When conducting a damp diagnosis, surveyors will usually use an electronic moisture meter to measure the amount of moisture present in materials throughout a building.
Electronic moisture meters are very useful tools for damp diagnosis because they don’t cause any damage to the materials that are being analysed.
Most electronic moisture meters are calibrated to be used for measuring moisture in timber. Because most wood used for timber is very similar, moisture readings for different types of timber than the meter was calibrated for should still be quite accurate.
When using it, the meter will display the results of the analysis in a percentage, which represents the wood moisture content (WMC). When timber reaches its saturation point however (at 30% WMC), electronic moisture meters become very sensitive and readings will not be reliable anymore. At saturation point there is already risk for wet rot though, so the exact WMC isn’t relevant anymore at this point.
Electronic moisture meters that are calibrated for timber can also be used on other materials, but only to analyse the difference in moisture levels between different areas of the building. The actual quantitative reading doesn’t haven any real meaning on other materials than timber. Such readings are used only for moisture profiling.