Lots of contractors have questions about the tools they use. One of the most important questions that a contractor has about moisture meters in particular is “how can a moisture meter save me money?”
After all, for contractors, a moisture meter is a business tool, one that needs to provide value.
The short answer is a resounding “YES!”
How can a moisture meter save flooring contractors, home inspectors, and others money on the job? Here are a few ways:
#1: Reducing Damage to Flooring Materials
One of the biggest concerns a flooring contractor has when installing new flooring is whether or not that flooring will experience issues such as cupping or warping after the installation is done.
How do moisture meters help prevent such damage?
Excess moisture in flooring materials or the subfloor that such materials are being placed over can lead to cupping or warping of the flooring material. Flooring contractors can use moisture meters to test the subfloor and flooring materials for the presence of excess moisture.
If excess moisture is detected, the contractor has an opportunity to rectify the situation, engaging in dry-out efforts to remove the moisture so that the flooring installation can be completed without the risk of damage occurring.
This saves flooring contractors valuable time and money that would otherwise be spent repairing or replacing the flooring during a callback.
#2: Reducing Callbacks
Speaking of callbacks, that’s another issue that using moisture meters can help avoid. This particular benefit isn’t limited to flooring contractors, however.
Another industry that can use moisture meters to avoid callbacks is the restoration industry. Here, if a structure isn’t sufficiently dried out, the remaining moisture can cause structural faults or even mold growth.
When this happens, restoration contractors are called back to finish fixing a problem that was already “fixed” once, using more labor and possibly requiring the destruction of even more building materials.
Restoration experts use moisture meters to test building materials throughout a structure to assess if dry-out operations have been successfully completed. By checking the moisture content of building materials before declaring the job finished, restoration contractors can limit the risk of a hidden moisture pocket causing trouble down the line, possibly preventing a callback.
#3: Saving Time On the Job
One of the biggest delays a contractor has on the job is waiting for building materials to finish acclimating so that they can be installed. This is most common for installations of wooden flooring, as wood is a hygroscopic material that absorbs moisture readily (and expands as a result).
Without a way of testing the moisture content of building materials, it may take hours or days for that material to have been in acclimation long enough to be considered ready to install. With moisture meters, it takes far less time to determine if a given building material has reached equilibrium moisture content than simply waiting for a recommended amount of time to pass.
Home inspectors can also save time by using moisture meters to inspect a building. Using a moisture meter for home inspectors, these professionals can more easily spot pockets of moisture in a building. Pinless moisture meters, in particular, excel at rapidly checking building materials with large, flat surfaces.
Because wet spots in building materials can be gathering spot for pest infestations or a source of mold, identifying these wet spots in a structure’s materials can speed up the process of finding these issues when they exist.
This translates into less time and labor spent on each home inspection.
Overall, moisture meters are an excellent tool for contractors in many different industries, one that can save time, money, and labor on a variety of tasks where moisture is an issue.