Dampness is hazardous before you can see it. It is important to note that materials do not become visibly damp, and do not feel damp to the touch until they are quite dangerously damp. Wood, for example, does not feel damp below 30% moisture content (i.e., around 97 or 98% relative humidity), although rot will start to develop at 20% moisture content. Thus dampness is hazardous long before it can be detected by the unaided senses. This is why it is so essential to use a moisture meter for surveying for damp, and making judgements about its severity.
“. . . I do not think that damp could have been detected by the human eye or by any placing of hands against walls or the like, but I am abundantly satisfied that it could have been detected by the use of a Protimeter moisture meter placed in the right position. So I hold that damp is detectable. . ." (Extract from the judgement by Judge John Newey Q.C. in the case of Fryer vs. Burney in the Official Referee's Court on November 10, 1981, as reported by Estates Gazette, 10.7.82).
Analysis tools and techniques, Masonry walls, Moisture in Materials, Product information, Timber
|How to Measure Moisture in Buildings|
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