The job of a home inspector has a lot of significance when it comes to real estate transactions. It has been surveyed that the reports furnished by home inspectors act as both deal maker and breaker in selling / purchasing of residential and commercial properties. Professional home inspectors use a set of tools along their visual inspection expertise to give an objective ruling on the structural integrity and other aspects of the construction of a building.
In this context, a moisture meter is a vital part of the tool bag that home inspectors carry. These handheld devices mostly with sensor pins (electrodes) promptly pick up the moisture levels in different surfaces and materials and show them via numerical values. These numbers are then used by home inspectors to infer what it actually means e.g. does the detected moisture level pose any structural risk or could it be a precursor for mold and mildew growth.
Moisture meters to be used by professionals must be accurate and error-free. These meters should work on more than one type of material and must provide correct results even after repeated use. Whether you are starting out as a fresh home inspector and preparing your toolkit or a seasoned professional looking to replace the old moisture meter, read on this piece. We are going to discuss five of the best moisture meter for home inspectors available in the market right now.
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Our Test Winner After 35 + Hours Of Research:
General Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture Meter
Why It's Our Top Pick?
General Tools MMD7NP Pinless Digital Moisture Meter
If you are not interested in skimming through a list of moisture meters and just want to know about the best device for your job, then here you go: General Tools’ MMD7NP Pinless Moisture meter is what you need as a home inspector. The long list of features makes it one of the best moisture meters for home inspectors for this year.
It doesn’t use pin electrodes so you are not going to scuff and spike the surfaces you will use it on. This seemingly small thing actually makes you look like a real home inspection professional. Moreover, it is suitable for all sorts of surfaces including wood, drywall, and masonry. Also, the additional tricolor LED indicator and audio alarm for high and low moisture levels help in detecting any invisible leaks. In its price tag, General Tools MMD7NP is definitely the best moisture meter out there.
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Our Overall Top Pick
General Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture Meter
If you are going to survey a property with lots of woodwork, then this moisture meter by General Tools should be in your bag. It is a lightweight, handheld device that gives instant and accurate moisture readings of timber, drywall, and other similar non-concrete materials.
General Tools MMD4E offers moisture content measuring range of 5 to 50% for all wooden items. The measurement range for non-wooden materials is between 1.5 and 33%. Its numeric read-out is accompanied by audio and visual alerts as well. For instance, a high level of moisture content will be indicated through a lit red LED and a particular beeping.
Similarly, the moderate and low moisture levels are displayed by yellow and green LEDs respectively along with their respective beeps. This detailed detection and display system definitely comes in really handy when you are inspecting different surfaces with varied moisture profiles at the same time.
The display screen of the MMD4E moisture meter is also worth mentioning. It displays digits in large fonts with backlit illumination so you use the meter even in dark spaces without needing any light source. You also get to freeze the reading with the hold button to write down correct and precise moisture values.
This General Tool moisture meter also includes extra stainless steel sensor pins and a calibration cap. You also get a 9-volt battery in the package. All these varied reading features and accessories are available at a reasonable price point.
Tavool Digital Moisture Detector
This is another effective and one of the best moisture meters for home inspectors that come at a reasonable price. This device by Tavool is one of the most detailed moisture detectors for wooden surfaces that you can find on the block. You can calibrate it to find out the moisture content of eight different types of timbers that are mostly used in construction.
From floors to walls and supporting structures, you can use it on all sorts of wooden elements of the construction. The measuring range of this Tavool meter for wooden material is from 6 to 60%. While measuring the moisture content, it simultaneously picks up the temperature of the material as well. This added reading allows you to make your inspection reports more comprehensive. You can also use it for detecting moisture in other materials if you are looking at a limited range.
There are many little features of this machine, collectively making its use convenient and value-added. For instance, you won’t lose a moisture reading even if you accidentally turn off the meter. The reading will be displayed whenever you will turn on the device again— thanks to its memory function. Similarly, its auto-shutoff feature will automatically turn off the device if the device is not in the operating mode for 10 minutes.
Also, the ergonomic design and side rubber grips also prove to be valuable when you are on an hours-long inspection of a property featuring extensive woodwork. You can easily hold the device for long without feeling any strain and stiffness in your hand.
