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Moisture meter readings


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I recently inspected a home and found wet readings, with my Delmhorst BD 2100,on the wall beside the tub and in the closet wall behind the tub. This was all in the wall with the plumbing. To be honest when I took the readings the redlight came on and the alarm sounded and I did not record the percentage. I had it set on # 3 for sheetrock. I reported the wet readings.

The homeowner is stating no one has lived in the home for over a year and he was curious about my readings. I had checked during the inspection and the water meter showed no movement on the leak minder.

What percentage is considered "wet". I had assumed if my meter alarmed it was too wet.

My meter reads from .2 % to 50% on sheetrock but when I've played with it on walls I know are wet the highest I've read are about 18%. My set point value for the sheetrock setting is 1%. Should it be higher?

I am going to meet him out there tomorrow and get the actual percentages the meter is reading. He seems to think anything under 15% is okay for sheetrock. I don't think so what do you guys think.

Thanks Buster

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Hi,

I use a Protimeter and generally find between 6 and 10% in drywall on main floors and 10 to 14% in typical basement walls. I consider this to be okay, so I suppose I agree with the owner.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Uh oh! Looks it could be time for a crow sandwich.

If 6 to 10 percent in drywall on main floors is okay at what point does it become reportable as wet.

What percents are considered wet readings on concrete or tile floors and wood.

I have been using the default readings as wet for about eighteen months. I am afraid to go back and see what kinda problems I may have caused. This is gonna leave a mark!

Buster[:-banghea

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Originally posted by rlskfoster

Uh oh! Looks it could be time for a crow sandwich.

If 6 to 10 percent in drywall on main floors is okay at what point does it become reportable as wet.

What percents are considered wet readings on concrete or tile floors and wood.

I have been using the default readings as wet for about eighteen months. I am afraid to go back and see what kinda problems I may have caused. This is gonna leave a mark!

Buster[:-banghea

Hi,

The Protimeter only gives percentages when used in pin mode. I don't use the pin mode on concrete or tile. I only use the radio mode for those and it is a matter of practice and getting used to what materials read high vs. low when in some locations.

If drywall scans damp I'll pin-probe it. If it doesn't scan damp I don't bother. If I probe it and it is over about 17 to 20% moisture I'll report it as damp and begin looking for the cause.

Wood that scans wet I probe to confirm and if it reads above 20% I begin looking for the cause and report it as wet, because that is enough moisture to support rot spore or mold growth.

Works well for me. As far as I know, I've only missed the mark about 3 times in the past 5 years with the SM.

I trained my wife Yung to scan and probe with the SM about 2 years ago. She's gotten pretty good at it and I always check and confirm her findings. She's not always right, but that is mostly because she doesn't always understand the issues that are causing the readings that she encounters. That's why I have to confirm every one of her findings. She's getting better though. A couple of more years and she'll be better at it than I am.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Thanks Mike. I just did one of those assume things. I assumed if the red light came on and the alarm beeped it must be wet. Now I am the a_ _. After I re-read the walls tomorrow I will have to call my client, he is an investor out of California, and tell him I was wrong about wet walls, but, trust me on all the other stuff I wrote up. Credibility could be damaged. Dang it! This is the kinda stuff I don't like about inspecting. Oh well, I guess I better buck up.

Buster

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I went out and re-read the walls of the house and I got 1.3 and 1.2 on the Delmhorst sheetrock setting. naturally delmhorst is closed today so I can't get a definite answer on what % moisture content 1.2 and 1.3 correspond to. If I test the wall with the meter set for wood it sets the alarm off. The wood meter is supposed to alarm at 15 %. This read about 16 %.

Would a termite infestation or even a fire ant colony in the wall cause wet readings. This house has been treated twice for termites in the past. I did not see any active signs of termites.

I'm just trying to figure out if I'm reading this meter right.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Buster

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Hi again,

Since I use a Protimeter SM I'm afraid I couldn't tell you whether you're getting anomalous readings or not.

Have you got the ability to tape a piece of plastic on the wall with some mastic tape and leave it for a few hours to see if moisture appears on the backside? If there is excessive moisture in the wall, it's sure to show up using that method.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 1 year later...

Chris Ranwell at Protimeter told me that because the Surveymaster is optimized for between 10% and 28%, readings below 10% will be unreliable. In trying to test logs in log homes at 8500 feet I've found that to be true, it did a lot of yo-yoing up and down.

Mike, are you able to get a steady reading at 6%?

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You really should have a couple of moisture meters if you are testing for moisture. I always cross check my readings if I have any question. I have found that for wood it is hard to beat a Delmhorst meter. For tile the Protimeter SM works very good and for drywall, walls, etc., you can't beat the Tramex Moisture Encounter.

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