Moisture testing is used as an indicator of moisture intrusion or water damage. Moisture testing is often used in building investigations were water damage or suspected water damage has occurred. It is also used in many mold inspections. Moisture testing can be used to help determine where microbial growth (mold) or decomposition (rot) is most probable in concealed areas. It is often used in conjunction with taking invasive cuts into the wall where the suspected concealed areas are located (known as microbial sampling) and then testing the wall sample.
Moisture testing can be performed on almost all materials by penetrating and non-penetrating meters depending on the material being tested. Wood is generally the most critical of all water-damaged materials as elevated moisture content (MC) can result in microbial growth (mold) or wood decomposition (rot). Normal moisture levels for wood framing and sheathing typically range from 8% to 14%. It is well recognized that a moisture content of 16% is possible for microbial growth