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  1. #1
    Thomas Tadd's Avatar
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    Default Moisture detected by meter around windows

    At the risk of looking stupid I wish to have some feedback about a discovery I made in the last few days. I noticed some moisture on a window sill on Saturday and put the meter around the window and discovered a 4" strip of detectable moisture in the area of the sill and all around the inside wall including the top section of the wall. I checked the sill in the inspection I did today and found the same thing, so I checked in my house and again the same result. The meter is working fine, does this mean that all the inspected windows should be noted as defective?

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    John Kogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Tadd View Post
    At the risk of looking stupid I wish to have some feedback about a discovery I made in the last few days. I noticed some moisture on a window sill on Saturday and put the meter around the window and discovered a 4" strip of detectable moisture in the area of the sill and all around the inside wall including the top section of the wall. I checked the sill in the inspection I did today and found the same thing, so I checked in my house and again the same result. The meter is working fine, does this mean that all the inspected windows should be noted as defective?
    Are they all the same type of window? Metal frame thermopane, wood , vinyl, what? What exactly is the reading you get? Which meter do you have? Is there any visible staining? Painted wood? What's the indoor humidity like there? Why so many questions?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    Is the exterior cladding on all the houses vinyl siding ?


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    Thomas Tadd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Are they all the same type of window? Metal frame thermopane, wood , vinyl, what? What exactly is the reading you get? Which meter do you have? Is there any visible staining? Painted wood? What's the indoor humidity like there? Why so many questions?
    The first windows were aluminum the windows today were vinyl. I have a RYOBI moisture meter, no visible staining and the % was between 10 and 75%. The windows were all framed in sheet rock and moisture disappeared when I moved the meter 4"away from the edge of the sill or edge of the window.


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    Thomas Tadd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Is the exterior cladding on all the houses vinyl siding ?
    Stucco on both.


  6. #6
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    What type of moisture meter? Pin-type or surface scanning type?

    The surface scanning type could be picking up something metal behind the drywall wall, the pin type would not pick that up (unless you had long enough pins to poke all the way through the drywall and into something metallic behind the drywall).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    What type of moisture meter? Pin-type or surface scanning type?

    The surface scanning type could be picking up something metal behind the drywall wall, the pin type would not pick that up (unless you had long enough pins to poke all the way through the drywall and into something metallic behind the drywall).
    It is the surface scanning type. I hate calling things out if I can't explain what is going on!


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    John Goad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    If the windows are cased out with sheetrock it is the outside corners that the meter is picking up on.

    Clarksville Home Inspection
    JW Goad
    TN License #307 | KY License #2402

  9. #9
    Tech 9 Home Inspections's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    I was doing a commmercial inspection and my moisture meter was going off like crazy. Even the wall paper looked like moisture got to it at one time. But I soon realized that there was no moisture present at all, and the bubbled wallpaper was from bad adhesion. I took the meter to an interior wall as a control and found the same result. IMO the moisture meter is sensitive to most metals, ie steel and aluminum. The framing in the building was mostly aluminum. The doors were made of steel. There may be thermal bridging through the aluminum studs coming into contact with warm air in the building cavity causing the meter to go off.

    Hope this helps.


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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    I am new to the the business or more accurately still in training.

    From what I am reading here, it would seem that a inspector may need both a pin type meter and a non-pin type meter, since the newer non pin type can be fooled.

    Can anyone say what models are are considered the best in either group?

    Thanks,
    Mike.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    Go to the Tools forum and search for other replies. Been discussed numerous times before.

    Need a new moisture meter

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  12. #12
    Marc M's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    metal = false positive. Take your meter and place it at the corner bead of the wall, bullnose etc providing its metal... Test that then move it over a few inches.

    If you're not going to stand behind our troops, then please, stand in front of them...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    I get flamed like made everytime I post this but I've been doing inspections for over 10 years and have never set my hands on a "moisture meter".

    Mainly for the reasons brought up in this thread.

    Something to keep in mind... there is no such tool as a true "moisture meter". They may be called this but it's impossible to look beneath a surface with ANY tool and tell how much moisture there is. A moisture meter sends electrical current through a given surface and if it goes through quickly it ASSUMES there is water present. You know what they say about assumptions

    In short I don't like/trust them becasue there are too many false positives and, the other side of the coin..... a leak stain with a zero reading. What do you tell your client? No need to worry at all..... there's no problem.... and where do I send the check?


  14. #14
    John Kogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moisture detected by meter around windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I get flamed like made everytime I post this but I've been doing inspections for over 10 years and have never set my hands on a "moisture meter".

    Mainly for the reasons brought up in this thread.

    Something to keep in mind... there is no such tool as a true "moisture meter". They may be called this but it's impossible to look beneath a surface with ANY tool and tell how much moisture there is. A moisture meter sends electrical current through a given surface and if it goes through quickly it ASSUMES there is water present. You know what they say about assumptions

    In short I don't like/trust them because there are too many false positives and, the other side of the coin..... a leak stain with a zero reading. What do you tell your client? No need to worry at all..... there's no problem.... and where do I send the check?
    Actually, Markus, I had stains like that in the back bedroom when we bought this place. A couple of brown water marks, obviously from leaks, but the moisture meter readings only went up slightly. The spots felt dry to the hand. It turns out that these spots no longer leak. We painted over the stains 3 years ago. No problem.

    If you use the MM for a while, you can get pretty accurate with it. A loose toilet a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes, the crapper is loose but not leaking. This one, with the MM going over the vinyl, I described an egg-shaped circle that went almost over to the tub. So now the client knows there's flooring to lift as well as a toilet seal job.
    A gutter was overflowing onto a stairway and staining a stucco wall. The MM showed high moisture readings at the stain but nowhere else. I said that moisture appears to have soaked through here and here but not over here.

    Concrete floor, forget it. Steel studs, don't be silly.

    As others have said, it's good to have two meters if there is doubt. And I don't rely heavily on it. I rarely let the clients see it. They will ask you to scan the whole stinkin house.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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