Ross Trethewey shares how moisture meters can detect unseen water damage and why that knowledge is extremely valuable.
Water Damage is Common
Water damage is one of the most common insurance claims that homeowners have to file. This can be the result of groundwater, rainwater, plumbing, HVAC drains, and much more. Many times, the damage is hidden until it’s far too late. But, with a moisture meter, homeowners can detect their issue potential before it becomes serious.
Types of Moisture Meters
There are a few different types of moisture meters.
- A thermal imaging camera can detect temperature changes behind drywall, and this often means moisture.
- Electro-magnetic sensors scan the moisture in a surface without damaging the surface. These meters work with many types of materials.
- Pin meters have two sharp points that poke into a material and are extremely accurate, but this only works with drywall and wood.
- Combo meters have pins and electromagnetic sensors to detect moisture.
Moisture meters provide readings to help a homeowner determine how wet the surface is. A reading of 6 to 9 percent is ideal. However, once the readings start reaching 15 to 20 percent, a serious issue could be brewing.
What to Do If Moisture is Detected
The course of action to take depends on the level of moisture. For low levels of moisture (around 15 percent), a dehumidifier is often all that’s required to dry the material. However, once levels start reaching 20 percent, the drywall has to be removed to prevent mold.
Moisture Meters are Affordable Insurance
If you’re wondering about the moisture levels behind your walls and other surfaces, a moisture meter could be affordable insurance. For under $100, you could have a tool that detects moisture before it causes expensive damage.
Ross first discusses infrared meters which measure temperature. A wall should have a consistent temperature, if it doesn’t, it may lack insulation or have water damage.
For smaller leaks, Ross recommends a pinned or pinless meter. Pinned meters tend to be more accurate, however, they do cause damage because it requires puncturing the material. They’re also more difficult to use with harder materials like concrete. While the pinless meter is not as accurate, it can be used across a variety of materials and will not cause damage.
Combo meters are also available and include a pin and pinless fuction. Large areas of drywall and wood can be scanned for moisture with the pinless pad sensor. Once detected, the cap can be flipped to expose the pin sensors for more exact moisture readings.