The potential dangers of moisture to buildings are too huge and undesirable.
For this reason, it is sensible to take these measurements and adopt appropriate steps to mitigate them as well.
This topic forms our subject in the proceeding discussions.
The Importance Of Moisture Measurements
The number one reason why moisture levels are measured is to assess the damages. It helps to get to know the extent of the damage as well as those areas that are hardest hits. This equips you with the information you require to make the necessary interventions.
Mitigate Further Damage
By knowing the extent of the existing damage, it may be possible for you to mitigate further damage. This is because such knowledge helps you to map out the affected areas and make projections on the areas that are more likely to be affected next.
Take Appropriate Proactive Steps
Definitely, such measurements will empower you to take proactive steps that are aimed at lessening the existing damage and preventing any further damages. By knowing the extent of the damage, you will be able to devise the steps necessary to forestall further damages.
Determine the Affected Areas
Taking these measurements will definitely help you to determine the affected areas of your homes, walls or furniture. Such a piece of knowledge will usually empower you to contain the damages effectively. They also help you to devise the necessary preventive steps.
Prevent Attendant Accidents
By knowing how badly your furniture, floor or wall is affected, it is possible for you to prevent any accidents that ordinarily arise thereafter. This is because you will know the portions of these areas of your homes that are worst affected and how to stay away from them.
What Is A Moisture Meter
A moisture meter is a special measuring device which is used to detect the amount of moisture on a surface.
These surfaces are walls, pieces of furniture, the floor, and even heavy upholstery like the carpets.
They display the readings on some display units for you to view.
11 Best Moisture Meter Reviews
#1: General Tools MMD7NP Moisture Meter, Pin-less, Digital LCD with Tricolor Bar Graph
If you are a do-it-yourselfer who has no prior experience in the field of moisture meters, you probably want to pay greater attention to this mini-review. This stems from the simplistic nature of this moisture meter, a fact that makes it quite simpler to get started in and suited for your use.
This detector contains separate and unique settings for a variety of tasks and functionalities. These include the use for detecting moisture on the softwood, hardwood, masonry, and the drywall. They simplify the task of testing for moisture considerably.
Higher Sensing Depth
With this detector, it is possible for you to sense moisture up to a depth of around 20 mm (0.75 inches). This comes along with an accuracy of around +/-4% accuracy on wood. You are thus certain to obtain measurements that are nearly relevant to your unique needs as possible.
Unlike most other detectors, this one is not manual in that it is auto-calibrating. This simply means that it does not require your input or intervention to sense depths or take any measurements. The end result of this is expedited time and effort on your part.
- Adopts a non-invasive moisture detection mechanism
- Does not mar the surfaces impacted
- Suitable for the detection of moisture under the finished surfaces
- Contains an out-of-range alarm to alert you of the progress of detection
- Its low battery indicator will let you know if it is time to change the batteries
- Backed an incomprehensive 1-year warranty
- Quite complicated to a complete novice
- Too power-dependent which may prove undesirable with lack of power
#2: General Tools MMD4E Moisture Meter, Pin Type, Digital LCD
Given the sophisticated and demanding nature of building and construction, it is necessary that the contractors possess an equally reliable piece of equipment. This is the kind of instrument which is designed for such kinds of tasks. Its tough and comprehensive nature makes this a possibility.
Easy-to-read LCD Display
An easy-to-read LCD display unit tops the charts of the most admirable features of this moisture meter. It is on this particular display that you keep track of the various activities and feats that are in progress. Moreover, it makes room for quick and easy viewing of the tasks in progress.
On the whole, the meter is designed in an ergonomic size. As such, it easily fits in one hand and is therefore convenient to carry around and store. This is a far cry from most alternatives that are ordinarily too bulky and cumbersome to handle.
Stainless Steel Pins
Some stainless steel pins do exist on the meter. It is these pins which you stick on a surface to be able to obtain the necessary readings. Being made of stainless steel, they are strong, non-corrosive, and generally make more accurate readings, all factors considered.
- Plays a great role in warding off water damage
- Possesses a wide and precise measuring range
- Serves as a water leak detector after the flood damage, or general water damages
- Makes use of pin sensors which are more accurate on the whole
- Acts as the first line of defense against the infestations of molds
- May pose some damage to the surfaces measured
- Reaches a shallower depth and is thus not so reliable
- Prone to damages and is in need of constant repairs
#3: Dr.meter Digital Portable Wood Water Moisture Tester
If the material you have in mind is wood and only wood, you need a special and separate moisture detector. This is where this particular meter comes in. It, by its sheer nature, design, and scope, is wholly intended for the detection of moisture on wood and wood alone.
