What is moisture reading?
Moisture reading is the process of identifying the moisture content in the air or in various materials such as wood and masonry. The same process also covers the reading of humidity levels in living spaces (air).
The big advantage of moisture reading is that it is a scientific method that gives accurate figures. This information then enables the user to determine if the piece of material they are reading or the indoor air they are measuring is ideal for use.
How is moisture reading done?
Moisture reading is carried out using devices called moisture readers. The names may vary depending on the manufacturer of the device, as well as the specific scientific method that the device uses to measure the moisture content (MC).
In most cases, the moisture reading devices have a pin/prod that is driven into the material being tested. This is especially common with devices used to test organic materials such as wood, meat, fruits, etc. Others used to measure the moisture content within the air simply feature a large sensor that calculates the amount of humidity.
Electronic moisture readers are much easier to use as they simply indicate a reading showing the percentage of moisture within the material or within the air. Analogue moisture readers feature a scale instead.
When should moisture reading be carried out?
Moisture reading should be carried out either as a routine precaution or whenever high humidity or dampness levels are detected. Builders often carry out moisture reading of the materials they are using in order to adhere to building regulations. Homes inspectors, mold inspectors, and pest inspectors also use them.
You should seek moisture reading if:
- You suspect there’s a leak somewhere
- You suspect dampness within your property
- You suspect dampness or high humidity within your indoor air
- You are investigating mold, rot, or pests in your home
- You want to ensure that your indoor air has the right levels of humidity
What is the ideal moisture reading?
So the question then becomes, what is the ideal moisture content? Well this largely depends on what is being checked for moisture and what it’s being used for. For example, wood has a moisture reading of about 85% when cut but can be dried to about 12%. If it’s being used for firewood, a reading of 5-12% is ideal. If it’s being used for construction, a reading of 12% -17% is okay.
Drywall, on the other hand, should register a reading of about 8% or thereabout. If this reading exceeds 15% then that is considered above normal.
When it comes to humidity, a reading of 50% or less is considered normal and anything above that is considered saturated. During cold winter months the acceptable level is 30 – 40% in order to avoid water condensation.
What do I do if my premises have above-normal moisture readings?
If you suspect (or confirm) that your premises have above-normal moisture readings then you should seek professional help in the matter. High levels of moisture or humidity can cause serious problems to the air or to the various materials affected. To wood, moisture can cause rot, mold, and pests such as termites. To metal, moisture can cause rust. And to concrete, moisture can cause concrete cancer and other issues.
The best option is to seek a home inspection service. Here you’ll get a report detailing how bad the problem is and what should be done.
Our thermal cameras are advanced tools that help with identifying moisture and leaks. Such areas are bound to be cooler than the normal room temperature. Once thermal cameras identify these areas, we go ahead to inspect for mold because mold spores thrive in such environments.