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Tool Tip: Moisture Meter0

In the DIYer’s world, moisture is the enemy. Whether it’s spewing from a clogged drainpipe, dripping from the ceiling, or seeping through a basement foundation, water is to be contained, managed, and eliminated. A decent moisture meter is one of the early lines of defense- giving you a heads up to a percolating moisture problem before it’s too late.

For example, a reading in the drywall can give you an idea about whether the taps are leaking behind a bathroom wall. This way, you catch water before it rots through, avoiding a two-day adventure of tearing out the tiled wall around a bathtub, compliments of shoddy plumbing by a previous owner. (Not that I’m bitter, or speaking from experience.)

My moisture meter, shown above, is a basic model – stick the two prongs in something (most often, wood or drywall) and get a reading for its moisture content. In drywall, for example, anything above 12 percent likely requires further reconnaissance.

At about $30, it’s worth arming yourself with a moisture meter – it could save you much more in the long run, from undetected water behind the front lines in your house.

text and photo by Steve MacDonald

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