Moisture Meters- A Critical Tool In Understanding Water Damage

Sper Scientific Moisture meter


It’s important to be able to quickly assess and understand the extent of water damage throughout a house or business in the aftermath of a flood. A moisture meter, a simple and relatively inexpensive tool, can help homeowners and businesses by providing the necessary information to insurance companies and potentially saving them thousands of dollars in future repair costs.

Getting your home or business clean and dry is an important way to keep it healthy. With excess moisture, mold and mildew can develop and bacteria can multiply. That’s why many building inspectors, insurance claim adjusters, and contractors use moisture meters during and after completion of flood cleanup or other water restoration/remediation work to ensure that structures are properly dried.

Aside from detecting potential problem areas, moisture meters also serve a role in streamlining the restoration process. The ability to precisely detect water damage and moisture pockets within a surface, allows property owners to save thousands in repairs. Contractors can effectively focus their work in the most at risk and damaged areas by using a meter to locate spots that have the most moisture.

Moisture meters can reach areas that may otherwise be overlooked or not considered as being affected by moisture. These areas include, but are not limited to property foundation; basement walls, flooring and structural bases; spaces between layers of drywall; plaster and insulation; concrete subfloors; and surfaces beneath carpet and tile. Identifying potential damage to these lesser-suspected areas can save thousands of dollars in repairs later.

Using moisture meters to precisely measure penetration levels during the repair and drying process assures that damaged areas are properly repaired and reinforced. Effectively structural drying is a process and moisture meters can also measure the progress of repairs and help to identify and eliminate trapped moisture.

Basically, there are two type of moisture meters: Pin type and Pinless. Pin type meters have sharp, needle-like pins that are designed to be stuck directly into the wood or material to be tested. Their built-in pins measure electrical resistance between the pins, which is affected by the moisture content in the material. The pinless type are non-penetrating meters which have an electrode plate that is simply placed in contact with the material surface and generates an electrical field to measure relative moisture content. Both types of meters will get the job done.

Moisture meters are especially necessary for woodworking because wood is extremely susceptible to moisture fluctuation. Knowing when wood is ready to be worked or finished often determines a project’s success or failure.

Homeowners and Do-It-Yourselfers can also benefit from using a moisture meter for a variety of reasons. Homeowners will want to know what they’re in for when it comes to repairs. By being able to make an initial assessment of the damage they can better work with a contractor to determine the best course of action to suit their needs and budget. In addition, a meter is invaluable when it comes to insurance claims, by helping property owners file in-depth flood insurance claims which detail the damage in actual numbers. They can save thousands of dollars in repairs when the water presence and damage is accurately documented immediately following a flood.

Sper Scientific’s pin-type multifunction pocket moisture meter- 850001. Accurately reads elevated moisture content in seven material group settings cover various woods, cement, concrete, mortar, plaster, and brick. Also displays ambient RH, dew point, wet bulb, maximum and minimum temperatures. The pins are minimally invasive while still having the strength to penetrate up to 5 mm through the hardest materials.

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