Moisture comes in naturally in many types of material, and each material contains a specific level of moisture. That said, it is important to do monitoring of moisture content as excessive or less amount may cause momentous damages to that material. Good thing there are moisture meters for that purpose. If you’re wondering how to use a moisture meter, then this article is for you!
What Is a Moisture Meter?
Before learning how to use one, it is imperative to know what a moisture meter is. A moisture meter is used essentially in many industries. It allows you to check and monitor the probability of water in a given substance. With this instrument, we can determine whether a material is ready for use or needs a further checkup. It detects the amount of moisture in solids, gases and hydrocarbon liquids. It can also identify if the material is wet or dry and if it is appropriate for the intended design.
Different Types of Moisture Meter
Different types of moisture meter are out in the market. Knowing each kind of moisture meter helps you identify the accurate one to use for your business. that are
- Wood Moisture Meter
One of those is the wood moisture meter. As its name implies, this tool suits woodwork such as moldings or stairways.
Woods have moisture content at around 80% when first cut making it is hard to shape. Therefore, the manufacturers of wood-related goods certainly use a wood moisture meter to do a test first as required.
- Concrete Moisture Meter
Another type of which is called concrete moisture meter that does the moisture test on concrete floors and solid materials. It is also accurate in measuring moisture in constructions.
This type of moisture meter is used to investigate the utmost surface at one specific spot on the slab quickly. Once the result is available, it can dig up the best place to fit a concrete relative humidity test.
- Soil Moisture Meter
Another type is called soil moisture meter. This is used mostly by Agriculturists such as farmers to control their irrigation systems. This is designed to identify the moisture content in the soil. If soil moisture condition is known, then using this modern technology makes a complex job easy because of its marked moisture ranking.
- Plant Moisture Meter
There is also a moisture meter used for plants. This can determine the amount of water needed for houseplants.
The Two Classifications of a Moisture Meter
Moisture Meters have two classifications, pin-type and pinless. Like any other tools, there are pros and cons in using pin-type and pinless moisture meters.
- Pin-type Moisture Meter
Pin-type Moisture Meter has two metal pins and functions by measuring the electrical resistance between these pins. It is commonly used for lumber or wood products. This is physically inserting the pins into a piece of wood and then producing an electrical current.
One of the advantages of this type of moisture meter is that it can be used in any individual attachment as long as it can be hammered in. Some of its disadvantages are it cannot be used on hard or concrete materials, and it leaves markings or tiny pinholes on the surface. The pins also get easily damaged but can be replaced.
- Pinless Moisture Meter
Pinless Moisture Meter is used by positioning it on top of the floor and is best for flat surfaces like walls and ceilings. This device is ideal for examining huge areas like building restorations where moisture detection is needed on floors. Among its advantages is that it is less time-consuming because it provides farther results. However, if the material is too narrow or too thick, then it may not identify the source of moisture precisely. Arguably, among its disadvantages is that It can only scan a certain depth.
How to use a Moisture Meter?
Moisture meters provide a quick and accurate result. But there are also important guidelines for using every type of it.
You’ve already learned its different types and classifications. We can now move on to the question at hand; how to use a moisture meter?
Here are the steps on how to use a pin-type moisture meter:
Step 1: Turn on the device and make sure to set it to the type of material you are about to work on.
Step 2: Position the moisture meter accordingly and place the pins vertically to the surface and push it in as far as it can go without using too much force.
Step 3: Note down the value you see on the screen. The result may be in percentage or reference reading.
Step 4: Redo the process at gaps over the entire area. Get more readings especially on high danger spots.
Here are the steps on how to use a pinless moisture meter:
Step 1: Turn the device on and set it on the correct mode. This time, you may need to wait for a few seconds for the device to calibrate.
Step 2: Place it down onto the test material. Make sure to put a low pressure to avoid forming an air gap between the moisture meter and the material.
Step 3: Note down the value on the screen.
Step 4: Slide or move the device to a new place to get more readings. Keep in mind that it can slightly change between models.
Usually, instructions or a manual user guide is provided in the package for proper use.
Furthermore, some moisture meters do have additional features like a thermometer. It works in various ways like the temperature can automatically show on the screen next to the moisture reading, although this feature is commonly found on a digital pin-type device. There are also moisture meters that can instinctively adjust the moisture reading conforming to temperature.
Moisture content is a major concern in numerous industries such as agriculture, construction, and woodworking. Most of the time, agriculturists and construction and woodworkers rely on moisture meters to ensure a good job quality. With these handy detection devices, these workers assess the risks of moisture content and related damages on wood floors, concrete, and structures, among others.
A moisture meter diminishes the risks of flaws in flooring after initiation. Even homeowners would find this tool functional if they need to do repairs inside or outside their houses such as leaks or even to self-install wood floorings or just simply check the condition of their trees or indoor plants. It’s an efficient method. Nevertheless, we’d suggest taking multiple readings to get more accurate and reliable results.
Furthermore, always remember that there are imperative things to look for in a moisture meter device such as its accuracy, its depth of reading, its measurement range, and its durability. Proper maintenance is also important to retain its reliability and good performance. Make sure to clean your tools after every use to forbid erosion and other damages.