This moisture detector is generally capable of delivering very accurate readings. As such, any possibilities of unrealistic variations arising are kept to an absolute minimum. You may, therefore, trust the readings under whichever circumstance of use.
Higher Measuring Range
By reason of being able to detect measurements within 5% – 40% and an accuracy of around 1%, this detector is indeed truly reliable. You may comfortably use it for all kinds of measurements such as flood, damp conditions, and general infestations of the moisture.
2 Spare Integrated Sensor Pins
Some two spare integrated sensor pins do exist which are there for your use in times of emergencies. They allow for smooth and unhindered replacements in case such a need arises. They hence guarantee you a prolonged life and detection undertaking.
- Holds data in memory for simplified readings
- Changes the sensor pins on the basis of the prevailing application
- Smaller in size and takes up less space
- Easier to operate and carry around
- Possesses a low-power indicator for your use and alertness
- Calls for some degree of expertise to operate
- Impacts only wooden surfaces
- Delivers lower value for money
#4: AMPHENOL THERMOMETRICS BLD2000 Mini Moisture Meter
Perhaps no other moisture detector is as suited for general purpose applications as this one. With this device, it is possible for you to handle a wide range of chores and tasks that are related to the detection of moisture. You will hence find it handy if you are a contractor, home inspector, manufacturer or trader.
Bright LED Display
For the avoidance of any doubts, a bright LED display unit exists for your use. It makes room for extra clarity while displaying the measurements that are taken. This means you will hardly encounter any ambiguities while obtaining the various measurements you are interested in.
Durable and Rugged Design
It does come in the form of a durable and rugged design. In light of this, it is super strong and pretty resistant to the various elements of wear and tear. It is this particular trait that makes it suited for long-lasting performances and outcomes.
Color-coded Moisture Scale
Unlike the ordinary detectors, this one takes you farther than just detecting the moisture. It helps you to identify the severity of the water damage easily, just by looking. This stems from its possession of a color-coded moisture scale which classifies the outcomes as dry, damp, or borderline respectively.
- Backed by a whopping 24-month warranty
- Comfortable to hold and easy to use
- Has an auto-shutoff mechanism for increased battery life
- Leaves behind no ugly marks
- Safeguarded against mechanical or manufacturing defects
- Accommodates fewer accessories
- Wholly dependent on batteries to function
- Quite cumbersome to carry around
#5: Protimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster Dual-Function Moisture Meter
Why waste your time while taking measurements? Get hold of this moisture detector to simplify the process of doing so. With the ability to search for and measure the extent of moisture, this device is indeed a nice possession. It accords you two-in-one outcomes at a time!
Two Operational Modes
As stated, this meter is two-in-one in the sense that it can search and measure moisture levels at the same time. This stems from its availability in two operational modes i.e. the pin-less and the pin-type respectively. Switching back and forth these two modes is easier and hence quite convenient.
The device comes in the form of the rugged construction. With regards to this, it is very durable and rarely breaks down at all. It subsequently guarantees you longer lasting operational cycles. This also reduces your costs of repairs and maintenance considerably.
In all, the device can pair and work well with a wide range of accessories and plugins. These extend the range of its functionality and make you obtain a higher value for money. You are also freed from the need to purchase numerous items of these kinds for use at any given time.
- Has a large backlit display unit to showcase the readings
- Delivers pin moisture measurements which are more accurate
- Non-invasive measurement which reaches 20 mm below the surface
- One-handed operation simplifies your operations
- Contains improved parts and features
- Moderately sophisticated for the ordinary user
- Costs more to acquire and afford
- Demands too costly repairs and maintenance
#6: Wagner MMC220 Extended Range Wood Moisture Meter
Obtaining the right measurements ought not to be too daunting and time-consuming. You only need to lay your hand on an accurate and reliable moisture detector of this kind to be able to do so easily. It is generally faster and delivers more instant outcomes.
The digital display displays the measurements in an accurate and instant manner. It, in so doing eliminates any possibilities of arriving at ambiguous outcomes and other errors. What’s more? It also maintains the accuracy of the readings for effective decision making.