Klein Tools ET140 Pinless Moisture Meter
Klein Tools has been making different sorts of home improvement tools for more than 150 years. It has put all this vast experience in making one of the best moisture meters for home inspectors. Klein Tool’s ET140 Pinless Moisture Meter is an ideal tool for your toolkit if you are going to find out the moisture content of different parts of an entire building.
Unlike the majority of moisture meters available in the market right now, this one doesn’t just work on wooden material. You can also use it for detecting the moisture content of drywall and most importantly you can use it on masonry as well. This comprehensive moisture detection system makes sure you can take all the moisture readings in a building from a single device.
The other impressive bit about this moisture meter is it doesn’t use metallic pins as the sensors. Instead, it uses electromagnetic radiation to pick up the moisture levels. You just need to hold the meter against the surface you are assessing for the moisture and it will pick up the reading. This innovation makes the use of Klein Tool’s moisture meter noninvasive. In other words, you can check all different soft and hard surfaces for moisture without drilling and scratching them.
The shape and design of the meter are sportier and a perfect mold for a handheld device. Klein Tool has also made sure that its moisture device can withstand the rough use on construction sites. For that, the device is designed and tested to withstand a drop from a height of 6.6 feet. So, the body of the meter is not going to break into pieces like regular moisture meters with plastic casings even if it slips from your hands.
General Tools MMD7NP Pinless Digital Moisture Meter
General Tools also has a digital moisture meter that works without pins and offer noninvasive and non-marring use. Like Klein Tool Moisture meter, this one also works on all sorts of building surfaces including masonry. However, it gives the best results on softwoods where its measuring range is from zero to 53%.
The best thing about this Pinless moisture meter By General Tools is its detailed moisture detection system. It is so accurate and consistent that you can also use it for detecting unseen, hidden leaks in walls and facades. The audio/visual alert system of MMD7NP comes in really useful for such detections. It actually produces a particular tone on high moisture levels along with flickering LED indicators. The same LED indicator is also used to display different levels of moistures in different colors.
The other highlight about this General Tool moisture meter is obviously is Pinless moisture sensing system. Having a needleless senor in a moisture meter entails several benefits. First of all, it allows you to cover large surface areas in lesser time. Moreover, you can detect the moisture of delicate softwood materials without pinning holes in them.
Home inspectors that take care of such seemingly minor things in their inspection work reflect their professionalism. The various alerts system of this moisture meter also makes it an ideal option for extensive professional use. For instance, the machine notifies you when it’s time to replace its low, drained battery. Similarly, an out-of-range alarm notifies you when moisture levels are either too high or low.
Proster Handheld Wood Moisture Detector
If you are one of those homes inspectors who use a specialized tool for every step of inspection, then consider this handheld moisture detector by Proster. It is definitely the best moisture detector for home inspectors who are looking for a specialized device for timber. This moisture meter comes at a reasonable price and works on all sorts of wooden surfaces.
As per the manufacturer’s claims, the Proster Handheld Moisture Detector works on four major types of woods and whopping 50 of its different sub-species. Moreover, the measuring range of this meter is also quite something. You won’t find such a long measuring range in any other meter from the similar price range. The device can measure any moisture content percentage from zero to 99.
The accuracy of Proster’s moisture meter also matches its impressive range. When the majority of top-quality moisture meters offer accuracy of ±2%, this Proster meter gives the result with an accuracy of ±0.5%. The data hold button is also given so you can correctly record all the moisture values without any hurry.
In order to protect the battery from excessive draining, Proster handheld device automatically shuts off when it is left for 15 minutes without any use. And as soon as the battery drops low, a symbol appears on the screen so you can replace it in time. The integrated circuit that operates the electrodes (senor pins) also ensures that the device keeps on giving consistent results. In short, this Proster moisture meter is a great specialized device for detecting the moisture content of wooden elements of construction.
Finding out the moisture content of wooden elements of construction is an important part of home inspection. No matter how seasoned a home inspector is, they can’t determine the level of moisture in timber, masonry, and drywall surfaces with visual inspection alone. So, a moister meter is a must in the toolkit of any professional home inspector.
The above list of five of the best moisture meters for home inspectors has covered all the efficient and accurate devices that you can confidently use as a professional. You can also pick multiple moister meters from the list for different materials for pinpoint and specialized inspection.