Humidity meters are electronic devices that measure the amount of moisture in the air. Humidity meters have a number of different uses, as air quality can have different effects on its surroundings. Measuring and regulating moisture levels using humidity meters is important for health and safety in the home, hospitals, manufacturing as well as construction. Depending on the environment, different humidity meters are used in order to provide the most accurate readings.
Humidity is essentially the amount of water vapour in the air. We produce moisture when we breathe and perspire and our indoor plants contribute also. Moisture can enter our home through household activities such as cooking, showering, bathing and doing laundry.
If there is too much humidity it can cause problems such as a mouldy bathroom, musty smells, allergic reactions and damage to household contents. Alternatively, if there is too little humidity it can cause breathing problems and problems with electronic equipment.
In the construction industry humidity meters are needed to measure the humidity content in wood and concrete. Wood changes its shape when it’s wet or dry as it expands or contracts due to changes in water content. Wood can shrink or crack losing its shape due to the absence of water content. Before the manufacture of wooden furniture, it is first left to dry. Carpenters will then test this with a digital moisture meter to detect any water content to ensure the right content of water in the woodwork, to ensure the quality isn’t affected.
Humidity meters are used by building inspectors to determine the compatibility of wood in specific areas. Within construction a humidity device enables cracks and sunken joints to be minimised. A building inspector or carpenter will use a humidity meter to analyse the moisture to ensure the wood is compatible with the humidity of the area where it’s going to be used. Ideally the moisture in wood work should be at equilibrium to its surroundings. Using a humidity meter during construction will alleviate problems such as cracked finishes, sunken joints and buckling.
Humidity meters are also used to measure the water content in concrete. They are able to detect even the smallest particles found in concrete. They also measure the density and the chemical properties of concrete. They two are measured because they can greatly affect how concrete reacts when it’s dry.
Regularly checking moisture content during the drying out period of a new concrete floor is vital in ensuring it has reached the right amount of dryness to accept floor covering over it. If there is excess moisture in the concrete it could cause latent problems such as condensation or the adhesive under the floor covering to fail.
Humidity meters are cost effective as they ultimately save a lot of money in the long run. They help prevent botched home improvement jobs as well as being a valuable piece of equipment in construction.
This article was brought to you by ATP Instrumentation who provide a range of measurement equipment from humidity data loggers to lux meters.