True In-field Calibration
In-field calibration entails the alteration of the markings or graduations while the measurement exercise is in progress. It saves time and allows for the attainment of more accurate and reliable measurement outcomes. This feature greatly expedites the process of capturing measurements.
Lastly comes the industry-leading ‘on-demand calibrator’ functionality. This allows you to maintain your moisture meter to the prevailing factory standards. With this arrangement in mind, it is indeed convenient for you to re-calibrate the meter as need be.
- Measures from 5 to 30% moisture contents
- Reaches an impressive depth of around 0.75 inches
- Allows you to select species settings as per your need
- Negates the need to refer to correctional tables upon taking readings
- Virtually unaffected by temperature or surface moisture
- May not work well on other surfaces besides wood
- Not so great a purchase indeed
- Likely to be affected by weather and extreme moisture
#7: Dr.meter Upgraded Inductive Pin-less Tools
For the sake of tackling crucial infrastructural projects, you cannot afford to gamble with the kinds of readings you obtain. It is because of this that you have to bring in an accurate and clearly legible moisture meter like this one.
With 10 option grades of timber density, this meter is able to detect varying degrees of moisture on various densities and kinds of woods. Its accuracy lies within the range of 4-80% and has a maximum error of only 1%. You just can never receive wrong measurements by engaging this particular meter.
An auto-off function forms a vital part of this meter. In case the meter stays idle for around five minutes, it automatically shuts off. This saves you power and also reduces the possibilities of accidents arising to a realistic absolute minimum.
To further enhance the accuracy of the readings you obtain from the meter, it comes along with a calibration indicator. This basically keeps you posted of the measurements and the calibrations at any given time. In light of this, you are more likely to obtain better and reliable readings.
- Does not pierce the surfaces of materials at all
- Pretty effective at obtaining measurements from wood
- Manufactured by an awesome and reliable brand
- Poses no damages to the objects that are tested
- Backed by lifetime support and guarantee
- High power consumption means higher utility bills
- Prone to interferences with other electronics
- May disparage a do-it-yourselfer or novice
#8: Digital Moisture Meter, LIUMY ± 0.5% Accuracy Wood Moisture Meter
For general purpose wood moisture measurements, you want to place your bet on a multipurpose moisture meter of this kind. This meter stands apart from the others in the sense that it is not optimized for any specific task and is thus a general purpose tool.
ABS Plastic Meter Housing
The entire meter is housed in an ABS plastic meter housing. This casing is ordinarily strong, tough, durable, and pretty resilient to the common elements of wear and tear. As such, it is certain to confer to you years of dependable services.
Data Retention Function
A data retention function does exist in this moisture meter. It is this function that memorizes the various commands which you later use to perform the same functions at a later date. This functionality saves you a great deal of time and eliminates unnecessary redundancies.
This meter is so designed in such a manner as to switch itself off after staying idle for around 15 minutes. By reason of this feature, you will not have to pay too much attention or have to be individually physical present at the device throughout its operations.
- Supported by a friendly and reliable customer service regime
- Wider measurement range of around 0 – 99.9%
- Its resolution is also great (0.1%)
- The accuracy is also awesome (+/- 0.5%)
- Takes less power to function (requires only 9V of battery)
- Unsuitable for professional applications
- Has no outstanding part or component
- May not yield many reliable outcomes
#9: Lignomat Moisture Meter Mini-Ligno E/D
Industrial applications are ordinarily too daunting to carry out successfully. Only specially designed moisture detection meters which are suited for the jobs may guarantee the convenience necessary. This is that kind of a meter. It is on the whole suited for detecting industrial and craft-type applications.
To handle the meter, you will make use of a green cap in which you will slot in your hands. The cap also covers the pins in the course of the transportation of the meter altogether. It hence contributes to the overall safety of the meter whenever it is being engaged.
Bright Red Numeric Display
A bright red numeric display does exist to showcase the progress of the various tasks that are ongoing. Courtesy of this display, you will be able to receive accurate moisture readings which are also devoid of any errors. Being bright red, it is clearly legible even in pitch darkness.
Higher Measuring Depth
The meter is able to penetrate to depths of around 3/16 inches to 7/16 inches. This deeper depth is great as it sees to it that the moisture is detected when the threats and adverse side effects are still a far off. By reason of this arrangement, you also get to mitigate the damages considerably.
