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  1. #1
    Danielle McCoy's Avatar
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    Default Moisture meter readings

    I hope it's ok that I'm reaching out in this forum. We were under contract selling our house until our buyers walked because of "extremely high moisture readings".
    are these readings even possible? This is directly from our inspection report. My husband went out and bought a new meter and we never got these readings when checking ourselves. The only way we got the meter to go to 100 was when placing our fingers over sensor. The highest we found was a wall next to window at 30% where we actually did have some water spots in the past. These are all pictures from windows in our home.
    we have absolutely no water damage on any walls or any indication of any issues.
    Thanks!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    May I recommend you hire a professional and obtain a seller,s / vendor's inspection.
    Moisture meters are indispensable tools for restoration contractors, home inspectors, and flooring professionals, but moisture meter scales can create some confusion.
    I am certain those readings in the images are skewed.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 04-14-2016 at 04:19 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Moisture meters were originally calibrated for wood and most would not read any higher than about 30%. Some meters switch to a relative scale above that, and modern meter often have different scales for different materials. What this means is that you cannot necessarily duplicate the readings from another meter. Readings can also vary significantly over small distances. While you may not be able to duplicate their readings, if they did get very high readings and you do not, then something must be wrong with the meters or methods.

    Assuming the inspector knows what he or she is doing and was not reading metal behind drywall or other things that will fool the meter, you may have a problem. Did the inspector identify possible causes? Is the exterior stucco or manufactured stone? Are there open joints?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    No open joints, stucco, or stone.
    Yes we get higher readings on the metal over drywall...but I would assume that the inspector does know what he is doing and take that into consideration!
    The problem I'm seeing with this is there is no visible signs of any moisture behind walls. Would we not have damage or be soggy at a 100 percent moisture level?
    We only were able to get a small portion of the report because we were told that we would have to disclose the inspection report to future buyers if we had it released. Our old buyers just walked And didn't want any repairs completed because "any repair would not be satisfactory to them"
    I do have two contractors coming tomorrow to take a look.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    At 100% you should be able to feel the moisture with you fingers. So it is most certain the inspectors meter is askew or its a cheapo unit. And if its a continual ongoing problem there would most likely be mould growing there and the drywall would be mush.


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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Ray, I concur.
    But even an inexpensive moisture meters will reasonably function.

    Note where the (suspect skewed) 100% percent readings are.
    At perpendicular angles on the wall assemblies.
    5 will get you 10 there is metal corner bead on those angles.
    Geez Louise, even a nail head will skew the MD, moisture density, readings.

    My Tramex MRHII clicks away if I get my skin even close to the radiometric meter and contact pads.
    Hmmm, I should turn off the volume when interpreting MD on objects. Eyes get bigger & wider as ticking gets louder & faster.

    Good sound way to make a point to an over zealous RE though.
    Sense we are all helping each other, I made a point to a secondhand car salesman busting my chops over something he knew next to nothing about.
    Gee wiz yesterday too? I wonder if they are related?

    Any who... A little whisper in his ear after everyone's eyes got wider combined with some drama reminded him that I am a professional and during the assessment, it's my client's kick at the can, not his turn to re-sell, re-sell, re-sell and that maybe he should hush and be quiet.
    Everything went off without a hitch after that.

    McCoy, if you are the real, you can try to get them the purchasers back to the table by reaching out to the agent.
    House's do not sell for many reasons. Again, may I recommend you have a vendors inspection?

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    I use a Protimeter moisture meter.
    The unit in the photo looks like it might be a Ryobi.


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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    I use a Protimeter moisture meter.
    The unit in the photo looks like it might be a Ryobi.
    Yes, RYOBI

    Ryobi Pinless Moisture Meter: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    I use a Protimeter moisture meter.
    The unit in the photo looks like it might be a Ryobi.
    I concur.
    My other moisture meters cover destructive testing as well Ray.
    DelMhorst TechCheck Plus with 6.5" EIFS probes and 3/4" for wood, organic mulch, laminates, etc. DelMhorst TechCheck Plus is also radiometric.
    A General Tools, pin probe. I had to start somewhere.
    No wonder they call me Mr. Gadget, ha ha ha

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    DelMhorst TechCheck Plus drywall level reading scale is 0.1% to 6.0 % MC.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Quote Originally Posted by Danielle McCoy View Post
    I hope it's ok that I'm reaching out in this forum. We were under contract selling our house until our buyers walked because of "extremely high moisture readings".
    are these readings even possible? This is directly from our inspection report. My husband went out and bought a new meter and we never got these readings when checking ourselves. The only way we got the meter to go to 100 was when placing our fingers over sensor. The highest we found was a wall next to window at 30% where we actually did have some water spots in the past. These are all pictures from windows in our home.
    we have absolutely no water damage on any walls or any indication of any issues.
    Thanks!
    depending on sensor location & max. depth that model reads the materials behind (concrete-lath & metal-corner bead-nails-screws) may exhibit false positive readings with any mm cheap or expensive

    general rule for mm
    find a known dry area and work meter toward same type suspect wet material
    as you near suspect wet the readings should increase
    hth

