3 Compelling Reasons Why You Need a Moisture Meter for Drywall

Posted by Tom Laurenzi on May 20, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Moisture meters such as the BD-2100 have specialized settings for checking moisture in drywall.

You might be wondering why you may need a moisture meter calibrated specifically for measuring moisture in drywall. After all, can’t another moisture meter provide at least a rough guess of moisture content in drywall?

For some jobs, being able to take precise %MC readings of drywall is absolutely vital. Here are a few reasons why:

1: Wood Moisture Meters Cannot Accurately Read in Drywall

Different moisture meters are calibrated to different scales. A moisture meter calibrated for taking readings in wood cannot provide quantitative readings of moisture in other materials. Trying to use a wood moisture meter on gypsum drywall will provide comparative readings only.

Some meters might have an alternate “reference scale” mode that is designed to give a general indication of the presence of moisture. However, like using a wood scale on drywall, reference scale readings are also comparative.  While comparative readings can be helpful in determining areas with higher or lower moisture levels, having a meter specifically calibrated to drywall gives a definitive %MC reading, allowing the user to make better, more informed decisions.  

2: Drywall Has an Exceptionally Low Tolerance for Moisture

Drywall is extremely sensitive to moisture. Just a slight amount of moisture seeping into gypsum can cause it to start dissolving, ruining the material from the inside out.

Even greenboard, the “water resistant” variant of drywall is still much more sensitive to moisture than many other common building materials. A difference of just 0.5% MC can mean the difference between drywall that is still salvageable and completely ruined.  

Because of this fact, it’s vital to have a moisture meter that is calibrated specifically for accurately measuring extremely low moisture content in drywall. This can help you separate the drywall that can be saved from the drywall that needs to be torn out and replaced.

A less precise meter using a reference scale might have you trying to save drywall that needs to be tossed or tossing out drywall that’s perfectly fine.

3: Better Documentation of the Spread of Moisture in Drywall

When doing restoration work, being able to accurately track the spread and severity of moisture contamination in a structure can be crucial for justifying restoration decisions later on. Some insurance companies may try to avoid paying out for “unnecessary” restoration work.

Without quantifiable readings of moisture content in all building materials, justifying specific dry out work and restoration expenses is difficult, delaying collection of pay from insurance companies.

Drywall moisture meters help to prevent this by giving you quantifiable, traceable measurements of moisture in drywall materials that helps to prove the necessity of tear out and replacement work.

Need help finding the perfect moisture meter for restoration work? Contact a moisture measurement specialist today!

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Topics: Moisture Meter moisture meters restoration professionals