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  1. #1
    Peter Louis's Avatar
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    Default mositure around toilet

    there is a little yellow light when I test moisture around toilet . How can I address to the clients? Thanks

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: mositure around toilet

    Throw your moisture meter away and use your eyes, ears and feet

    Yes, I'm kidding to some extent.... but, I'm in the minority crowd... I've never used a moisture meter and it saves me from having to ask the question you are asking. And, your question is the point of why I don't like them. With no other sign of a problem, what does the tool tell you? Nothing... all you can do is guess and speculate.

    On the other side of the coin... you feel softness around the toilet with your foot and see that all too familiar purple color to the floor covering yet your trusty MM shows nothing... do you still report on it?

    I'm sure the train lining up to bash me will be long (as it always is on this subject).... but I've never touched one in 10 years and it's never been a problem.... Yet, I've heard countless stories of false positives and other fear mongering about what "might be" or "could be" - Keep in mind everyone knows that before they hire us.


  3. #3
    Ken Rowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: mositure around toilet

    I agree with Matt. Without some other evidence besides a moisture meter reading I won't report it. On the other hand, I do have a moisture meter. But, without some other evidence seen first, I won't pull it out.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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  4. #4
    Peter Louis's Avatar
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    Default Re: mositure around toilet

    Yes, agree. We are hired to clarify the clients. but nowadays toilets are installed on the hard flooring. as we feel the softness around, is it too late? Should we ask the clients to do precautions other than the worse scenario?
    I just do not know what extent I should tell the client to go. just grouting/caulking or removing the fixture to check the wax?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: mositure around toilet

    I use the same meter, and run it around the base of every toilet I inspect, used properly it will detect moisture problems that would otherwise be overlooked.

    But... the readings are usually an indication of a potential problem, not a definitive diagnostic that one is present.

    Some things to keep in mind.

    1) Does the reading appear to be from a localized "point" source? If so, you are likely detecting some construction detail (for example, a fastener) rather than moisture.

    2) Is it roughly symmetrical on both sides of the toilet? If so, it's again less likely to be moisture.

    3) If a ceramic tile floor, is there (more) there tile or grout cracking in the vicinity of the elevated reading? A pattern of darker, moister grout? If wood, is there evidence of buckling or a difference in gap width relative to adjacent areas. If sheet vinyl, is there detachment from the surface below ("bubbling") or discoloration? If so, it's more likely you are reading moisture in the flooring and sub-flooring.

    4) What is the occupancy history? If this is a foreclosure, and the water's been off for months, and it's summer or fall, it's unlikely moisture would still be present even if there is a leak. Conversely, if this is a seldom used toilet, and the leak is bad enough, flushing several times and re-measuring before you leave my indicate a dramatically increased moisture level.

    5) Don't overlook the obvious. Is the toilet loose on the floor? Is there a stain where heavy condensation from the supply line to the tank has been dripping onto the floor?

    6) What's happening on the floor below? For example, if you can determine the toilet's location at a finished ceiling below take a reading there, even if there is no obvious damage at the surface. If it's elevated, there is almost certainly a leak above. (IR is often useful if you cannot be certain of the exact location of the toilet above.)

    Usually, if there is damage below the finished surface, you will observe some sort of evidence of its possible presence other than elevated moisture.

    If you do not, reporting becomes a judgment, call based on your experience with the meter and the moisture pattern you observe.

    In my own case if I observe a pattern of elevated moisture (I often chalk the edge of the reading out on the floor to help me visualize it, photograph it, and report it) that appears to me to suggest moisture wicking out below the surface, but no other evidence of a problem, I recommend that as a precaution the toilet be pulled and reseated, and the floor inspected for damage when the toilet is removed - whether this is done before or after closing, and at whose expense, is a matter for discussion between the buyer and seller.

    However since moisture intrusion inspections are around half my business I have a lot of experience with the meter, I'm confident that I've performed a careful investigation and I'm all too aware of the possible extent of hidden damage.

    YMMV.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 09-20-2010 at 10:04 AM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  6. #6
    John Kogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: mositure around toilet

    Just grouting or sealing around the toilet is wrong, don't mention that as a fix for anything.
    If there is a leak, the fix is a new wax seal.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
    Peter Louis's Avatar
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    Default Re: mositure around toilet

    So helpful. Thank you guys. Actually, I did not write into my report. I just talked to the client not to worry at this stage. watching & gave them this pic.


  8. #8
    mike huntzinger's Avatar
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    Default Re: mositure around toilet

    dont forget the overspray and or a fresh floor mopping, i like it when the home owner cleans up before I get there..


  9. #9
    Bob Elliott's Avatar
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    Default Re: mositure around toilet

    I only use it if the toilet is loose or I see evidence of Water Intrusion below.
    That could be pee for all you know or from their last shower.

    As stated above you will learn to use instincts over tools after awhile.


  10. #10
    Rick Bunzel's Avatar
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    Default Re: mositure around toilet

    Remember that we are doing a visual inspection. I only use a meter to confirm what I am seeing or feeling. If you consistently use a meter you could expose yourself to a damage claim that wasn't visible but would have been apparent if you ran a meter over it.

    For example, a leak from a 2nd floor fiberglass shower at that drain connection. I once had a callback for this type of situation. That drain could have been leaking but wasn't visible to the eye. Had I ran a meter across the ceiling I may have had higher readings. When the owner ask me why I hadn't, I told him that not our protocol. We only confirm our suspicious with the meters.

    //Rick
    Oak Harbor Home Inspections

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  11. #11
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    Default Re: mositure around toilet

    Had you been using IR, and found the leak below, you would never have had the call-back.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  12. #12
    Rick Bunzel's Avatar
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    Default Re: mositure around toilet

    Michael,

    Does that mean you do an IR survey on all your inspections???

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

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