For this post, I have put together a collection of the best moisture meters currently available.
Moisture can accumulate on surfaces for a variety of reasons such as outside water intrusion, humidity, and condensation. Other than preventing obvious leaks, the typical way to reduce moisture is to increase ventilation. This can be done either naturally through opening doors and windows or mechanically.
Examples of mechanical prevention methods include:
Bathroom exhaust fan - to reduce the humidity caused by showering and bathing.
Window fan - to assist with natural ventilation.
Kitchen range hood - to reduce moisture accumulation from cooking.
Dehumidifier - portable appliance to address specific problem areas in the home.
Finding the right solution depends on the the cause of the issue and location in the home.
What is a moisture meter?
These hand-held devices are approximately the size and shape of a laser measuring tool and use pin sensors to find the moisture content in a range of surfaces and materials.
Knowing the moisture levels in your walls, wood, and masonry can give you an estimate of the potential for mold growth throughout your home. Finding moisture is the first step in early mold prevention.
How to use a moisture meter (may vary by model):
Set the device to read whatever material you’re using (typically drywall, sheet rock, plaster, concrete, or mortar).
Place both pins onto surface of the material for several seconds.
Read the LCD display indicating moisture content of the surface.
Using a moisture meter will help you determine if you need to dry or replace the existing materials.
So here is my list of The 10 Best Moisture Meters.
1. General Tools MMD4E Moisture Meter
Features an easy-to-read LCD display for quick and easy viewing.
Ergonomic size easily fits in one hand.
Moisture detector has a wide and precise measuring range.
Stick the stainless steel pins into the surface of what you are measuring in order to get a read-out.
Never buy water logged wood again; measures the moisture content of wood before buying.
2. SAM-PRO TOOLS Dual Moisture Meter
Simply take off the protective cap, press the power button, select your material type and push the two pins of the meter into the material you want to measure.
A couple seconds later the device will display the moisture content on its large easy-to-read LCD display.
Backlight for taking measurements in dark, hard to access areas.
Use the min and max display feature to get the range of moisture values taken at various locations.
Includes an air temperature sensor.
3. Ryobi E49MM01 Pinless Moisture Meter
Simply hold the sensor over whatever you’re trying to read, set the device to read whatever material you’re using and look at the LED screen for a percentage.
Additionally, you can listen to the audible alerts from the device.
Alerts change in frequency as you run into higher levels.
Doesn’t use any pins, so you can run this over your delicate surfaces without scuffing.
4. Extech MO55 Combination Moisture Meter
Combination pin/pinless moisture meter.
Quick moisture measurements on wood and building materials with choice of pin or pinless (non-invasive) method.
Easy-to-operate with display icons that indicate the levels of moisture content.
Audible alert feature.
A must-have tool for analyzing the after-effects of water leakage behind walls and in ceilings.
5. Calculated Industries 7440 AccuMASTER XT Moisture Meter
PRO AND DIY REMODELERS
Quickly discover hidden water damage in floors, walls and under carpets due to roof leaks, flooding, burst pipes, underground seepage or other water infiltration sources.
Easily check moisture content percentage before purchasing or using expensive lumber and hardwoods.
EASY ON THE EYES
Large, well-designed LCD display and always-on backlight means you can easily read it in dimly lit lumberyards, jobsites, workshops, or even out at your wood pile on a cold winter night.
Handy hold function lets you freeze a reading on the display for viewing at a more convenient angle.
USER FRIENDLY, SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND
Just pop off the protective cover, then firmly push the (replaceable) sharp, stainless steel pins into the material you wish to measure.
The easy-to-read digits and clearly-designed icons tell you immediately if the Moisture Content is High, Medium or Low.
Plus, there are also audible High, Medium, Low alerts so you will be able to hear the level even if you are in a dark or awkward space where you can’t see the screen.
The sturdy, hand-friendly shape and rubber side grips let you take multiple measurements in comfort.
6. Ejoyous 3 in 1 Moisture Meter
3 in 1: Wood moisture meter, building materials moisture meter & ambient temperature.
Measure range : 0 - 54.8%; Resolution : 0.1%; 0.1°C; 0.1°F ; Accuracy: ±2%; ±1°C. Electrode length: 8mm (0.3").
Accurate measurement for two wood groups and five types of building materials.
Records the minimum or maximum reading, and hold the data when it is necessary.
HD Digital LCD backlight display.
Auto power off without operation after 5 minutes.
7. DIY METER H2O Moisture Meter
Easy-to-read LCD bar-graph indicator.
Low battery indicator, data-hold function and auto power-off after 15 minutes with no operation.
Delivers moisture ranges between 3.0% and 40.0% within accuracies of +/- 1%.
8. LIUMY Digital Moisture Meter
Measurement range: 0 - 99.9%, Resolution: 0.1% and Accuracy: +/- 0.5%.
LCD Display: 1.7 inches (4.25 mm).
Auto hold function and Auto power-off features.
9. Aikotoo Moisture Meter
Produces accurate, stable and repeatable readings. The measurement range is 0-9999 ppm with an accuracy of ± 2%.
Temperature range is 32.0-176.0 ° F- 0.1-80.0 ° C.
Easy-to-read LCD display for quick and easy viewing.
Probes should be inserted at least 4mm~5mm into wood for an accurate read-out.
Features power button, automatic shutdown function, out of range alarm and low battery indicator.
Includes a large protective cap of moisture meter.
High quality cushioned leather case make it easy to store, carry and transport small gadgets.
10. Meterk Handheld Mini Moisture Meter
Wood 2%～70% RH, Resolution: 0.5%, Accuracy: ±0.5%.
Use MODE button to select the appropriate wood type(1, 2, 3, 4).
Auto power off in 10 minutes without any operation.
Data hold function.
Large LCD display with switchable backlight.
I hope this list of the best moisture meters was helpful.
If you think I left out one that is important or have a suggestion for a future article, let me know in the comments below.
Brandon Hubbard, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C