Moisture meter reading opinions


I wanted to get opinions on how others would report on this spot on the ceiling, based on this moisture meter reading

Thank you!

Damp/wet gypsum with visible moisture damage such as moisture staining and peeling paint.

Some nice holes you poked into their ceiling, might want to consider a pinless meter for finished surfaces.

This is the one I use:

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Thanks Brian. Yea I should get a better meter. I like that yours has an IR thermometer. It sounds like a lot of people like the tramex meters

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That moisture meter is a pin/ pinless moisture meter. I have the same (General MMH800) which I recently purchase to replace my 22+ year old Protimeter Surveymaster. I am presently awaiting for a replacement under warranty…

We observed damage/deterioration that we suspect is the result of water leakage. We are unable to determine if the leak is still active. The homeowner may be able to shed some light on this. If the leak is indeed active, we recommend you promptly locate and repair it to prevent further damage. The damaged area should also be repaired/replaced as required.
For The Record: In many cases, water staining or damage appears on walls or ceilings soon after a leak has developed, usually resulting in a prompt repair by the homeowner before any concealed water damage can occur. In some instances, however, a slow leak can go undetected for months before it finally appears on wall and ceiling finishes. This type of leak can cause considerable concealed water damage to structural components in the form of rot and mould/mildew growth that is only uncovered when damaged wall or ceiling finishes are removed during repairs. A home inspection cannot accurately determine the timeframe a leak has been active, or predict whether or not concealed damage has occurred behind building finishes.


Some good verbiage there, thank you!

I’ve never had complaints about the pinholes. If the seller is home and I have a reason to use the pins I explain to them and they are ok with me using it. Especially compared to a pest inspector this is very minor and mostly not noticeable.

When I find moisture with a TIC the pinholes have helped contractors to locate the exact spot moisture was found.

Well, you won’t have a complaint until you do. I would recommend not putting holes into peoples finished surfaces when there are non-destructive options available. Just my opinion.


That’s very true! Just my explanation of why I use it I suppose

Since those readings are so close, I would have done some more measurements around the other areas to see if they all compare. (whcih is also why pinless is good, you could scan all over)
4% difference is likely not an active leak. If it were active, you would prob get at least 10-20% higher reading

(Unless, of course it was just starting to soak in again(vacant house, and you were running plumbing), or a roof leak that is almost dry because it hadnt rained for a while

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That is a good point with pinless. I did take some other readings and they were all between 10 and 14%. This is in a basement in California and we just started getting rain for the season. House is occupied. Kitchen is above but no plumbing fixtures or appliances are directly above here.

“4% difference is likely not an active leak. If it were active, you would prob get at least 10-20% higher reading”

This is what I was thinking


Well, that’s a bit of critical info. Where were these readings taken?

Same room, other side wall and ceiling. Seems like the basement was a little more moist overall, some readings I took upstairs were around 7 or 8%

The typical moisture content of gypsum board is fairly low (around 5 percent or less).
Nothing wrong with that moisture meter for now. Just remember it destructively tests so test on damaged material or out of sight areas.

So at the stain it was nearly double. Something to consider.

When I use the term active, it is for something I can see such as a dripping faucet or pipe.

Otherwise, I use the terms recent or current moisture issue along with observations such as damp or wet.

I carry a pin and pinless meters with me, since they read differently. Putting the pin against my arm is my standard for moist. In Florida, most drywall is 15%. When I get 25% and up, there’s moisture involved.

Tramex Moisture encounter plus.

That have that new model plus se the videos below in the link.