A Sonin Moisture Meter is a valuable tool that aids in the measurement of moisture in building materials such as wood, wallboard, carpet and more. The Sonin Digital Moisture Meter model # 50218 measures moisture between 5% and 40%. This is a pin type meter which works by passing a current between the first pin and the second pin. The strength of the current indicates the amount of moisture in the material, as moisture acts as a conductor.
In wood, moisture content above 10 percent can indicate a moisture problem that may lead to damage later on. This can include cracking, shrinking or other changes in shape. Too much moisture in any material can be a breeding ground for mold and will weaken the material overall, which can cause serious damage and accidents. The majority of contractors aim for an eight percent moisture reading. This can vary as high as 11 percent along the coast of California and the southern United States, to as low as six percent in desert climates such as Nevada and Arizona.