The walls were wet in the middle but not at the bottom? Why?
And that was the question. I couldn't answer it! I only knew what I found.
During the thermal image sweep of this condo I found walls and ceilings wet, but only on the lower level.
The areas were all under the kitchen. The reason?
Stitching together various thermal images into a panorama the conundrum comes alive.
The middle of the wall registered 100% moisture. And the floor registered 18%. You can see my footprints on the floor where I measured that wall.
How was that possible? Water and moisture flow down. The floor was too wet, and the middle of the wall, but the bottom of the wall and the floor molding was not.
The builder said everything was dry, and they had a report indicating that.
Apparently there had been a leak caused by a plumber in the sprinkler system over the kitchen pantry!
They replaced the flooring in the kitchen, and drywall in the pantry. So no moisture showed up there on the thermal image sweep.
But below, downstairs where my camera detected moisture, they had removed the lowest 6" of drywall in the walls and the floor molding. Why? To "dry" the walls!
And a report by an environmental company "proved" everything was dry, with hard to see, blurry photos of a moisture meter and another blurry photo of a thermal camera showing "no moisture" present in the wall. I thought the report was not very indicative of anything.
That report answered my questions!
Water had come down from above and wicked up from below, and the lower materials had been replaced, so the middle of the wall was wet, but not elsewhere. Yes the ceiling was wet, but those were different images.
My recommendation: here we have new construction where a problem happened and was "repaired." Did the repairs work? Not really. Everyone assumed the problem was solved and the buyer would not be the wiser. Thermal imaging proved the difference here. Don't do a new home inspection without thermal imaging!