- Nice and comfortable measuring range
- Built-in calibration for expedited measurements
- Calibration for domestic species
- Simpler to engage and obtain readings from
- Have longer pins stored inside the meter to measure thicker materials
- Inflicts higher maintenance and operational expenses
- Not for ordinary home or general purpose use
- Lacks a couple of vital features and components
#10: Tramex MEP Moisture Encounter plus Moisture Meter
If the materials you have in mind are too thick, you have to bring in a specially designed meter which is equally reliable in detecting moisture that is available in such depths. Look to no other meter than this as it is the one that most likely fits that bill perfectly well.
Wide Reading Range
You will obtain readings that fluctuate in value with a 5% to 30% variation. This range is pretty wide as to be able to accommodate all kinds of measurements obtainable. The chances of making mistakes or arriving at readings which are outside a desirable range are hence eliminated.
Deep Signal Penetration
By virtue of being capable to penetrate to depths over 1 inch into the wood, this meter tests materials without necessarily predisposing them to any forms of damages at all. This is good news for industrial applications as it leaves the items intact.
Three Ranges of Sensitivity
Forming a vital part of this meter is the three ranges of sensitivity. By virtue of this sensitivity, it is possible for you to detect moisture in wood/timber, plaster/brick, and drywall/roofing. This comprehensiveness guarantees you awesome outcomes and a fair degree of convenience at any given time.
- This Trammel MEP Moisture Encounter Plus is generally reliable
- On the whole, quite non-destructive in nature and is thus safe for use
- Finds applications in numerous industries and purposes
- Has many unique features which set it apart from the others
- Faster, more versatile, and precise in taking measurements
- Too complicated to a simpler user
- May not serve everyday needs and purposes conveniently
- Inflicts higher acquisition costs
#11: Calculated Industries 7440 AccuMASTER XT Digital Moisture Meter
Are you a serious homeowner who is keen on keeping his home in the best shape and form at all times? Consider leveraging the awesome power of this particular moisture meter. As you are about to see, it is well suited for ordinary home use and applications.
This meter stands apart from the rest in the manner in which it showcases the outcomes of the measurements. It makes use of audio alerts and icons rather than text and graphic. The chances of missing out on the outcomes are therefore very rare and almost insignificant.
With this meter, it is possible to measure moisture levels in concrete, wood, and many other materials. This variable applicability sees to it that no material is left out and that you require no many other co-operant factors to have your way.
It does have some super-sharp pins that are mounted onto the wood to obtain the measurements. These pins are able to penetrate greater depths, are non-invasive and deliver readings that are pretty accurate. They are hence very reliable and great for repeated use and applications.
- Has an automatic shut-off mechanism to save you power
- Built-in calibration test pins expedite the time for taking measurements
- A large easy-to-read backlit screen displays the outputs
- The sturdy and hand-friendly body maintains the gadget in a stable working condition for longer
- Hold key freezes readings when necessary
- Has the potential to tear out the surfaces impacted
- Works on comparatively fewer surfaces
- Prone to damages and incidences of breaking apart
Benefits Of Moisture Meters
Compact in Size
Most moisture meters are compact in size. They are subsequently easier to carry around as the need may require. This is not to mention that they take up less storage space and are therefore convenient to make good use of.
Simpler to Operate
The typical measuring meter is designed for use by a do-it-yourselfer. As such, it is devoid any sophisticated parts and components that more complex machines possess. For these reasons, they are simpler to operate and do not require too much technical expertise.
Comes up with Accurate Measurements
At the core of their benefits is the fact that they allow you to come up with very accurate measurements. They are designed to be highly responsive and able to respond to the least of triggers and impulses.
Require no Prior Installation
Most of these meters are availed when fully assembled. As such, they require no prior installations or assembly on your part. They are on the contrary ready to go and easily deployable for use. This is great if you have limited time at your disposal or lack the relevant technical expertise.
Aids in Restoration
If you have suffered severe water damage, you will generally find the moisture meters great possessions. This is because they play a great role in restoring these parts and components to their original or rightful working conditions.
Types Of Moisture Meter
Many kinds of moisture meters do abound. However, three of these kinds stand apart from the rest. They are outlined and explained here below:
This kind of meter measures the percentage of the moisture contents at the depth of the head of the respective contact pins. They possess two pins which penetrate the surfaces to be measured of the moisture. It is mostly useful for surfaces that are penetrable.
