Protimeter Guidance & IR

Bought a Protimeter and I’m having a kind of weird experience.

I’m getting readings of 60%-70% all throughout my house’s tile floors using the non-pin sensing mode. There is no metal mesh under the tiles. My house does not have any moisture issues that I am aware of and the readings are evenly dispersed. When I bring the Protimeter into the shower, the tile reads a more sane 20%-25%. I called the company that makes Protimeters for GE and they were not able to offer any explanation. The sensor (non-pin) mode does work well on sheetrock, countertops etc but I will be needing this device for inspecting water around baseboards and under tile If I can’t count on tile readings then maybe I should downgrade to pin only and save $200.

Is this a common issue on tile? If so, how do you KNOW there is moisture or not?

Is your house on a slab? Concrete almost always has an elevated moisture content reading.

Yes- slab. 70%?

Take it outside and scan a sidewalk or the concrete driveway.

Took about 30 readings. 20%-30%. Mostly low 20s.

Remembered why I titled the thread Protimeter & IR. My original question was to ask if an IR gun can take the place of a moisture meter in some ways to confirm moisture. Why use a moisture meter if you can see the moisture with the IR gun?

The tile is slowing the evaporation/drying, sidewalk dries freely.

You need the moisture meter to confirm what you’re seeing on the IR. The IR will show you temperature patterns which sometimes mimic moisture but may not actually be moisture.

For example, a leak on a drywall ceiling from the roof may look similar to displaced or missing insulation if the temperature difference between the interior and the exterior is significant enough.

It is a false positive. As was stated earlier, concrete always has a level of moisture. Here are a few other things to know: Wood readings and drywall readings are not the same. Wood is considered saturated at 30 %. 17 to 20 % will potentially promote microbial activity. Drywall is 0 to 100 %. The dry lumber standard for the Northeast is 9 to 12 %. I am not sure what it is in your neck of the woods, but you should find out. You can also extend your pin reach by driving steel nails into materials, like hardwood floors and wall plates. Drive the nails into areas that are not visible. Foil insulation will give you a false positive. Be careful when checking wet carpet and pad. If you jamb the pins too far and there is concrete, false positive. The proper way to check carpet and pad is to actually pull it back. I would also suggest getting a thermal hygrometer and learning how to use it. It is an important tool in basements and in general. I highly suggest that everyone take a basic water class at a restoration company. Jon Don runs them all of the time . There are lots of options to chose from. You will learn how to properly use your meter there for certain.

the protimeter is calibrated for wood only. If you want to test concrete or block, you need to buy another meter. Also testing glossy tiles may also pose an issue.

You don’t really ever need to check tile. Unless it is installed over wood, drywall etc. Then, you have to find those materials. Following or chasing the water first from the source will reveal a great deal. If you have tile on concrete, don’t ever bother putting a meter on it. It will always tach out. But if it is installed over other materials find out what they are and test those materials.

I have a trimex moisture encounter plus that works great for concrete.