Moisture Meter Brands, Models, Sources, Features
Choosing a Moisture Meter to Screen Buildings for Leaks, Moisture Traps, Rot, Insect Damage, or Mold
MOISTURE METER CHOICES - CONTENTS: list of manufacturers, sources, brands & types of moisture meters used to measure building materials or to inspect & test buildings for hidden leaks, moisture, or water.
POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to use moisture meters to check for building leaks, hidden damage, mold, insects, rot - reliabilty, procedures, proper usage
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Moisture meter brands, types, manufacturers, sources & prices.
This article lists examples of moisture meters useful for measuring building materials such as concrete, wood, plaster. We give examples of the differences between pin type moisture meters and electronic sensor moisture measuring devices and explain the particular uses of each type of moisture meter.
This article series explains the use and reliability of different types of moisture detection equipment to find water entry problems on buildings. We demonstrate where moisture meters work successfully and where (and why) they don't.
Where to Buy a Moisture Meter: Moisture Meter Brands, Models, Features & Typical Price Comparisons
Note: here we list only devices specifically designed to measure moisture level in typical building materials (wood, plaster, drywall, concrete); we exclude humidity measuring devices (moisture in air), and similar devices.
Photo at left, the Tramex Moisture Encounter in use by the author to make relative or comparative moisture level measurements in a fiber cement product.
Watch out when pricing moisture meters, not only for the fundamental limitations of various moisture meter device types, but also because some retailers quote a "lowball" price that does not include equipment that you need to use the meter, such as probes.
Also note that this list is incomplete; many of these manufacturers offer a wide range of moisture meter models with varying prices & features.
List of Popular Moisture Meter Brands, Models, Features & Prices
Amprobe MT-10 Moisture Meter ($50. U.S.) pin type
Delmhorst moisture meters, Delmhorst Instrument Co., 51 Indian Lane East
Towaco, NJ 07082-1025, 877-DELMHORST (335-6467) or (973) 334-2557, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: http://www.delmhorst.com/
Delmhorst Moisture Meter Model # BD-2100, ($350. U.S.), pin type; Gypsum scale 0.2 - 50% moisture range; similar Delmhorst moisture meter models range in price from about $150. to $350.
Delmhorst F-6 Hay Moisture Meter ($200. U.S.) pin type [not suitable unless you are inspecting straw bale construction]
Wide range of moisture meters & features
The author has used Delmhorst equipment for more than two decades
DUSIEC Handheld MD812 Digital Wood Moisture Content Meter ($20. U.S.), pin type, Lcd Display, 5-40%
EXTECH MO100 Moisture Meter, ($70. U.S.) Wood or Drywall
Extech moisture meter, MO210, ($100. U.S.) pocket sized, pin type
Extech MO257, pinless moisture meter ($225. U.S.), moisture content 0-100%, Measurement Depth from 0.78 In. (20mm) to 1.6 In. (40mm) Below the Surface
EXTECH MO295 Pinless Moisture Meter, ($400 U.S.), moisture content 0-99%, intended for use with wood or "building materials", Data Logging
Wide range of moisture meters & features
GE Protimeter BLD2000 Mini Moisture Meter, ($125.- $240. U.S.), pin type LED Display, 6-90%
GE Protimeter BLD5360 Surveymaster Dual Function Moisture Meter, ($400. U.S.) pin type, extension cord for pins, LCD and LED Display
Wide range of moisture meters & features
General Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture Meter ($30. U.S.) pin type
Lignomat Moisture Meter Mini-Ligno E/D, ($100. U.S.) pin type
NEEWER® Digital Wood Moisture Meter Humidity Tester, pin type 4 Pin with LCD, 5-40%, looks a lot like the DUSIEC
Sonin 50211 Rapitest ($32. U.S.) 10% to 28%, Pinless + pins on 3 ft. extension cord, Analog, Wood, Concrete, Plaster, Carpet, etc. Moisture Meter
