Moisture Meter Reference Scales March 14, 2018 – Posted in: Blog

A moisture meter is an essential tool for water damage restoration professionals — one that can be used during initial conversations with prospective clients and one that remains indispensable as you track project progress and confirm that restoration is complete.

You will need a variety of equipment to perform a comprehensive and thorough job as a water damage restoration professional. A dependable moisture meter is among the most important.

What Is a Moisture Meter Reference Scale?

Most moisture meters can operate in a mode that provides readings taken on a scale that has two endpoints. Different ranges within that scale will indicate whether or not the space is wet or dry.

For example, one moisture meter may run on a scale of between 0 and 200. A certain low range on that scale may indicate that a space is too dry and that it is far below acceptable measures of moisture. The middle range on that scale indicates that a space is in perfect condition. And the high end of that scale indicates that a space has too much moisture and requires remediation.

Why use this type of moisture meter scale? Because it allows you to use a moisture meter in more than just one kind of material. That is, it allows a moisture meter to be far more versatile and flexible than it would be otherwise.

How Do I Read a Moisture Meter Reference Scale and Interpret It?

Start by taking a measurement from an unaffected area. When you capture the amount of moisture in an unaffected area, you will be able to use this as a baseline for other measurements. For example, if you take a measurement in hardwood flooring in an unaffected area that reads as a 25 on a 0-100 scale, you can use that as your baseline. A reading of 25 does not mean that a material has 25% moisture content (MC), it just means that there is relatively low moisture in the material.

If you take a measurement in the affected area that reads 63 on a 0-100 scale, you will know the area has far too much moisture.

As you begin your work on the flooring in the affected space, you can set a level of 25 as your ultimate goal. As you work to dry the space you can use the moisture meter to track your progress, testing to see if you are actually making progress with your drying of the affected materials.

Some moisture meters have features to help you track your progress built into their functionality. Many moisture readers have an analog pin that rises and falls with moisture. As the pin rises and falls (or moves from side to side), it settles into one of three color-coded areas on the dial. If it settles in a green range, you know that an acceptable amount of moisture is present. If it settles in a yellow range, you need to take a closer look. If it settles in a red range, you know the area is far from dried out.

Be sure to retake both wet and dry measurements each day, as the weather conditions can affect the readings by changing temperatures and relative humidity. You will also find that relative measurements like this are not as precise as other measurements, but they can be helpful for tracking your progress nonetheless.