Radiant Heating Design Guide

We've been trying out  OmniSense's FMS (Facility Monitoring System) which provides intelligent monitoring systems that combine wireless sensor networks and a reporting Web site for 7x24 monitoring of environmental parameters such as humidity, temperature and wood moisture content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the help of Chris Hoogenboom, it took only a few minutes to set up the sensors and gateway and after we initiated the system, it began recording data. You can see the first bits below in the two reports.  Stay tuned as we brings this project to conclusion.

This is an affordable, easy to use system that should be considered for those riskier moisture prone areas of a building to alarm the owner or operator of a pending problem...a proactive approach sure beats having to deal with the mold aftermath of a water damaged structure.


What can we share with students:

Healthcare professionals, lawyers, accountants and engineers are not the only ones exclusive to making mistakes.

As expected, the contractor stepped up and responded with professionalism...see our forum where we address how to pick good contractors.

Clients generally don't frequently check for potential moisture problems and by the time they do its too late.

Appropriate personal protective equipment is always necessary when dealing with extensive mold damage especially if one is using solutions of TSP and bleach.

UV lights work...we've never used them before but will recommend them as part of future clean up strategies.

Radiant heating systems and HRV's work well together for handling water damaged environments in dry climates.

It's not always necessary to do total destructive remediation work. Two considerations: Mold spores are ubiquitous (everywhere) and need warmth (relative), moisture and food. Remove one of the three supporting elements and the mold won't grow. In this case;

  • the moisture damage did not come from grey or black water (i.e., raw sewage)

  • the leak was due to workmanship and not a larger more difficult problem (i.e., ground water drainage)

  • the outdoor climate is generally cold to warm and dry

  • the area is not in a liveable space and the containment / remediation process worked well enough that it didn't disturb the client.

Technology has led to some very affordable and robust moisture and temperature monitoring systems that should be employed in riskier areas.


 

 

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Moisture and Temperature Monitoring - Preventive Strategies: Mold
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After a meeting with Lew Harriman, Director of Research & Consulting at Mason-Grant Consulting and lead author for ASHRAE's Humidity Control Design Guide we decided to employ some monitoring instruments on a water damage project that resulted in mold. This pipe leak was dripping for well over a year but was undetectable due to it's concealment and moisture containment within insulation and an installed poly capillary break which was wrapped up and around the bottom plate (think pool liner). Ultimately odour, stains and surface mould triggered a call to action and upon further destructive discovery, it became evident how extensive the moisture damage was. One stud and the bottom plate were completely saturated with mold evident on both sides of the drywall. Once the room was isolated and evacuated with a standalone direct ducted exhaust fan, the damaged materials were removed; drying began with the combination of the radiant wall and HRV that served the room. Additionally, we used long doses of UV light treatment to neutralize the mould growth and kill the odour. We have since installed the wireless OmniSense sensors for tracking moisture and temperature using one sensor on a dry stud for calibration of a second sensor located in the wet bottom plate. Data recording was initiated about three weeks after our initial clean up and you can see we are making headway but have a ways to go before we repair the wall....stand by for updates.


Water stains, surface mold and odor triggered this water damage alert

Wall after initial surface clean with TSP and bleach.

Removal of drywall reveals saturated insulation and adjoining drywall

Saturated stud and bottom plate after a year of water leakage. The plywood is the backing board for wainscoting on the other side.

Failed copper piping connection at the elbow was the culprit...fitting was at the very top of the wall on an inside corner.

Clean up with a mix of TSP and bleach for the second wipe down (interior)
 

UV light was then applied for long doses (four 8 hour on/off periods)
 

The two sensors mounted into the wood with antenna for data transmission...note the plate and stud drying nicely after being completely saturated.

 


Close up of the dry stud sensor with antenna...note the remnants of the poly cap break that wrapped the bottom plate and contained the leaked water

 

Above: this is a screen shot of an alarm we triggered to test the system - worked well. See data below for the two sensors we've installed.

Above: Report from sensor located on the bottom plate which was completely saturated.

Above: Report from sensor located on the dry stud which was attached to the  saturated bottom plate.

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