A humidity meter, or moisture meter, is a device used to measure the amount of water and moisture in a given object. Aside from this basic function, there are advanced types of humidity meters, which are typically used by experts in specific industries. These can measure the humidity, airflow, and temperature levels of substances. Humidity meters can also determine if a given substance is compatible to be used in a given environment or industrial condition.
Typically a small and hand-held gadget, a humidity meter is equipped with a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen to show meter readings. These are usually the type of meters used to perform basic functions. There are also large moisture meters, however, which are used in planning large-scale projects to make sure that the materials used can accommodate adjustments in humidity.
Depending on the extent of applications the device is capable of doing, a humidity meter can be used for simple home inspections or basic laboratory and research experiments. Testing of materials under controlled environments and analysing humidity levels are also done with the use of humidity meters. The information provided is used in identifying if a material is wet or dry, suitable for use, or requires further examination.
In practice, the most common use of a humidity meter is to determine the moisture content of wood and concrete. Wood tends to change its shape, shrink, and even crack when it dries, depending on the wood type and lumber species. That is why before wood is used to make furniture and other equipment, it is normally left to dry first. This is where humidity meters come in.
Woodworkers make use of the meter readings to determine the moisture content of wood and if it is fit for use. Carpenters and building inspectors analyse the moisture content to make sure the wood is compatible with the humidity of the area where it is to be used. Problems in construction, such as cracked finishes, buckling, and sunken joints, can be minimized or avoided by proper moisture and humidity analysis.
For concrete, moisture or humidity detectors are capable of detecting even the small particles that can be found in concrete. This includes the density and the chemical properties of concrete. The two are measured because they can greatly affect how concrete reacts when it is dry. How the moisture content of concrete reacts with the relative humidity of air around it is also analysed.