Problems With Moisture
Problems with floor coverings, such as bubbles, blisters, and delamination, occur when an impermeable floor covering or sealer traps excess moisture remaining in the slab. The excess moisture can come from several sources, including “free” water left in the slab after it was placed. Not only is moisture not evenly distributed throughout a slab but environmental conditions can also cause moisture to move into or out of the slab. The key is to wait until the moisture level is reduced to a comfortable level to install floor coverings. Pinpointing that specific equilibrium point can only be accomplished by proper moisture testing.
What’s the big deal?
Floor coverings failing, that’s the big deal. Too much moisture in the concrete, trying to escape into the building atmosphere, has to pass through the flooring. If the surface of the concrete is sealed off with an impermeable flooring product, the moisture cannot escape as it should and will liquefy the adhesive. The moisture will also cause resilient flooring to bubble and blister. Mold can grow on the backings of carpet that has been installed.
What’s too much moisture?
Proper moisture testing, performed according to the procedures outlined in ASTM F-2170-11 for in situ probe RH testing, will show results that will help to determine whether floor coverings can be safely installed. Some slabs may also need testing using ASTM F-1869 Calcium Chloride testing for Moisture Vapor Emissions. Flooring and adhesive manufacturers have established RH levels their products will comfortably work with. Following these RH parameters will prevent installing flooring on a slab that is too wet for an installation. At times a slab will require a moisture mitigation product to prevent a flooring failure. Proper moisture testing before the installation coupled with correct application of suitable flooring and adhesive will prevent an installation on a “too wet” slab.
Why is Moisture testing cost effective?
The cost of repairing failed flooring caused by moisture problems in concrete slabs in this country was one billion dollars last year. With buildings being fast tracked today and the economy affecting our building industry, correct moisture testing has either not been performed or not been performed correctly. The initial cost of moisture testing concrete is far outweighed by the cost of removing the failed floor, cleaning the slab, applying a mitigating product and installing a new floor covering. In a commercial setting, the business occupying the space must make the costly move of shutting down and move. There is also the cost to a flooring company’s reputation and the aspect of gaining future business at stake. In the long run, thousands of dollars can be saved with just concrete moisture testing properly performed by an independent testing agency.
How do I find out if the concrete is dry enough?
You call or email us. We can properly test the slab with either correct testing procedures or a combination of tests to provide the correct results to make an informed, intelligent decision on how to proceed with the flooring product.
It’s vitally important to know what to look for when moisture testing concrete. At NECI, we know what we are measuring and what the results mean. This means you will have the best chance for long lasting surfaces that won’t reject your coverings. People are good at what they do when they do it for the right reasons and when they do it correctly 100% of the time. That’s what we do.
“I have used the services of David Buss and New England Carpet Inspection Services on claim situations from Boston and the South Shore to Rhode Island, Cape Cod and the Islands. In each situation I found him quick to respond, very thorough in the investigation of the claim problem, and very detailed in his written report and any recommendation to correct the problem where appropriate. I look forward to continuing the business relationship and although we do not get involved with hard surfaces I would not hesitate to call upon him for expertise in that area as well.”
– John S. Martini, President, Colony Rug Co., Inc.
We guarantee our moisture results
All testing must be done in strict accordance with ASTM Standards and Procedures to be correct. There can never be a “good enough” or “close enough” attitude in this process. NECI guarantees our test results meets industry standards or your money bac