Should Home Inspectors Use Moisture Meters

Posted by Tom Laurenzi on Oct 22, 2013 11:21:00 AM

TeckCheck PlusLocating and assessing moisture problems is one of the most important functions of a home inspector. Moisture meters offer a fast, relatively simple and reliable way to measure moisture and locate trouble spots. Every home inspector should include a multi-purpose moisture meter or multiple moisture meters in their tool box. 

Moisture Meters in Home Inspection

A visual inspection for signs of moisture won’t necessarily pick up on every problem, and even if the inspector notices a problem because there’s condensation on tile or discoloration on a wall, they’ll need a moisture meter to determine the exact location and extent of the problem. Starting out right and employing the appropriate moisture meter for each area of the inspection will:

  • Ensure that no  hidden pockets of moisture inside walls, beneath flooring or in other locations are overlooked or missed. These moisture problems, though invisible, can cause structural weakness, deterioration of materials and provide an ambient environment for mold and fungus to grow.
  • Collect precise information about the location of the moisture and extent of the moisture problem. When a potential home buyer hires an inspector to check out property, the buyer needs to know not just “there’s a potential problem,” but the nature and extent of that problem to  make an informed decision about the purchase and/or negotiate with the seller for repairs or a price adjustment. Likewise, when a homeowner hires an inspector after a storm or other damage occurs, the inspector is looking for information that will determine the extent of repairs necessary, not just confirmation that damage exists.
  • Give the homeowner or home buyer confidence. A moisture meter provides a reading that’s easy to translate, record and share. When an inspector uses a meter to measure moisture in concrete, drywall, wood or other building materials, the homeowner can rest assured that there’s no subjectivity involved: numbers don’t lie. 

Not all moisture meters are created equal, and it’s important that a building or home inspector has the right tool for the job.  That means choosing a meter that is scaled for the appropriate material and entering accurate information, or learning to translate from a relative scale.

If you’re unsure about which moisture meter is best for your purposes, we can answer any questions you might have and help you find the right tool for the job. We’ll put you on the road toward confident, satisfied home inspection clients.

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Topics: Flooring moisture meters