Tramex Moisture Meters (wide product range for lumbre, wood, concrete, other materials),
U.S.A. and Canada, Tramex Corporation Sales & Service,
Black Hawk Sales Inc.,
4901 Fox Ridge Court
Fort Collins,CO 80524,
Tel: 970 488 1898
Tel: 303 284 1361
(Canada Sales Direct Line)
Fax: 877 525 9279
Email: email@example.com, Website: http://www.tramexltd.com/
TRAMEX LTD.- Ireland
Shankill Business Center,
Tel: +353 1 239 3224
Fax: +353 1 282 7880
CMEX II Concrete Moisture Meter (Digital), includes plug-in pin type sensor & a relative humidity probe;
Concrete Encounter CME4
MRH III Moisture and Humidity Measurement Meter (Digital)
Moisture Encounter PLUS (similar to the author's older model shown at above-left)
Compact Moisture Meter, pin type (also tested by the author), moisture content 7-42%
Professional Moisture Meter (Digital) pin type
RWS Roof and Wall Scanner - "multi-mode hand held moisture detection instrument for non-destructive moisture scanning, surveying, and leak tracing in the building envelope, including built up, non-conductive single ply membranes, modified and foam roofing systems and EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems). This instrument combines the features of the popular Tramex Leak Seeker and the Wet Wall Detector"
Wide range of moisture meters & features
The author has used Tramex equipment for more than two decades
Wagner Moisture Meters (wide product range for lumber, wood flooring, concrete);
326 Pine Grove Road
Rogue River, OR, 97537, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , Website: http://www.wagnermeters.com/
Compare these moisture meter features or properties
Pin type vs. electronic type moisture sensor. Pin type sensors must penetrate the material to sense moisture; accuracy may be affected by the paint coating or other factors, and cannot measure moisture behind ceramic wall tile or similar obstructions.
Low-cost pin type moisture meters usually have short pins affixed to the device and cannot penetrate into wall cavities, hay bales, insulation, or other deeper locations
Long pin type moisture meters and meters that provide a remote pin sensor (such as our older Delmhorst meter) make it easier to measure moisture in hard-to-reach locations.
Electronic type ("pinless) moisture sensors can measure behind ceramic tile, penetrate building cavities to varying depths, are completely non-invasive, non-damaging to surfaces; electronic moisture meters can be fooled by the presence of (or used to detect the presence of) electrical wiring, metal piping, foil faced insulation, metal lath or similar materials within the building cavity
Measurement depth: depending on the material, the electronic or "pinless" moisture meter is capable of measuring to some specified depth below the surface onto which it is placed. This ability exceeds pin type moisture meters that rely on direct contact with the moist materia.
But don't forget to consider the depth limitation when reaching conclusions; our article above showed that in a 2x4 stud wall, a device not capable of sensing moisture at least five inches away won't detect wet sheathing on the exterior surface of a wall cavity when used indoors.
Some electronic or pinless moisture meters also include an attachable probe for making pin type surface measurements.
Data logging: not necessary for typical building inspection or painting use, but may be required for forensic investigation, studies, or legal work.
Moisture range: moisture meters vary in reporting range
Moisture meter accuracy: moisture meters vary significantly in accuracy, though for relative or comparative measurements accuracy may be less of a concern.
Moisture meter durability: for building & home inspectors - will the meter survive a drop from waist height to the floor?
Scale choices: some moisture meters are single purpose with only a wood scale; useful are scales for masonry materials or a wider range of materials.
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Mark Cramer Inspection Services Mark Cramer, Tampa Florida, Mr. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. Mr. Cramer serves on the ASHI Home Inspection Standards. Contact Mark Cramer at: 727-595-4211 mark@BestTampaInspector.com
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Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Design of Wood Structures - ASD, Donald E. Breyer, Kenneth Fridley, Kelly Cobeen, David Pollock, McGraw Hill, 2003, ISBN-10: 0071379320, ISBN-13: 978-0071379328
This book is an update of a long-established text dating from at least 1988 (DJF); Quoting: This book is gives a good grasp of seismic design for wood structures. Many of the examples especially near the end are good practice for the California PE Special Seismic Exam design questions. It gives a good grasp of how seismic forces move through a building and how to calculate those forces at various locations.THE CLASSIC TEXT ON WOOD DESIGN UPDATED TO INCLUDE THE LATEST CODES AND DATA. Reflects the most recent provisions of the 2003 International Building Code and 2001 National Design Specification for Wood Construction. Continuing the sterling standard set by earlier editions, this indispensable reference clearly explains the best wood design techniques for the safe handling of gravity and lateral loads. Carefully revised and updated to include the new 2003 International Building Code, ASCE 7-02 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, the 2001 National Design Specification for Wood Construction, and the most recent Allowable Stress Design.
Diagnosing & Repairing House Structure Problems, Edgar O. Seaquist, McGraw Hill, 1980 ISBN 0-07-056013-7 (obsolete, incomplete, missing most diagnosis steps, but very good reading; out of print but used copies are available at Amazon.com, and reprints are available from some inspection tool suppliers). Ed Seaquist was among the first speakers invited to a series of educational conferences organized by D Friedman for ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors, where the topic of inspecting the in-service condition of building structures was first addressed.
Defects and Deterioration in Buildings: A Practical Guide to the Science and Technology of Material Failure, Barry Richardson, Spon Press; 2d Ed (2001), ISBN-10: 041925210X, ISBN-13: 978-0419252108. Quoting: A professional reference designed to assist surveyors, engineers, architects and contractors in diagnosing existing problems and avoiding them in new buildings. Fully revised and updated, this edition, in new clearer format, covers developments in building defects, and problems such as sick building syndrome. Well liked for its mixture of theory and practice the new edition will complement Hinks and Cook's student textbook on defects at the practitioner level.
Masonry structures: The Masonry House, Home Inspection of a Masonry Building & Systems, Stephen Showalter (director, actor), DVD, Quoting: Movie Guide Experienced home inspectors and new home inspectors alike are sure to learn invaluable tips in this release designed to take viewers step-by-step through the home inspection process. In addition to being the former president of the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), a longstanding member of the NAHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and the Environmental Standard Organization (IESO), host Stephen Showalter has performed over 8000 building inspections - including environmental assessments. Now, the founder of a national home inspection school and inspection training curriculum shares his extensive experience in the inspection industry with everyday viewers looking to learn more about the process of evaluating homes. Topics covered in this release include: evaluation of masonry walls; detection of spalling from rebar failure; inspection of air conditioning systems; grounds and landscaping; electric systems and panel; plumbing supply and distribution; plumbing fixtures; electric furnaces; appliances; evaluation of electric water heaters; and safety techniques. Jason Buchanan --Jason Buchanan, All Movie Review
Straw Bale Home Design, U.S. Department of Energy provides information on strawbale home construction - original source at http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/designing_remodeling/index.cfm/mytopic=10350
More Straw Bale Building: A Complete Guide to Designing and Building with Straw (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series), Chris Magwood, Peter Mack, New Society Publishers (February 1, 2005), ISBN-10: 0865715181 ISBN-13: 978-0865715189 - Quoting: Straw bale houses are easy to build, affordable, super energy efficient, environmentally friendly, attractive, and can be designed to match the builder’s personal space needs, esthetics and budget. Despite mushrooming interest in the technique, however, most straw bale books focus on “selling” the dream of straw bale building, but don’t adequately address the most critical issues faced by bale house builders. Moreover, since many developments in this field are recent, few books are completely up to date with the latest techniques. More Straw Bale Building is designed to fill this gap. A completely rewritten edition of the 20,000-copy best--selling original, it leads the potential builder through the entire process of building a bale structure, tackling all the practical issues: finding and choosing bales; developing sound building plans; roofing; electrical, plumbing, and heating systems; building code compliance; and special concerns for builders in northern climates.
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones