Moisture Meter Readings

Hey All,

What is the acceptable moisture reading range for wood or drywall? Can the wood setting also be used for drywall?

usually about 15 to 17% and no.

Personally do not totally trust and prefer comparison to surrounding area. also mention type unit for the guys ]

Thanks Bob. The meter I have is an Extech Moisture Meter #MO210. It does have a building material setting, I was just curious.

Drywall should be 0. Wood depends are where you are in the country. You have to know your dry lumber standard. Mine in the Northeast is 9 to 12%. Wood is considered saturated at 30% Mold will grow at 17 to 20%

You have to be careful of false positives such as nail heads and corner bead and foil insulation. You need to know the depth your meter will read as well. There are ways to extend your pins by driving steel (only, galivanized won’t work) nails into materials and touching your pins to the nails. Be careful not to damage materials. Always carry wood putty and Old English.

Thanks Jeff

Yes and don’t forget to carry your hammer drill with auger bits, extra concrete patch material, reciprocating saw, hammer, extra nails, and extra lumber, the drywall knife and extra drywall with tape and bed materials, etc., etc. Got to make sure you can get to everything behind walls, under concrete, etc., etc. :shock:

Sounds like someone is imbibing on to much maple syrup! As soon as you hammer them nails you damaged materials!! :roll:

Go to to water school Scanlan and you will learn a thing or two. You see, I have and did learn a thing or two because I keep an open mind… bout them sorta thangs. Nachi is great but when it comes to moisture, drying and mold, carpet cleaning, care and a host of other things, IICR training is the way to go. Scanlan, do you ever check wall plates with your pocket protector meter? You can’t always get to the moisture. Try the nail trick Hammerhead. It works. You hafta kinda, know what yer doin tho.

You are welcome Jeff! Anytime! and don’t mind Scanlan, he really means well. What he means, I am never sure. Good ole Uncle E! He has been off his meds for a bit and on a heavy PBR Diet. His Dr. told him to go on a liquid diet and that was his interpretation. We do love um though.

What you are advising Inspectors to do is perform destructive testing no matter how small you might think it is. That is something I would expect is performed in a water restoration business but not in a home inspection! If you are performing this on home inspections and damaging homes you do not own and your client does not own then you should just stick with the water restoration business! You are placing your clients of home inspections in a liability situation they do not need! :roll:

For the record, and future use, what are you referring to with the abbreviation “PBR”? Also what type of “meds” are you referring to?

Really?! You really don’t know?! Well, then, maybe this is a good time for you to stop with your poking and prodding for now and in the future. Maybe keep things a little more professional from here on out.

Typically drywall will have a moisture content of 7 - 8 % on my meter.
I’m sure that might be different in the southwest.
But it will always have some MC.

Wood can be all over the place, interior, exterior, recent conditions and exposure.

Are you afraid or hesitant to answer the following questions?

Where do you get that from?

Most recognized standards acceptable moisture level for Gypsum Wallboard is 7 to 10 %.

I rarely, if ever, get a zero reading at painted drywall.

The IICR training he has mentioned a hundred times??:roll:

Drywall and wood are different. When I dry structures, the standard for drywall being dry is zero. What are you using for a meter?

IICRC training… Uncle Scanny! I am telling you, you would have a blast. It is good training. It is the gold standard for moisture.

That may be your standard.

Every recognized “standard” I’ve seen says 7-10% is acceptable.

From the National Institute of Health.

Table 1 - Acceptable moisture levels for select building materials
Moisture %
7 to 10
Gypsum Wallboard
7 to 10

Hardwood Flooring
7 to 10
Framing Lumber
15 to 19
Wood Furnishings (interior)
7 to 12
Source: William Yobe & Associates & U.S. Forest Products (USDA)

Pabst Blue Ribbon (beer)…:shock: