Testing Your Concrete Floor for Moisture
Moisture testing is an important aspect in providing a successful concrete floor coating project. We follow the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) international standards for moisture testing. While the testing process adds cost and time to any project, the purpose for the test is to ensure that your floor will be installed in the conditions that meet or exceed the manufacturers recommendations and warranty. By doing this, you will have a floor that will last an incredibly long time.
The manufacturers of the coatings that Black Rhino Floors installs, require a floor not exceed 3 lbs of water in a 24 hour period of time. If the floor exceeds this, it will most likely cause a delamination failure to the floor due to the (hydrostatic pressure) water pressure from within, if we were to ignore this test.
This is why you hire professionals. A professional floor coating service provider will be familiar with the ASTM standards and significance of moisture testing when providing any floor service. When we uncover a community or industrial park that regularly exceeds 3 lbs, some additional attention is needed including installation of a water barrier treatment that will reduce the hydrostatic pressure within the manufacturers guidelines.
It is a very rare occasion that we see water content exceeding the ASTM standards where Black Rhino needs to switch to a different flooring system to achieve a similar result for our customer, but it’s important to know this before getting started.
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Who is ASTM International?
ASTM International is one the largest voluntary standards developing organizations in the world. They are a not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of international voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services. They develop technical documents that are the basis of manufacturing, management, procurement, codes and regulations for dozens of industry sectors.
Concrete Moisture Testing Methods
There are a number of testing methods however the ones we use combine efficiency and accuracy. The two concrete moisture testing methods we use are Calcium Chloride and Non-Destructive Meter testing.
Prior to the Moisture Test
Before any moisture testing can begin, the concrete surface needs to be prepared. The test areas will need to be free from coverings, coatings, sealers, finishes, dirt, film forming curing compounds and or any other substances which may affect the moisture dissipation and the accuracy of the testing.
The test site should be at the same temperature and humidity expected during normal use. We need to maintain these conditions for at least 48 hours (if this is not achievable there will be a variance applied to the testing).
Number of Moisture Tests and Locations
- Three test locations for areas up to 1000 sq. ft.
- Add one additional location for each 1000 sq. ft
Critical Documented Information
- We use the standard ASTM F1860 reporting form for this procedure
Two Methods of Moisture Testing
Calcium Chloride Moisture Test
- This method provides us with a value expressed in MVER (Moisture Vapor Emission Rate)
- The maximum allowed water / vapor transmission rate is 3 lbs of water weight per 1,000 square feet
per 24 hours. This is the number we need in order to determine whether or not we need to add a
topical moisture barrier as a part of our floor installation.
- This method provides the information we need for the type of flooring we install however the
downside is that it requires surface prep and 3 days minimum for an accurate test.
Non-Destructive Meter Moisture Test
- This method provides us a value in RH (Relative Humidity) in % by weight.
- This is non-invasive and gives immediate results of the slab’s water content. This will give us an
indication of whether or not we need to run our Calcium test. Generally speaking, we will test a few
homes in an area. We will use historical data and this method to help us determine our next steps.
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