The first issue in investigating moisture problems is the source of the moisture. Sometimes, visual inspection can determine whether liquid water or vapor is involved, active mechanisms, and season when problem occurs. Frequently, however, the issue is not so clear, and diagnostic tools must be used to establish the source and transportation mechanisms. This paper identifies some diagnostic tools and techniques which have been used successfully to determine moisture sources and transport mechanisms. It also discusses the locations, frequency, and duration of tests required. Examples of the application of the techniques are provided to demonstrate the application of the tools. Opportunities for innovative diagnostic technologies will be discussed, as well as the need for standard protocols for evaluating moisture problems for comparing results and to allow the establishment of a data bank as a basis for developing future guidelines for preventing moisture problems in buildings.
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