Moisture Meter Readings Home Inspection

A moisture meter read is a handy tool to have in the home inspection arsenal. Moisture meter readings help determine whether or not a property is dry, wet, or has excess moisture in the walls, floors, and/or surroundings.

A home inspection is much more than just a list of complaints and/or questions. It is an examination of all aspects of a property from inside to outside. As such, it is important to know if the home has excess moisture or water damage.

Too much water damage can prove extremely difficult to estimate as it can range from nothing to a large tub full of water! When evaluating water damage, it is important to know what type of water there was and how long it was visible.

A home with only mild water damage may not need any special attention as much moisture will be removed during drying and renovations.


Should I get a handheld or probe moisture meter?

When it comes to gauging moisture in a home, there is no simple answer. Moisture in a home can be described as either liquid or solid.

Liquid moisture levels such as water or syrup is considered normal. However, if the home appears to be lacking in water throughout the inspection, then a probe moisture meter is recommended.

Solid minerals like terracrock are relatively dry and likely won’t change under the feet of the homeowner. If you are concerned about wetness during rainy seasons, a handheld probe may be enough.

However, if you are looking for more precise measurements, a probe meter is recommended. A liquid probe can sometimes yield slightly different readings than a solid one due to slight changes in texture, but with help from your inspector, they can tell which is the more wetted area.

How do I take a moisture reading?

Once your house is cool enough to enter, your inspector can give you a hands-on lesson in how to take a reading. This is very important if you have a little girl or young child that is outside the house for the first time.

Your inspector can do this at home with a teddy bear or similar object, or they can send one to you via computer or phone. Once they are done, they can give you an analysis of what caused the moisture problem and how to prevent it from happening again.

This is very helpful as it can tell you what sources of moisture are good and what ones are bad in your home. A warning sign may be when the teddy bear starts to wiggle and/or cry.

What should my readings be?

There are three things your moisture meter reading should tell you about a home: how much water is being consumed, how much water is being stored, and how well insulated the home is.

Home inspectors use these readings to help determine if a home needs major renovations or a new purchase. A homes that spends a lot of time in bathroom or laundry rooms may be struggling with sufficient water storage.

A homes that is very energy efficient may have little need for additional insulation. Nevertheless, a homes with very little insulation may help save on expensive cooling and heating bills!

Power hungry appliances may overload your meter and cause it to read low.

Are there any problems with using a moisture meter?

A device like a moisture meter can be useful in a home inspection. A machine can read how much water is in a room through the walls, floors, and infrastructure. This helps determine if the room needs sealing off due to excess water or moisture, if it is bad weathering up the house.

However, there are some things that the machine cannot tell you. For example, if a dry climate feels very wet, it may be due to humidification. With today’s technology, there are ways of coming at this without specialized equipment.

1. Use your own hands to feel for any wetness or water feelers on surfaces
2. Use an alcohol-based wipe to check for any wetness where it does not smell or look dryer than normal
3. Check for signs of humidity such as mildew or cloudiness where normal conditions would not be expected There are also reports of units having issues such as hot spots and causing incorrect readings.

Leave a Comment