DIY Rent, Hire or Buy Moisture Meter for Sale

DIY – Now you can keep a close eye on the moisture levels in your house on a regular basis!

Our company tests homes using an electronic moisture meter almost everyday in NZ, and a very common question we get asked is…

 “Where can I buy a moisture meter in NZ the same as yours to monitor the house for leaks in the future?”

Due to the fact we offer moisture detection services, it didn’t make sense for us to share the ‘trade secrets’, but we’ve now changed our approach to help more home owners stay in touch with their biggest asset.

Rather than shop around for moisture meter suppliers in NZ (and get confused), we can now sell you the same type of non-invasive testing equipment we use!

You can own your own hand held monitor to keep a close eye on the moisture content of the wood in your home. Great for shower leaks, window leaks and general moisture level monitoring… especially if you own a plaster home!

Why is this a logical investment? Buying a brand new moisture meter works out to be a similar price as an inspection would anyway! In addition, not only can you use it  in your own home, but also family and friends homes!

The type of meter we use isn’t the cheap type … it’s a high quality meter used by professionals, and made in NZ for NZ conditions!

If you’ve been wondering how to test your house for leaks and moisture without putting any holes in the wall… this is it!

Moisture Testing Companies

Are you looking for a moisture testing company to test the timber framework in your house… or the house you’re about to buy?

It’s true… there are several companies to choose from in NZ who do moisture testing, but like any other type of business, are they using the equipment correctly? What exactly are they looking for?

Here’s what prompted me to write this post. I found an online sample of a building moisture testing report from an inspection company in the North Island. It showed the actual moisture meter he used to ‘test for moisture’ in wall. The meter had two 15mm pins and he simply put them through the gib board and onto the timber stud… here’s the problem with this method in my opinion:

First of all, gib board is 10mm thick, so the majority of the pin was directly touching the gib, and only 5mm of the pin actually penetrated the timber. So how on this earth will he detect the moisture on the outer side of the timber?

There are 1000’s and 1000’s of homes in NZ with no cavity system, which means the cladding is fixed directly onto the timber framework. If the cladding leaks through cracks (especially plaster), then it goes directly onto the outer side of the timber (cladding side). So if you stick two small pins into the internal side of the timber, and the moisture hasn’t got across that far, then the moisture inspection company could be missing the first signs of a leaky home.

Moisture testing companies in NZ will vary, so if they are going to do an invasive inspection for you, make sure they at least first drill holes through the gib that are wider than the pins, so the pins don’t take a false reading off the gib! In some cases the gib is slightly moist, but the timber is fine… yet that could throw out the reading and cause a ‘false positive’ reading.

One of the moisture testing companies we use in Auckland actually bypass the internal side of the timber and only penetrate the longer moisture meter pins into the external side of the timber as close to the cladding as possible. This is critical in most areas of the home. Leaks under windows are more likely to cause an even spread of moisture on the timber frame and the testing equipment will normally detect that from the internal side… even with a non-invasive moisture meter and usually infrared thermal imaging also. 

In many cases, the moisture testing inspector will use a non-invasive meter to first establish where there are signs of moisture… and these meters will usually pick up where the moisture issues are in the home very quickly because they are extremely sensitive and calibrated accordingly… even through gib board. If timber is moist, it will transfer that moisture onto the gib and that’s what we are actually reading with the non-invasive meter, and that’s what you also are ‘seeing’ in the infrared camera photos on this website (different temperature on the surface of the gib where the leak(s) are).

Would you buy a car without even looking at it? Probably not. Well why would you buy a house without getting an idea of what the timber frame is like! After all, it’s the ‘bones’ of your walls.

Don’t get caught buying a dog like many immigrants do! The problem is they don’t even consider the moisture testing option when buying a home, mainly because most homes around the world don’t have the leaky home issues like we do here in NZ. It’s not that these offshore buyers are silly, it’s just that they aren’t aware of the problem NZ faces. Better to be safe then sorry!!

Window Condensation Channel Leak – Mitre Joint Failure

Home buyers beware…

Window condensation channel failure causes leak issues.

Have you ever noticed how leaks seem to appear under the corners of windows more often then any other place in the home? They appear all the time, and usually you can’t see 70% of them with the naked eye! Not only that, most of the time the window looks really well sealed where the aluminium window frame meets the cladding.

As you can see in the infrared thermal imaging photo below, there is a dark spot in the corner of the window. That dark spot is hidden moisture the home owner knew nothing about…

Leak Caused by Mitre Joint Failure
Leak Caused by Mitre Joint Failure

The mitre joints in most windows are vulnerable to losing their seal, and the slightest movement in the house can cause this. It’s rare to physically see the seal has failed because water only needs the slightest of gaps to escape… and it likes to escape right onto your timber frame behind your walls!

An infrared imaging camera in conjunction with quality moisture testing equipment on your home will detect these types of issues…  and to be fair, we would have missed 90% of the hidden leaks we’ve found in NZ houses without the support of the instruments we use.

If there are windows in the house, then there is potential for leaks… which could result in gradual leak damage and/or timber rot. Don’t risk buying a home without this type of testing… otherwise it could get very costly, especially if  the joinery throughout the house is low quality (plenty of that around NZ).

Infrared Thermal Imaging House Inspections – Before You Buy!!!

An infrared house inspection is a quick way to identify hidden issues that most home building inspectors won’t see.

Here’s what you don’t want to happen to you when buying a house in NZ…

This was a very ugly situation for a home buyer that I recently did a ‘post’ purchase moisture inspection for in St Heliers, Auckland. Here’s what happened:

The home was over 400sqm is a nice area, and was been sold at auction. The home buyers loved the place because it looked great, and better still only 2 people turned up to the auction. The buyers theory was that they didn’t need to get a building or moisture inspection prior to buying the house because if they got it cheap enough at auction, they would have spare cash leftover to fix any problems. Well…

leaky home

Firstly, some vendors will sell their home at auction because they know perfectly well it wouldn’t pass an infrared or building inspection. Secondly, no matter what, the deal in unconditional when the hammer goes down, so all it takes is one emotional bidder to rush in and buy without proper due diligence, and the ‘hassles & problems’ with the house are instantly transferred on to the buyer at auction… and that’s exactly what happened in this situation. Read on:

The buyer called to get the infrared inspection after they purchased the home to identify any issues, and to enable them to start remedial work asap. Interesting! Sure enough the home had several signs of moisture ingress, leaking deck, visual evidence of major leaks, untreated timber… and to top it off, the building inspector went onto the roof and found roof tiles that had slid down in the gutter leaving big open holes on the roof! Also, high moisture readings were detected in the timber framing by conducting an invasive test. The list of issues found with this place didn’t seem to end, but to the human eye the place looked just fine.

So now what for the buyer?

They only have two options. 1) Walk away and forfeit the deposit, or 2) Take the issues on and potentially uncover a huge can of worms. (Leaky homes aren’t cheap to fix!)

No matter how good a place looks, do not take the risk. There have been several occasions where the vendors have simply ‘bogged up’ and painted over problems… but the moisture in the timber still remains.

It’s the “It won’t happen to me” line of thinking that could catch you out when buying a home in NZ.

Do Moisture Inspection Results Get Published on My LIM Report?

Are you considering getting an infrared moisture inspection on your home?

Worried about the test results becoming public knowledge?

One of the main questions home owners have prior to getting their home tested for moisture levels, is “Will the results will be forwarded to any third party?”. Put your fears to rest if this is you, because that doesn’t happen with our company.

100% Guarantee: We do not discuss your results, nor do we forward your infrared inspection results to any third party (that includes real estate agents). The report is forwarded to you directly, and that’s where it stops… period. What you do with the report beyond that point is up to you.

This topic came up during a moisture inspection on a home in Auckland recently. After coming across one area that did show signs of moisture, the home owner was in a complete panic that their LIM report for the property was going to be blemished, and potential buyers for the home would end up finding out. Not the case at all.

All moisture inspections with our company are 100% confidential… guaranteed.

A Moisture Test is Critical When Buying a Home in NZ

One of the biggest mistakes a home buyer in NZ can make is not getting a moisture test!

Finding a moisture inspection company/consultant to carry out an internal moisture test on your current home, or the home you are looking to purchase should be a BIG priority here in NZ.

Usually a pre purchase moisture test will go 1 of 2 ways when buying a home…

1) You could save yourself from buying a leaky home, or a home with moisture damage. This could prevent financial disaster!

2) The moisture scan on the home could find a small problem which can be easily fixed. The upside in this case is that you may be able to negotiate a better price on the home.

Before you consider buying a home, take one minute to read this information.

Contact us for a moisture test on your home here.