The moisture and humidity testing system for floor covering related industries has been developed to help users avoid moisture related problems in flooring and to identify the cause of problems if they do occur.
The system involves testing the subfloor using both the Tramex CME non-destructive test and in situ Relative Humidity Hygro-i probes. The ambient conditions of the building are also measured and the moisture condition of many floor coverings can be checked.
ASTM F2659: Non-destructive testing
The CME instant test for concrete is completely non-destructive and specified by many floor-covering manufacturers around the world, in part because of its simplicity and the repeatability of the results.
The ease and speed of the CMEX allows for many tests, conforming to ASTM F2659, to be carried out over a large area in a short amount of time. Simply turn on the meter and push it onto the surface being tested and read the results on the clear display. The results are calibrated to show percentage moisture content by weight.
ASTM F2659 calls for 3 to 5 readings in the same location. If there are any variations in those readings, record the highest result.
This is repeated in at least 8 locations for the first 1000sq.ft. and 5 for every 1000sq.ft. thereafter, allowing the user to build up a moisture map of the entire slab and identify when and where to test further if testing, for example, to ASTM F2170.
ASTM F2170: Hygro-i in situ testing
The reusable Hygro-i relative humidity probe has been designed specifically for measuring the potential moisture condition of a slab or screed as per ASTM F2170.
To perform this in-situ type relative humidity test, simply drill a hole in the concrete 40% of the thickness of the slab.
Push the sleeve into the hole, insert the Hygro-i probe into the sleeve and cover with the cap. Leave for the standard test period. When taking readings, plug the interface into the Hygro-i probe and instantly read the relative humidity, temperature and dew point simultaneously on the clear display. When testing is complete the Hygro-i probes can be removed with the extraction tool and used repeatedly. The user must be mindful of all the proper safety precautions as mentioned in the ASTM standard.
Ambient Conditions: Hygro-i testing
In conjunction with the Hygro-i relative humidity probe, the CMEX also functions as a digital hygrometer. The meter displays the relative humidity, temperature, dew point and mixing ratio, allowing the user to assess the environmental ambient conditions within the building, making sure they are suitable for installing a floor covering. Using an Infrared Surface Thermometer in combination with the relative humidity results it becomes easy to identify condensation problems.
Moisture Content of Wood: Pin-type wood probe
The CMEX can also be used with the hand held pin probe, for measuring moisture in wood. This is especially useful when installing wood floor coverings.
By comparing the moisture content of wood with the ambient relative humidity conditions we can determine when the wood is in balance with the ambient conditions within the building.
Another way of identifying when wood is in balance with the building, is to discreetly take moisture content readings from wood somewhere already in service within the building. By taking this in-service moisture content reading it becomes more predictable if the wood floor covering is likely to move, to shrink or expand, or if it is in balance.
Excessive moisture in concrete floor slabs and screeds or a disequilibrium between moisture content in the building and the flooring materials can lead to major problems in many types of floor coverings.