Concrete Moisture Testing

If you are going to install a floor covering using adhesive over the top of a concrete slab, you may be surprised to know that virtually all flooring manufacturers require that Concrete Moisture Testing be performed to issue a warranty.

Most installers do not provide Concrete Moisture Testing or use a pin type moisture meter without documentation. The pin type moisture meter only measures the surface of the concrete and is not accurate. If your installer shows you a mastic that offers a 10 year warranty with no testing, DON'T DO IT.  

Most home owners who call me have moisture damage to their flooring because no Concrete Moisture Testing was done. During rainy years I receive 7 calls a week.  So far in 2018, I still receive 3 calls a week. West Central Florida has a huge problem with slab moisture and Concrete Moisture Testing is important.
Moisture emissions from concrete floor slabs can significantly affect performance of virtually all flooring systems that use adhesive. Most, if not all, manufacturers require moisture testing to be performed before the installation of their product begins. Excessive moisture from floor slabs can cause failures such as de-bonding, delamination and deterioration of the flooring and allow for microbial growth. Concrete Moisture Testing can prevent damage.

All concrete subfloors emit some amount of moisture in vapor form. Concrete moisture emission is a natural process affected and driven by environmental conditions. All floor coverings are susceptible to failure from excessive moisture vapor emissions. There are two types of specified Concrete Moisture Testing. I only use 1 of the Concrete Moisture Testing methods.

 ASTM F-1869 Calcium Chloride Moisture Vapor Emission Rate Testing

This Concrete Moisture Testing method is used to obtain the quantitative value indicating the rate of moisture vapor emission from the surface of a concrete floor. The indicated value will determine whether or not the floor is acceptable to receive  floor covering or the grade of the adhesive that is needed.  This test only reflects the condition of the concrete floor at the time of the test.  In this test, the moisture vapor emitted from a concrete slab is measured in pounds. The measurement is the equivalent weight of water evaporating from 1000 square feet of a concrete surface in a 24 hour test period. This Concrete Moisture Testing has been the industry standard for decades and will produce quantified results directly applicable to flooring manufacturer's specifications. It's important to note that the results of this Concrete Moisture Testing only reflect the condition of the concrete surface at the time the test was performed and do not guarantee any future conditions or results.

Many mastics are rated in the pounds of moisture per 1000 square feet per 24 hours, which is the measurement results of the Concrete Moisture Testing method. For instance there is 12 pound mastics for wood floors.

 This method of Concrete Moisture Testing requires 4 days and 2 trips.  There has to be one Concrete Moisture Test for every 1000 sf of flooring to be installed.  We take moisture reading here and there to find the area of highest moisture for  Concrete Moisture Testing.

If the damaged flooring is already installed, it will have to be removed before Concrete Moisture Testing or 24 inch by 24 inch areas removed at where the damage is the greatest before a Concrete Moisture Test.


       Concrete Moisture Testing

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