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Home > Indoor Air QualityManaging Water Infiltration into BuildingsGuidelines for Use of Tramex Moisture Encounter

Guidelines for Use of Tramex Moisture Encounter

Note: must be more than 2 inches from metal (nails and screws will not significantly affect the readings).

  1. The primary purpose is to do a qualitative (relative) survey to identify wet materials behind wall finishes or coverings such as paints, wallpaper, drywall, and paneling.
  2. Use this device for comparative purposes only (i.e. compare readings from areas with similar materials that are known to be dry to those that are suspected to be wet.)
  3. There are scales of sensitivity to give suitable signals for testing wood products, drywall or roofing, and plaster or brick. For drywall over wood framing, start with scale 2. For wood materials, start with scale 1. For drywall directly on concrete or plaster, start with scale 3. For questionable areas, you should move to a more sensitive scale (scale 2 is the most sensitive, scale 3 is the least sensitive, and scale 1 is the middle sensitivity).
  4. For quantitative (exact) readings, interpretation, and analysis, you should contact a professional.

The Moisture Encounter has 3 switchable scales of sensitivity:

Scale 3 is the least sensitive scale. It is normally used on brick, plaster, and higher density materials. Readings are taken using the relative scale of 1-100 on the analog dial (meter face).

Scale 2 is the most sensitive scale with the greatest depth of signal penetration. This scale would be used on material where a coating or covering is applied. Readings are taken using the relative scale of 1-100 on the analog dial.

Scale 1 is the middle sensitivity. When used on wood, readings are taken as percentage of moisture on the analog dial. When used on other materials, readings are taken using the relative scale of 1-100 on the analog dial.

Use on Carpet

Switch the meter to Scale 1 or 2. Press the Moisture Encounter firmly into the pile of the carpet. Use Scale 1 on thinner carpets and Scale 2 on thicker carpets and underlay. Readings in the green area of the analog dial indicate dry carpet. Readings in the yellow area of the analog dial indicate that more drying is necessary. Readings in the red area of the analog dial would indicate high moisture content and possibly the necessity of forced drying and dehumidifiers.

When using on carpet, care should be taken and one should check that the readings are not influenced by high density flooring (concrete) beneath the carpet. If carpet is over high density flooring (concrete) use Scale 3.

Use on Drywall

On a recently water damaged area, switch to Scale 3. If the audio alert sounds and relative readings are over 50 on the analog dial, this would indicate high moisture capable of supporting microbial growth.

On areas that have had some time to dry use Scale 1 or 2. Use Scale 1 when electrode pads are in direct contact with the drywall. Use Scale 2 when there is a coating material between the drywall and the electrode pads.

Readings in the green area of the analog dial should indicate that the drying process is progressing. Readings in the yellow area would indicate that further drying is needed. Readings in the red area or full needle deflection on the analog dial would indicate high moisture levels with possible microbial growth and mold. Further drying and possible force drying is probably necessary.

(Detailed directions provided by Neil Carlson, University of Minnesota, and the Trarnex Company.)

University of Minnesota Extension Service November 20, 1997

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