As a home inspector, a moisture meter is like an extension of our hand. We use it all the time, and it’s something that we need to work right – and last. The list of serious problems that could arise in a home that has had water intrusion is long, and remediation can be very costly.
So choosing the right moisture meter is very important. In fact, if you visit any of the home inspection forums or home inspector Facebook Groups, you will see that “which moisture meter is best” is one of the most common questions that is asked.
So we compiled a list of moisture meters for home inspectors from the most widely recommended. But before you scroll down to that list, read the next section to see some considerations you might want to take into account first. For instance, pinless moisture meters or no pins, calibration, and a couple of other points. If you know all that – you can just skip right down to the list.
The Best Moisture Meters for Home Inspectors
There are many different manufacturers that make moisture meters, so it is important to know what you are looking for to ensure your tool is going to work the way you want it to. The biggest decision you might face is whether you should choose a Pin Type Moisture Meter or a Search Mode Moisture Meter. Of course, many models support both types of testing.
The Pin Type devices have two probes that can be extended and inserted into the material. This is considered more accurate than using a Search Mode device. There is a variety of probes as well, to accommodate different materials and depths. Some are inserted in pre-drilled holes, but in most cases, they are just pushed in. This will leave behind holes in the material, so some home inspectors, in the interest of avoiding damage to the home they are inspecting, opt instead for a Search Mode device.
When using a search mode device, or pinless device, there is a need to first get a baseline test to calibrate the device. They usually utilize an electric current or radio waves to test the resistance of a material which will provide a reading for the moisture content of the material.
We have compiled a list of moisture meters that are popular with home inspectors, and hopefully, this will help you in your consideration of which moisture meter is best for you. While a moisture meter doesn’t need to be very expensive, it is important that it is accurate and reliable.
First on our list comes a device from a company that has been building moisture meters for over 4 decades. The AccuMASTER Duo Pro 7445 can operate both in pin and pinless mode, but there is also a lower-cost version – 7440. The pins can be replaced if they are damaged, something that can easily be done if you aren’t careful.
A complaint that some have with the device is that the range that it provides is larger than some other devices, making it more difficult to pinpoint the moisture content with accuracy.
With a clear, backlit screen, it’s easy to read, and it comes with a convenient “Hold” function that lets you lock the result in, something that is really helpful if you are using it in a location where you can’t conveniently see the screen.
It comes with a one-year warranty, but most of those that use it find that the device is sturdy and durable, not needing a warranty replacement.
Next we have the SAM-PRO 2.0. This moisture meter uses pin mode, and it too has replaceable pins. It even comes with a spare set of probes.
The screen is very clear and easy to read, and with hold mode, you can read the result even if the reading is taken in an area that is difficult to access.
Some users found the documentation for the product to be somewhat limited, but if you are familiar with the use of this type of equipment, it might not be a problem for you.
If you are looking for a high-end moisture meter, then the Protimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster is an excellent choice. As can be expected, this moisture meter is a lot more expensive than the other options in our list, but it also has a lot of added value.
It can do both pin and pinless mode, and it comes with attachments that allow you to take readings in hard-to-access spots and different types of materials.
The only complaint that some had about this device is that the cover for the pins can come off easily, risking damage to the pins.
If you have the money to invest in this moisture meter, you are getting a top-of-the-line product.
The next moisture meter on our list is especially good using to check moisture content in wood. It is very accurate and can be calibrated to improve accuracy even further. Tavool’s Wood Moisture Meter has all the functions that you need to get good results. The LDC screen is easy to read in varying light conditions, and you can use the hold button to leave the result on the screen when you are using it in a location where it isn’t practical to view it while getting a reading. It even has memory storage for your results if you need to reference them later.
If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, then the DR Meter MT500 moisture meter might be something for you. Even though it does come with a low price tag, it is very accurate for its price. It lets you calibrate it to improve accuracy, but it is slightly complicated to do so.
It does also have a display that can at times prove difficult to read, so if you don’t have great eyesight, it might be worth it to spend a little extra on a device with a screen that is easy to read.
Finding moisture content in the wood and drywall of a home is a great tool for homeowners that want to prevent mold growth and water damage. It can help pinpoint leaks and other issues that need to be dealt with. As a home inspector, having the tool that will make that task easier can give you an added edge in your profession.
Hopefully, this article helped you find the right tool for you. Please check out our Home Inspection Software – Inspector Toolbelt. It is another great tool to add to your roster :).