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Protect a Building's Integrity by Measuring Moisture

Testo 606-1 from Testo-Direct.comHaving the right moisture content in stored timber products is crucial to the structural integrity of wood-framed buildings and homes. If wood hasn't dried completely by the time it gets installed, the product is prone to warping, twisting, shrinking, and bowing; all of which can cause structural defects. Home and building inspectors can use hand-held moisture meters to measure any moisture intrusion in wood, roofs, walls, siding, insulation, and other building materials, and detect areas that may impact the integrity of the building or structure. Detecting areas of moisture can also provide and inspector with insight on and inspector the likelihood of mold and pet infestation. Inspectors can use moisture meters to test the moisture level of a seemingly dry section to establish a baseline to compare to other measurements.

Most moisture meters are calibrated for wood building materials, though they can also test concrete, brick, and other non-wood materials. You can determine the precise moisture content for a wide range of wood species and non-wood products by selecting the characteristic curve on the device and place the meter's measuring claw against the material's surface. The meter shows the moisture content as a weight percentage compared to the dry weight.

Some specific characteristics include:

  • Beech
  • Spruce
  • Larch
  • Oak
  • Pine
  • Maple
  • Cement Screed
  • Plaster
  • Anhydrite Screed
  • Cement Mortar
  • Brick Work

Moisture meters come in three categories: pin type, pinless and a pin-pinless combination. The type you choose is dependent on the specific application.

Pin-type Moisture Meters

Pin-type moisture meters measure the content of the material's surface at the depth of the head of the two contact pins of varying lengths, which penetrate the surface at the desired depth. Using the material's electrical conductivity between the two pins, the meter can measure the amount of moisture on the material for a repeatable, dependable measurement. A pin-type moisture meter is the best way to identify the exact location of moisture buildup and can also determine if the source of a moisture spot is active, or if it's been repaired. Use them to measure the moisture content in wood flooring, drywall, painted surfaces, carpeting, and ceiling tile.

Pinless Moisture Meters

The pinless version is a non-invasive meter that measures the moisture content below the surface of the building material through an electrical current. The meter identifies changes in the returned electrical current and uses data to calculate the moisture content. Use pinless moisture meters to identify possible moisture buildup behind tile, flooring and other finished surfaces.

Moisture meters make home and building inspector's jobs more efficient with accurate, real-time data. Meters like the Testo 606-1 and 606-2 provide precise moisture measurements in a variety of wood species, cement, and other materials. Testo 606-1 is an easy to use pocket size pin-type meter that displays the moisture content directly in percentage weight by means of stored material characteristic curves for wood. The Testo 606-2 measures moisture the same way as the Testo 606-1 and is also able to measure relative humidity and air temperature and calculate the dew point and wet bulb temperature. The [Testo 616] professional moisture meter provides a precise and pinless means of measuring the moisture content of wood and other building materials. For easy, quick handling, characteristics are already stored in the [Testo 616] for anhydrite screed, cement screed, lime sand brick, aerated concrete, concrete, vertically perforated brick and solid brick; these aid detection of wet places in the construction materials.

Whether detecting moisture damage in walls and floors, structural integrity, or preventing future mold and pest infestation, moisture meters provide dependable readings for peace of mind.