What do damp meter readings mean?

damp meter

What do damp meter readings mean?

The team here at South East Timber and Damp use damp meter readings religiously as it gives us the insight we need to provide the very best service. As such, we use a Protimeter MMS2, promoted as

“The complete moisture measurement and diagnosis system for building environments”

This damp meter features:

  • Pin moisture measurement
  • Non-invasive moisture measurement
  • Fast responding relative humidity and temperature measurement
  • Equilibrium humidity measurement in concrete floors
  • Psychometric calculations
  • Non-contact IR temperature measurement
  • Data logging

Using these electrical meter reading devices allows the surveyor to gain a picture of the damp pattern in a building.  Readings are non-destructive (no plaster samples need to be taken away), and readings can be taken quickly and easily on the spot.  It is then for the surveyor to interpret these various readings to ascertain the cause based on the patterns and dampness. 

The question then becomes – how do we then stop the issue and remedy the problem?

Finding the right solution

It’s not as simple as it sounds; there are always some complications. Meter readings will vary with material types, which can cause confusion and incorrect diagnosis in the wrong hands. For instance, when issues such as ground salts are present, the substrate itself is a conducting medium and items such as foil-backed paper can create condensation but be recorded as rising dampness.

Therefore surveyors need to use these meters with full knowledge of their workings and the variations that can affect the readings.  They need to do visual inspections, touch, and smell to really ascertain the full picture.

Additional damp meter technology

The use of Infrared technology also supports a damp surveyor to address any cold spots (where moisture is present), backing up and supporting the diagnosis.  The use of an endoscope to look under floorboards and within cavities can sometimes show us issues that have caused dampness.

Our team at South East Timber and Damp use the best MMR – Moisture Meter Readings on the market and regularly have them calibrated (they are re-set to ensure they give us the most correct results). Not only do we use MMR, we also use Infra-Red FLIR cameras to qualify any readings we have to assist in finding the source of the moisture.

What do Damp Meter readings mean?

Moisture meters and other methods of determining the presence of moisture in buildings cannot determine the source of the dampness.  It is, therefore, only “part” of the investigation required to consider all potential causes of dampness before confirming the source.

What are the different sources of dampness?

Within older properties, there are generally three natural sources of dampness.

  • Rainwater enters the building via various means, which is generally known as Penetrating damp.
  • Dampness rising up from the ground Rising damp
  • Moisture within the air, known commonly as condensation

If you want to read more about damp meters and how they operate we can highly recommend “The Preservation Expert” blog, where the experienced and knowledgeable Bryan Hindle has written a fabulous article.

Call In The Damp Proofing Specialists

We would love to come and assess your damp issue and talk you through the options available for remedying the problem.  Or we can put your mind at ease by giving you a second opinion prior to choosing a contractor to carry out work.

Get in touch to arrange a damp survey to get your issue assessed; we really are the best choice.

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