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  1. #1
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    Default High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    1967 ranch with brick veneer siding. I noticed paint pealing near several of the windows and tested for moisture in the wall using Ryobi E49MM01 pinless moisture meter. Readings above 50% were found 12-18" from the vertical edge of the window and extended from near the ceiling to the floor. All of the exterior walls measured higher than normal readings and several more 50% readings from ceiling to floor were found approximately the same distance from windows. No sign of leaks from in the attic or visual of the roofing. No moisture problems observed at the rim joists though there is damp soil in the crawlspace.

    Is it possible there is no house wrap or vapor barrier installed but there is flashing at the windows and doors? This has been the 4th wettest summer in record here but we have not had significant rain in the last 10 days.

    What is the recommended next step?

    Thanks for any advice...

    Vern

    2018 ASHI InspectionWorld
    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2011
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    Guelph,Ontario
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    169

    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    Could condensation from the windows,be part of the problem?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Janssen View Post
    Could condensation from the windows,be part of the problem?
    High moisture readings start 12-18" from the window and are 6-14" wide.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2008
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    Chicago
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    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    Pictures? I use a Protimeter Survey Master so I don't know about Ryobi moisture meters. I own some of their power tools and I do know their cordless tools are poorly made and they make an inferior product in general. My 10 yr old 10" miter saw is barely satisfactory. I purchased because of their low prices so there you go.

    That said, have you had good ascertainable results with the Ryobi? Do you trust it?

    50% is extremely high. Is the reading consistent across a particular line? Did you consider foil faced insulation?

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  5. #5
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    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lamb View Post
    Pictures? I use a Protimeter Survey Master so I don't know about Ryobi moisture meters. I own some of their power tools and I do know their cordless tools are poorly made and they make an inferior product in general. My 10 yr old 10" miter saw is barely satisfactory. I purchased because of their low prices so there you go.

    That said, have you had good ascertainable results with the Ryobi? Do you trust it?

    50% is extremely high. Is the reading consistent across a particular line? Did you consider foil faced insulation?
    I have tested it against several of the pest inspectors meters and against pin meters, always within 2%. Readings at interior walls were 0-3%. Readings were reproducible at areas mentioned.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    Now I feel sick! I just went around my home, built the same year, and found high readings at many exterior wall locations. I also found high readings at some of the interior walls where I know there is no insulation and cavity is not sealed well from attic. Morton salt in one of the kitchen cabinets, "when it rains it pours", has turned into a white brick. The wife has not been well for the last two years and likes to keep the thermostat at 68 so I think the humid summer has condensed in the walls worse than ever before. Time to sell and get 60' sailboat!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    New York
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    869

    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    A pinless moisture meter is like a stud finder... hey wait a minute, have you been finding studs?
    I do have a friend that uses an Encounter to scan from the inside out and he swears by it. IMO: Probing is the way to confirm moisture.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    A pinless moisture meter is like a stud finder... hey wait a minute, have you been finding studs?
    I do have a friend that uses an Encounter to scan from the inside out and he swears by it. IMO: Probing is the way to confirm moisture.
    I agree, but many people get all grumpy about the little holes. Don't think I am finding studs, if I am there aren't enough of them!

    Has anyone else found higher than normal moisture readings this year where the rain has been way above normal?

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    New York
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    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    I agree, but many people get all grumpy about the little holes.
    I recently had a colonoscopy and was "grumpy" about the procedure. When I found out what the procedure entailed, my response was "you want to do WHAT?

    If they are serious about getting the information, well then, that is what it takes.

    The holes sound frightening (I call them punctures), and some guys that promote IR like using adjectives like Swiss Cheese, but the truth is; "if you didn't know I was there, you wouldn't know I was there.

    With BV there are other tests too.

    Not only to find out where, but why too.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 09-09-2013 at 10:24 PM.
    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Charlotte NC
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    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    I recently had a colonoscopy and was "grumpy" about the procedure. When I found out what the procedure entailed, my response was "you want to do WHAT?

    If they are serious about getting the information, well then, that is what it takes.

    The holes sound frightening (I call them punctures), and some guys that promote IR like using adjectives like Swiss Cheese, but the truth is; "if you didn't know I was there, you wouldn't know I was there.

    With BV there are other tests too.

    Not only to find out where, but why too.
    OK Steven, what is "BV" (butt view?)

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
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    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    OK Steven, what is "BV" (butt view?)
    HAHAHAHA, you got me!

    Brick Veneer

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,847

    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    What was the humidity level outside when you used your moisture meter? The RH will effect moisture some meters more than others.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  13. #13
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    Mar 2008
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    Charlotte NC
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    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    What was the humidity level outside when you used your moisture meter? The RH will effect moisture some meters more than others.
    I did not measure it but it was uncomfortable. I know it is not an expensive meter but I used it to locate moisture in the hull of my sailboat the winter before last. It pin pointed moisture problems that I wrote the % on the hull in 30-40 spots. The readings were reproduced faithfully and they fell to lower % in an predictable manner over the 3 mo's of dry time. I have never been too concerned with the actual % but more with the wetter area dryer area aspect.

    Would it be reasonable to conclude that an older home, with unknown wall insulation, could be condensing humid air inside the walls due to stack effect or possibly low pressure created by power vent fan in the attic?

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: High moisture readings at exterior walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    1967 ranch with brick veneer siding. I noticed paint pealing near several of the windows and tested for moisture in the wall using Ryobi E49MM01 pinless moisture meter. Readings above 50% were found 12-18" from the vertical edge of the window and extended from near the ceiling to the floor. All of the exterior walls measured higher than normal readings and several more 50% readings from ceiling to floor were found approximately the same distance from windows. No sign of leaks from in the attic or visual of the roofing. No moisture problems observed at the rim joists though there is damp soil in the crawlspace.

    Is it possible there is no house wrap or vapor barrier installed but there is flashing at the windows and doors? This has been the 4th wettest summer in record here but we have not had significant rain in the last 10 days.

    What is the recommended next step?

    Thanks for any advice...

    Vern

    I use both pin and pinless meters. When I get any unusual readings with the pinless meter I question the results. I can't always figure out why its wrong, but it sometimes is. Nails, wires, foil faced insulation, etc. can fool the meter. the results you mention seem to be too uniform. When this happens try moving away from the wet spot slowly. With moisture the reading usually drops of gradually. If the reading changes suddenly thats another clue to me that the reading may not be correct.


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