Unlike the pin-type counterpart, this one lacks the pin. Instead, it makes use of the electric impedance to detect the moisture. As such, it is non-invasive and hardly damages the objects to be measured. Its over-reliance on electrical power to operate, it is not so reliable in the long run.
As the name suggests, this one incorporates the vital traits of the pin-type and the pin-less kinds of moisture detectors. With regards to this, it can function both manually and electrically at a time. It is hence all the more convenient to utilize and rely on.
How Does A Moisture Meter Work?
The workings of the moisture meter depend mainly on its type. A pin-type moisture meter will pierce the surface to be measured using the pins. These pins pick up the signals or traces of moisture and relay the same to the body of the device for interpretation. Upon interpreting the incoming signals, the device showcases the outcomes on the display unit.
As for the pin-less types, the detection of moisture is carried out mainly by the use of electrical impedance. This refers to the resistance of an electric circuit whenever an obstacle is confronted. This resistance is picked up and interpreted. The final outcomes are displayed on the screen for you to see.
How To Use Moisture Meter
Given the variations in their working mechanisms, the manner in which the meters are used varies slightly from one type to another. The following however are the major steps and procedures to make use of a typical moisture meter:
Power the Moisture Meter
Commence by switching on the moisture meter. This is to activate it to let it be able to detect moisture. Simply identify the location of the power button and engage it appropriately to do so. You might have to change batteries if need be.
Insert the Pins on the Surface
Now insert the pin on the surface to be measured. In case yours is the pin-less type, place the meter as close to the surface as possible to obtain more accurate outcomes. You may need to sway the meter back and forth a designated area for the sake of comprehensive cover.
Leave to Rest for Some Time
Leave the meter to rest on the said surface for quite some time. This is necessary to give the device some time to be able to take deeper measurements on the whole. 1 or 2 minutes would be sufficient for this kind of purpose on the whole.
Take the Readings
Now finish off by taking the readings. Simply skim the display unit and the transfer the readings to a record or a piece of paper. You are now good to go!
What Should I Look When Choosing A Moisture Meter?
The following are some of the factors that will definitely help you to make the right purchasing decision:
Type of Meter
As stated, these meters come in three main kinds. These are the pin, pin-less and the all-in-one respectively. It is in your best interest to determine the kind you are comfortable working with to be able to arrive at the best decision. An all-in-one would be better as it is more comprehensive.
Surface to be Measured
Different surfaces require different kinds of measuring devices. It is necessary to ascertain the kind of surface or surfaces which you might want to use these devices on. This will give you a rough clue on the kinds of meters which might be of relevance to you.
The depth at which you intend to impact also has a bearing on the kind of meter to use. Be sure therefore to find a meter which is powerful enough to reach out to the deepest depths available. Check out the ratings to be able to ascertain this particular aspect.
Intended Frequency of Use
How often do you intend to use this moisture meter? Is it only for a one-time application or do you intend to use it repeatedly? Needless to say, a durable meter may be useful for repeated uses. This is to take care of the various elements of wear and tear that arise in times of use.
Nature of Application
Industrial applications are generally tough and tedious. In light of this, they call for meters that are equally tougher and more durable. The opposite is applicable for those meters that are intended for ordinary home use and applications.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What is a normal moisture reading?
Normal moisture readings usually range from 5-40%. 5-12% is regarded as optimal whereas 17% is generally considered moderate and acceptable.
Q2. What does a moisture meter measure?
It measures the percentage of moisture in any given substance or surface. This information may be used to ascertain whether that material is ready for use, too wet or dry, or in need of further inspection.
Q3. Is it possible for a moisture meter to detect mold?
Yes, they can! The growth of mold is directly determined by the amount of moisture that is available on a surface of interest. By knowing how much moisture there is on a surface, it is possible to detect the growth of mold.
Q4. What moisture levels grow the mold?
Any moisture level that exceeds 60% creates a conducive environment for the growth of molds.
Q5. Do these meters come along with any dangers?
Not really! They are generally safer, less predisposed to accidents, and indeed great to make use of. Feel free and confident to utilize them wherever and whenever you might desire to do so.
MY FAVORITE IS Lignomat Moisture Meter Mini-Ligno E/D. I am a professional industrial worker who needs a strong, tough, and rugged moisture detector.
You need not necessarily settle on this particular detector on your own. It is in your best interest to find one that suits your unique needs. All the best in your next moisture detection exercise!
David has been working with tool for last 7 years. This resource from his work experience with tools. In his personal life, he is the father of one child.