Moisture meters

I have a question regarding the use of moisture meters.
For anyone passing by this post,do you use a moisture meter.
If not why?
Also could you please tell me specifically where you place it for your readings other than the rafters of an attic.?
Does this vary with different clues,such as patches in walls?
Do you always check shower walls?

Bob , I use moisture meters as you know there are two types the intrusive pin type & non pin type they both are very useful non intrusive especially shower stalls, around the floor of the toliet, any suspect fresh painting area on walls or ceilings kitchen tile area etc, the intrusive pin type usually requires some drilling for cement areas or wallboard repair for the small holes it leaves, I do not use the pin type for hi

A comment within a comment within a comment.
Dave it was like one of those infinity mirrors.
I am not concerned with brand or model just how often and where they are being used by other members.
Also wondering how often you get tricked by condensation under certain circumstances.
After all those cold pipes inside the walls can sweat too,right?

Any condensation behind walls shows up in the basement (in Massachusetts, we have 98% basements)

I use the Tramex for shower walls that indicate moisture signs. Just make sure it’s dry when you apply it.

Thanks Dave.

i use mine on nearly every moisture stain/damaged area i can get to.

it’s nice to be able to answer when a client asks “is it wet now”

i personally wouldn’t leave home without it.

other that the aforementioned areas (toilets, shower surrounds, and so on) I use mine typically when moisture stains are present in order to obtain a differential between the “dry” area of the wall and the “wet/damp” area. Excellent question!

Lots of crawl spaces here. I measure the moisture in floor joists, because >20% moisture in wood cause lead to mold or rot.

I use mine anywhere water intrusion is likely and on all stains, I believe if you use it on freshly painted walls, you may get false readings. If the paint is water based latex it will contain moisture until it is fully cured, which depending on various factors can take up to 6 months. If it is oil based, it can trap moisture behind it long after repairs have been made. i consider it one of the most important tools for an inspector. IMO

Never owned one, don`t need it.

You must be a snake with IR Vision! :wink:

I bought mine after a Massachusetts Lawyer moved to town and tried to sue me for damage under a toilet that I reported over a year prior!

So good luck you “visual guys”!

I found five water leaks and six places with missing insulation on a 7k sf house yesterday. No stains!

The day before yesterday I found 60 water leaks on the exterior that were painted over, one uninsulated a/c refrigerant line and an uninsulated interior wall with a hvac return, water heater flue and the wall was 97 degrees behind the thermostat. How accurate can that be?

I won’t leave home without my moisture meter and IR thermometer!


they`re just not for me is all :wink:

i do the ‘water-test’ when needed, running a hose to find entry-points.


I wish you all the luck in the world.

I can’t do my inspections w/out moisture meters.

I carry three different styles.

Joe, I think that % number can vary quite a bit depending on the wood species you’re measuring, the type of meter you’re using and the air vapor pressure. Got to be careful about calling conditions conducive to activating fungi if the meter shows only a little over or under. My impression from Caomhin Connell’s posts that it may be up to 5% or more over or under 20%.

Mr David,

can see em being useful for HIs, you have many OTHER parts of home
to inspect, sure they can be useful there.
just not on basement waterproofing/leaks/cracks. Not when buyer is
told stuff like ‘Oh,theres just a lil moisture in wall, raise the grade and thatll most likely solve problem, and keep an eye on that crack’

That one kills me too, keep eye on crack lolol. Yeah sure, ill give yas
the “shrinkage cracks”…thats it.:wink: Any other crack that is visible and
where water/mold/efflorescence has been detected maybe, ummm, it
needs to be waterproofed, at least buyer needs to understand this.

example-let`s use a hollow block wall and basement is not finished.
lets say one uses the moisture meter and it tells ya there is moisture/
water in block. Well ok, now what. I mean, now an HI can explain to HO
that they have some sort of problem in this area of the wall and write
it on their report, i understand that :slight_smile: and i guess some can say the
meter was helpful-useful to this degree.

but, what i OFTEN hear from buyers is… ‘Oh, hm inspector showed us
a high moisture reading in this area and said all we needed was to raise
the grade and get longer extensions on downspout’. …and other so-
called remedies. Im NOT saying all HIs but, have seen/heard this
goofy shtt alot around here, MI.

Every single time the actual problem has been a crack on outside of
hollow block, NOT the entire wall just that one section/part…OR…
the reason there was moisture-water’ in the wall was due to above
ground openings, like openings around bsmt window, tuckpointing needs.

Again, i hear many of YOU wholl say 'Hey,we did our job, found moisture and wrote it in report, ya want us to fix it too' lolol. NO, not saying that, just please dont bllchtt the buyer and tell em stuff like all they
need is to fill a low spot,mudjack a slab etc. That`s NOT the problem!

Buyer needs to know the exact cause/problem ASAP so they can go
back on seller, if seller didnt disclose leak/seepage in this area. Buyer should NOT have to pay for pre-existing problem. Some of you HIs
know that some homeowners will mask/hide/conceal a crack in bsmt wall
by patching over it/painting over it, even placing paneling-drywall up.

Another one that CRACKS ME UP and, kinda drives me INSANE is when
i hear “Oh, you can probably just paint wall with Drylok, that should
solve problem”. Whoever thought of of this crap has a mental disorder or
manufactures paint/drylok and needs a good bllchtt story to get people to
buy it.

Painting the inside of basement walls won`t do shtt, if there is an
opening(s )outside then it must be repaired to eliminate-prevent water/moisture
from entering.

got milk?

I know moisture content may vary depending on wood species and the age. But the termite inspectors around here call it out if it’s > 20% for conducive to mold. And >28% conducive to decay. I have some standard language I use in those circumstances.

And you will always be right! I use simular language. I give one comment…as long as you have a good moisture meter (acurate and relaible) you will find stuff that would bite you in the butt…what you do with that information is the differance in how we communicate with our clients.


I typically do not use a moisture meter for home inspections because it doesn’t meet my “Harry Homeowner” rule for inspections … “visual inspection using normal operating controls, access, and tools that an average homeowner would utilize”.

Very defensible position in my opinion, and much more consistent with home inspection SOP’s

Use as part of an engineering evaluation may be a completely different story.

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink: