The third subject of our Inspection Tools series is the moisture meter.  This is a basic tool that every inspector should have to identify elevated moisture levels in home components.

The way it works is by using an electrical current to sense the resistance made by water. The tool is very accurate and shows the percentage of moisture in the component or material that it is used on. Almost all materials have some level of moisture in them, but usually if it is less than 10% it’s not a concern.

One of the most effective ways to use the moisture meter is in conjunction with the thermal camera. After scanning the home with the thermal camera, we test any cool areas with the moisture meter. If there is no elevated moisture, then it is likely only an issue of low insulation. However, sometimes the thermal camera shows a cool spot, and the moisture meter confirms moisture intrusion in the area that we wouldn’t have identified otherwise.

Photos below show the moisture meter in action, and the same spot with the thermal camera.