Moisture testing in commercial building and home inspections

home and building inspection

Moisture meters for building and home inspection

The importance of moisture testing in home and commercial building inspection

Building moisture inspection plays a crucial role in preserving the structural integrity, health, and value of a property.

By detecting and addressing moisture-related problems early on, property owners can prevent damage, save costs, maintain energy efficiency, meet insurance requirements, and provide a safe and comfortable living or working environment.

Where to test for humidity & moisture during inspections

During a building moisture inspection, various structures and components such as roofs, walls, ceilings, floors and foundations need to be surveyed for potential moisture issues.

A visual inspection can locate visible signs of moisture damage or water intrusion, however moisture problems can also be hidden behind or under a surface material. By the time moisture issues are visible, damage has already been caused. 

A moisture meter for home and building inspection and building and home inspection equipment kits are valuable tools for an inspector as they are able to measure moisture levels and detect hidden moisture problems that can be remedied before structural damage occurs. Here are some of the key structures that should be included in a comprehensive moisture inspection.

Flat roof inspection

Flat roof inspection

The roof is one of the primary areas where moisture intrusion can occur. Inspecting the roof for leaks, damaged roof covering material, or improper flashing is essential to identify potential points of water entry.

Surveying a flat roof surface with a non-destructive moisture scanner can help identify areas with elevated moisture levels and trace leaks back to their source. A roof scanner can also locate hidden moisture issues that are not yet visible or apparent.

Moisture problems in the roof structure need to be fixed as soon as possible as it can cause structural damage to the building and affect the efficiency of the insulating material.

Exterior wall inspection

Exterior walls can be susceptible to moisture infiltration due to cracks, gaps, or inadequate waterproofing. Inspecting the walls for signs of water damage, such as staining, efflorescence, or deteriorating paint, can help identify areas of concern.

Checking for signs of water leakage around windows and doors, such as water stains or rotting wood, can also identify areas that may require attention. 

Problem areas that need further investigation can be assessed with moisture meters and optional pin probes for accurate moisture evaluation behind the surface material and deeper within the building structure.

Exterior Walls moisture inspection
Foundation and Basement inspection

Foundation and basement inspection

Moisture problems in the foundation or basement can lead to significant damage if not addressed promptly. Inspecting these areas for signs of water seepage, dampness, or cracks in the walls or floor is crucial to prevent structural damage and mold growth. 

In addition to assessing any obvious issues, moisture meters can help identify hidden and unknown areas with elevated moisture levels and relative humidity readings can be taken to see if the ambient conditions could encourage mold growth.

This means that potential issues can be remedied before structural damage occurs.


Plumbing leak inspection

Plumbing leaks can lead to moisture issues within walls, ceilings, or floors. Inspecting plumbing fixtures, pipes, and connections for leaks or water stains is vital to identify potential sources of water intrusion. In the case of a leak, moisture meters and humidity probes can be used to assess the water damage .

Plumbing leaks are not always visible, they can be hidden inside wall, ceiling or floor structures. A pinless moisture meter can detect elevated moisture levels behind the surface material without penetrating the material. As such moisture issues can be remedied before there is visible deterioration.

If further investigation into the building structure is required, RH probes can be used to access and measure the relative humidity in cavity spaces through small drill holes in the surface material

Plumbing Systems
Inspecting HVAC Systems

Inspecting HVAC systems

HVAC systems can contribute to moisture problems if not properly and regularly maintained. Checking for condensation or water leakage around HVAC units, ductwork, or drain lines helps ensure that these systems are not introducing excess moisture into the building. 

Additionally relative humidity levels can be measured with Relative Humidity probes to make sure they are within the required parameters.

Floor inspection

Moisture-related issues with flooring materials, such as hardwood, laminate, or carpet, can lead to warping, buckling or mold growth. Inspecting the flooring material for signs of moisture damage, such as discoloration, swelling, or a musty odor, is important for identifying potential issues.

Testing with non-destructive moisture meters allows for quick and accurate moisture detection of a large space in a short amount of time. The moisture detectors can be useful in assessing the extent of damage but it will also locate any moisture related issues, not visible to the naked eye.

A wood moisture meter in shallow-depth mode measures the moisture content in wooden floors. The moisture content of the concrete subfloor can be measured with a quantitative concrete moisture meter.

RH probe in wood fibre insulation

Attic inspection

Attics and crawl spaces are prone to moisture problems due to poor ventilation or inadequate insulation. Inspecting these areas for dampness, mold growth, or condensation helps ensure that moisture issues are addressed and prevented. 