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Exterior is not stucco or stone and there are no open joints. No possible causes. It just said to hire someone to take a look at it to find out where the moisture is coming in at.
    If the inspector knew what he was doing he would know that any meter reading that showed 100% would have to be wrong!! Even a simple google search I found that out. you can tell by the angle he is holding the meter that he is doing something wrong or dishonest.
    Possible that the buyers just wanted out and the buyers agent got her buddy the inspector to take fraudulent photos for us to relieve them from the contract without any fuss.
    But, We do have a contractor coming today to take a look.
    Some windows definitely could be replaced, but like I said we don't have any leaks, no water marks, swelled walls...NOTHING.
    Thanks to all for your feedback/thoughts.


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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Quote Originally Posted by BARRY ADAIR View Post
    depending on sensor location & max. depth that model reads the materials behind (concrete-lath & metal-corner bead-nails-screws) may exhibit false positive readings with any mm cheap or expensive

    general rule for mm
    find a known dry area and work meter toward same type suspect wet material
    as you near suspect wet the readings should increase
    hth
    I concur.
    Common drywall, you require a max. 3/4" probe depth.

    I map and measure grids.
    5' or 10' foot sq..ft. grid or radius may have x readings.
    Let's say 7 measurements separated by 24" offsets.
    I combine the dryest reading from 3 walls to produce a dry MC average.

    Then I go to the suspect area to map a 12" to 24" sq. grids.
    I can expand my suspect field expediently.
    That's how I do a interior wall or flooring assembly.

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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    What is interesting is this guy has a meter he has no idea how to use. Pic 4 shows 100% with the meter held to wall at the top of the meter. This meter reads from the back of the meter. In other pics he is looking at corner bead or metal flashing.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    What is interesting is this guy has a meter he has no idea how to use. Pic 4 shows 100% with the meter held to wall at the top of the meter. This meter reads from the back of the meter. In other pics he is looking at corner bead or metal flashing.
    That's the inspector meanie.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    That's the inspector meanie.

    So does anyone think that we were duped by a inspector and buyers agent??? This is ridiculous to me.
    I have a contractor coming out today.


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    Wink Re: Moisture meter readings

    The more inspections done the less times I want to pull out my MM


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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Based on the pics, boy I hate to say this but feel compelled to, I don't get the feeling the inspector knew what he was doing. If you are getting 99-100% moisture readings you better see water damage, mold, a verifiable cause, clear evidence or hear a water pipe running behind the drywall.
    If someone is getting those readings and not seeing evidence of cause then that person should really be smart enough to question his results.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    What is interesting is this guy has a meter he has no idea how to use. Pic 4 shows 100% with the meter held to wall at the top of the meter. This meter reads from the back of the meter. In other pics he is looking at corner bead or metal flashing.
    Yes, sir, it sure does read from the pads on the back: https://manuals.ttigroupna.com/syste...ngual.pdf?2011

    "
    Place the back side of the unit flat against the material where the measurement is to be taken. The measurement will be taken automatically and will be displayed as a percentage (G). Make sure the unit sensors (H) are free of debris before use. Hold the unit from the front and sides and do not allow your fingers to come in contact with the sensors when taking the measurement. Make sure both pads are firmly in contact with the surface being tested. Do not slide the unit along the surface being tested. The presence of metal behind the wall may interfere with the reading; readings in multiple locations will increase accuracy.
    "

    HOWEVER ...

    "
    Once the unit is removed from the surface, the measurement will disappear.To keep the measurement displayed after you remove the unit fromthe surface, press the Hold button (I).
    "

    The inspector MAY have used the "Hold" button ... just sayin' ...

    Like some others, I suspect the inspector was reading metal corner bead at the corners of the drywall, but ... I wasn't there and the photos may be showing what the moisture meter read when properly placed against the wall in a nearby location ...

    Added with edit for information purposes:
    - I have an old Protimeter (it's probably 20+ years old) I haven't used in years (probably 10-15 years) which had the sensor in the end. It was convenient for many uses as it would get into areas where my Tramex moisture encounter would not fit (which read through the back and had to have enough room to be placed flat up to the wall).

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 04-14-2016 at 03:19 PM. Reason: see added with edit
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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    When I responded to this I had not looked at the photos. After looking at them I now realize that the HI is clueless and the meter is probably next to worthless.


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    Default Re: Moisture meter readings

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    What is interesting is this guy has a meter he has no idea how to use. .
    Thanks, Vern. You nailed it.

    A good meter costs $400+. Then there needs to be some learning before you start reporting moisture all over the place.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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