How Experts Detect Hidden Moisture

Moisture Meter

We have said it dozens of times: mold needs moisture to grow.  We have even gone over the many ways to prevent moisture accumulation.  But what about hidden moisture?  You cannot see inside walls, under floors, inside crawl spaces, and even inside insulation.  How can you be sure that potentially damaging moisture is not lurking deep with your home’s walls?  How can you be sure that you have completely dried out your home after a big storm or other flooding event? It is not necessary to cut into drywall or rip out insulation to check whether your home has hidden moisture pockets.  No worries, we have tools that can detect moisture pockets that are hidden from the human eye.

Common Areas that Hold Hidden Moisture:

- Beneath flooring including tile, wood, carpet, laminate, and subfloors
- Inside walls, between walls and inside of drywall     
- Insulation material in roofs and walls
- Ceilings, attics, crawl spaces, and basements
- Behind stucco

Detecting Hidden Moisture

Even if walls and surfaces look and feel dry, there can be hidden pockets of moisture. The best way to determine whether these surfaces have hidden moisture without ripping out walls is to examine the areas with moisture meters. There are two types of moisture meters: pinless meters and pin-type meters.  Pinless moisture meters use radio waves to quickly scan larger areas to determine overall moisture content and to find trouble areas. Pinless moisture scanning is particularly useful when examining a potential home for purchase or performing regularly scheduled testing since the radio frequency causes no damage to surfaces.  

Pin-type moisture meters use two pins that are inserted into a surface. Electricity flows between the two pins to measure the amount of water in that surface. Pin-type moisture meters are very accurate and can be used after a pinless meter has determined a trouble spot, or to measure and confirm ongoing drying. In conjunction with pinless moisture meters, pin-type moisture meters give you near 100% assurance that the moisture inside your home’s surfaces is within safe levels.

When Should You Use a Moisture Meter or Get an Inspection?

- If your home smells musty, but you cannot find a source for the smell, a moisture meter can help you identify hidden moisture pockets.
- If your home has flooded in the past or you are currently trying to dry your home out, you should check and monitor the moisture level.
- If you are thinking about buying a new home or other property, a pin-less moisture reading is a great way to make sure there are no hidden pockets of moisture.
- Moisture inspections are also a good idea for older homes in moist areas, rental units, and buildings with a large number of occupants.

Moisture and mold can hide beneath the surface, undetectable to the human eye.  Professional moisture meters allow you to “see” beneath the surface and accurately determine the moisture level. You’ll have peace of mind, knowing exactly where mitigation work needs to take place or that your building is safe and dry.

Superior Cleaning & Coit Cleaning and Restoration in Woodinville, WA holds a Construction Contractor, General license (SUPERI 973KR).

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