It is useful to measure relative humidity as high humidity levels can encourage mold growth. Pin probes can be used to check the moisture content of wooden rafters and pin electrodes can test moisture levels in soft insulation materials.

The specific structures and components to be inspected may vary depending on the building's type, construction materials, and regional considerations. 

Why use Tramex meters for moisture detection in buildings & homes

Tramex moisture meters  and moisture inspection kits offer multiple benefits during building inspections, including non-destructive testing, quick and accurate measurements, moisture mapping, and hidden moisture detection. 

The meters and probes provide exact data and enable early detection of moisture problems, contributing to more accurate assessments and effective moisture management strategies. Early detection allows for timely interventions and preventive measures, minimizing the chances of extensive damage, mold growth, and costly repairs.

Incorporating Tramex moisture meters into building inspections can enhance the overall quality of the inspection process and help ensure the integrity and longevity of the building and the health and well being of its occupants. Here are some of the key benefits of using Tramex moisture meters and probes.


Non-destructive moisture detection

Tramex moisture meters are designed to offer pin, in-situ and non-destructive testing.

Non-destructive meters can assess moisture levels without causing damage to the building materials. This is particularly valuable during inspections, as it allows for comprehensive moisture assessment without the need for invasive procedures like drilling holes or removing sections of materials.

Non-Destructive Moisture Detection
Quick and efficient measurements

Quick and accurate measurements

The Tramex moisture meters and probes are known for their speed and accuracy. They provide instant moisture readings, allowing inspectors to cover larger areas in a short amount of time. This efficiency is especially crucial when conducting thorough inspections of multiple rooms or large buildings.

Moisture Mapping

The Tramex 5-series moisture meters work with the Tramex Meters App for visual moisture mapping and creating reports providing a detailed picture of moisture distribution. 

Inspectors can identify areas with elevated moisture levels, pinpoint potential sources of moisture intrusion, and develop targeted strategies for remediation.

Moisture Mapping
Quantitative Moisture Readings

Quantitative moisture readings

Tramex moisture meters and pin probes provide quantitative moisture measurements such as percentage moisture content (%MC) and WME (Wood Moisture Equivalent) readings for a variety of building materials. 

The RH probes measure relative humidity, temperature and dewpoint. These measurements offer objective and trustworthy data that can be used to determine, monitor, map and document moisture and humidity levels from the moment of detection up until the drying goal is achieved.

Identification of hidden moisture

Moisture meters can detect hidden moisture that may not be visible to the naked eye. They can identify moisture trapped within building materials, behind walls, or underneath flooring.

This capability allows inspectors to uncover hidden sources of moisture and take appropriate actions to prevent further damage or mold growth.

Identification of Hidden Moisture
Moisture Encounter MEX5

Moisture assessment for multiple materials

Tramex moisture meters are versatile and suitable for a wide range of building materials. They provide accurate moisture measurements for wood, concrete, drywall, insulation and other materials.

This versatility allows inspectors to assess moisture levels throughout the building and ensure a comprehensive evaluation using a combination of pinless test methods, optional pin probes and electrodes for deeper inspection and RH probes for checking ambient conditions.

Moisture testing kits for building & home inspections

Tramex has developed multiple moisture test kits for conducting thorough moisture inspections of various building structures and building materials.

These moisture inspection kits are ideal for home and building inspectors and surveyors as they offer all the necessary tools required for a moisture inspection.

Building Survey Inspection kits

The Building Survey Inspection kits allow moisture testing of exterior & interior walls, floors and ceilings.

The non-destructive moisture meters detect elevated moisture levels in a variety of building materials and can be used to find ‘hidden’ moisture or trace elevated moisture levels to the source of the moisture problem.

The kits also offer probes for moisture content, WME and ambient RH conditions where further investigation is required.

Building inspection kits
Flat Roof Inspection Kits

Flat Roof Inspection kits

The Roof Inspection Kits offer the necessary equipment to conduct a moisture inspection of flat roofs.

The scanners measure the moisture content under the roof surface and can help trace leaks to the point of moisture intrusion. Electrodes can be used for further investigation, deeper in the roof structure.

Floor Inspection kits

The Flooring Inspection Kits assess moisture levels in concrete subfloors, cementitious screeds and wooden flooring. The non-destructive moisture meters can assess a large floor area in a short amount of time.

Extension handles can be used with the moisture meters for easy access to out of reach high places or to avoid kneeling when taking floor moisture measurements. Pin and RH probes are included to conduct deeper inspections where needed.

Floor inspection kits