 24 hours for heat from drilling friction to dissipate
Wood Moisture Equivalent:
The London Underground measured moisture content of concrete by boring a hole into concrete, inserting a wooden dowel, allowing 2 weeks for wood to reach equilibrium, then weighing dowel and then weighing dowel after evaporating moisture in an oven. The amount of moisture compared to the weight of the dry material is the Wood Moisture Equivalent. (Gravimetric method)
Water Activity:
Psychrometricsis the science of moisture in air. Dewpoint, RH, Specific Humidity, Wet Bulb versus Dry Bulb. How moisture interacts with materials is water activity. The closer to condensation-the closer to microbial amplification. Airborne moisture feeds the moisture to materials.
Final Comments:
  • Industry professionals need professional equipment.
  • Understanding product history is important.
  • Has the firm improved the industry by sharing and contributing knowledge and information to the industry? Did the firm originate and develop technology or have they simply copied it?
  • Support companies that support the industry.
  • Quality comes from passion.
Z-Man signing off
Trivia Question:
Name the term whose definition is: The measure of the opposition that an electrical circuit presents to a current when voltage is applied?
Trivia Answer:
Electrical impedance.
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