ASTM F2170 (Standard Test Method for Determining Relative Humidity in Concrete Floor Slabs Using in situ Probes) specifies the depth based on whether the concrete is poured on grade and whether vapor retarders are used. When we bought it in 2000, we had hardwood floors installed in only a few rooms and tile and carpet in the rest. At the slab level the readings came in at 18% (back of house) and 20.8% (front). Thanks for the question. My recommendation would be to do proper moisture testing of the entire slab and then make a determination about the types of products to use to remedy the issue. Epoxy Resins are applied to the surface to keep the moisture from escaping from the surface. This page briefly describes moisture sources, moisture movement mechanisms and typical basement moisture problems. Our one story house was built in 1959. I will add that I am on a pond, but it is approximately 40-50 feet behind my house with a major slope, approximately 3 feet lower elevation than my home. In our unfinished area a few years back we sealed our floors with a product that is used to seal garage floors (the stuff with flakes). had no idea this would happen, it’s only a few spots but we would like to sell the property at some point. The Rapid RH line of products is affordable and conforms to ASTM F2170 requirements for easy recording and reporting. (The sides and front of the house are not blocked in any way). HI Jason, Typically a proper “sealer” isn’t a DIY job. However, allowing excess moisture to leave the slab after it’s poured is crucial to a successful flooring installation. My problem is that on some parts of the floor I get moisture (wet spots) and … It is common, no matter your locale, to find old slabs that have high levels of moisture. It is possible that the concrete wasn’t completely dried out, but I would have expected if that were the case it would have shown problems to the floor much sooner than years down the road. Two months later the problem appeared again. We had installed a laminate locking floor after the carpet was taken up. we’re running a dehumidifier but yikes – what do we do?? Thanks for the questions. I can’t explain why you wouldn’t have seen it with the laminate. Hi we seem to have a moisture problem with our laminate floor, it is laid on a concrete base the base was screed to level the floor and it has been down for about four or five years with no problems but recently we have noticed areas of water appearing on the floor overnight we have a de,humifier that collects quite a drop of water. A plumber came to inspect for leaks, none found. This is one of the reasons why neither of these two types of testing methods are used in most flooring decisions, they can give very unclear results. MOISTURE IN THE FOREST FLOOR - ITS DISTRIBUTION AND MOVEMENT by B.J. attached to the planks which would be the underside of them. The smell from the Zinsser took a while to go away in the rest of the basement (all drywall and bare concrete floors) but the part where the linoleum backing is stinks just like at day one. The more likely cause for poor subfloor protection is using the wrong vapor retarder. A floor may already be showing some external signs of containing excess moisture. For example, if you’re measuring flooring moisture in a wood flooring system, a pinless wood moisture meter might be your go-to solution. Installing a hardwood floor without checking its moisture content could lead to big problems down the road, like cupping and gapping. I say this because your concrete slab is like a sponge and it will soak up moisture when it is present. He said that even if he installs the toilet bowl perfectly the laminate floor will swell again because the water will leak again into the laminate. The whitish stain is the salt left behind by evaporating water. Do you have any recommendations going forward? Commonly, concrete floors are vulnerable to moisture and suffer from different detrimental influence of moisture such as lifting tile off the floor, rotting hardwood, damping carpet, coating delamination and many more. So the first thing I want you to address is the sources of moisture. I would look for moisture mitigation products and a few of the bigger players in this space are: Whatever you chose, just verify that it will work against hydrostatic pressure. Take some newspapers or paper towels and put them in a few areas, placing something on top of them to weight them down. The top ¾” of the slab may show “dry”, but once the flooring is installed, moisture deep within the slab will equilibrate, raising the moisture on the surface. Is it likely this is condensation or is there another possibility? It may require additional things such as dehumidifiers and ventilation. A moisture-related flooring failure is practically guaranteed under such circumstances. I’m renting and our carpet is on a concrete slab. Good luck. The contractor has arranged the application of chemical and buffing three times but each time the problem reappears after 3-4 weeks. Concrete is thick, solid, and hard. There are no signs of mildew on the walls but I am noticing the floor in the bathroom (ceramic Tiles) are moist and the flooring in the hallway near the bathroom is weltering or bubbling up ( floor is laminate wood flooring) What could be causing this and what and who should I Call? The result is that over troweling will extend the drying time. It’s hard to say if it’s one thing or a combination of things that are causing the issues. You go out and take new moisture readings and the subfloor is now at 14% moisture. Another part of the basement we have a vinyl floor product that interlocks without grout, not sure if it was glued, with no issues. The house is on a slab in Tampa . Readings that the MVER test can’t provide. Kipha, Good luck. Yes, there are products that can be installed prior to the flooring product to help with this problem. Gene Jaster. Low water to cement ratio, using pumps to dewater, not using a vapor retarder, and not allowing concrete to adequately dry and cure are all ways to prevent moisture problems on concrete floors. Condensation develops on a slab that has a lower temperature and moisture level than the air’s dew point. You go out and take new moisture readings and the subfloor is now at 14% moisture. I would consult the VCT manufacturer and seek recommendations from them. For moisture to accumulate between the concrete slab and the flooring, it needs to find its way to that middle layer. When the meeting takes place to decide when to install flooring, no one has to rely on paper notes. Moisture often rises through a slab from the bottom to the top in the drying process. I eventually got a grout scraper and scrapped for only about 2 mins and water shot up approx 10 inches high for about 5 seconds. Ideally, it should be between 7% and 9%. In 2013 we replaced the downstairs area with laminate flooring. These types of flooring failures occur due to excess moisture trapped between the flooring and the concrete. Hello Jason We also noticed some black spots through out all th ceiling of th first floor. Is it the glue or is it the moist from the new concrete floor? I forgot to mention in my earlier post that we live in Austin, Tx and we haven’t had any rain in the past few months. We’re trying to figure out if there’s a way to dry the slab without having to rip out all of the tile. Posted by the tile is likely directly adhered to the concrete slab. If found, scrub the floor with a mixture of six tablespoons of washing soda and one gallon of water. Is it possible that it’s a newly exposed underground spring???? They have resources and phone numbers you can call to get expert advice. I had my house retiled in Jan 2018. we did everywhere but the bathrooms and bedrooms. Unfortunately, ambient conditions often corrupt MVER test results. The first thing to do is identify what the flooring and adhesive manufacturer recommend for proper installation of their product. The water is collecting on top of the moisture barrier but the underside of the plywood is dry to the touch. It'll penetrate the concrete and block moisture from seeping up through your floor. I am quite concerned, because we purchased a log home in OH with a basement that flooded about 8 times, before we realized the water was coming up through the concrete floor. The seal was good, so that was not the problem. Grateful for any advice. Our home has mostly engineered wood flooring. Groung Moisture Barrier is polythene sheeting that is at least 0.25 mm thick and covers the ground under a house. My questions are… I am concerned with moisture as the home has previously had moisture and mold issues. Carpet is very breathable and, obviously, so is bare concrete. Controlling Moisture on Concrete Floors Moisture on the surface of concrete fl oors is common in Iowa homes. The key is to wait until the moisture level reaches an equilibrium point or is acceptably close to it before sealing. The usual scales will either be represented in relative humidity % when measuring in the concrete or in lbs of vapor emission when measuring on the surface of the concrete with a calcium chloride test. My kitchen floor had a damaged tile (similar story, something got dropped on it) and water was welling up from under it when it was stepped on. Do you have any idea what could cause this condensation? 84 $49.95 $49.95. Relative scale I am a first owner of a house that was built in 2016 and live in Northern Colorado. However, when I ran a calcium chloride test, it came back 4.6, which should be ok for the adhesive. Today the guys came and took the old wood out of my 4 bedrooms, hallway and bathroom but as they took the master bedroom floor out they noticed moisture on the concrete! If the tile surface is cooler than the warm, humid room air, the moisture inside the air becomes the dampness on the floor tile when the warm air and cool floor meet. I was in contact with a factory rep during this whole process and they suggested that the product is not guaranteed if you have voids in a poorly mixed slab. That’s what happens with concrete. Torn vapor retarders can occur in a reckless worksite. This is especially true if your basement is prone to floods or leaks during heavy rainfall. is there any regulation/law that sais how high RH in concrete can be before putting tiles/parquete on it? At this point we really want to get floors installed but the continuous moisture is a problem. moisture barrier under plank and transition strip, should be asked of the manufacturer of the laminate floor. I also have a thinner, more powdery textured efflorescence showing on my garage floor and the paint has been flaking off. Thanks for the question. We built our home 6 years ago. We are putting down a floating laminate floor and my husband is the type of person who likes to be super careful about everything. Do we need to have a barrier put on the floors before putting the wood back down? With no vapor retarder, vapor from the soil has a direct, unobstructed path to the slab. Most of the time when there is a “sealing” process being done on the slab for the purpose of diminishing moisture transmission, installers rely on the proper installation procedures and the claims of the product being used. Otherwise, your floors would start getting damaged while resulting is increased cost to repair the overall house. We noticed that the smell came back today. This may be some of the problem. This often happens with porcelain and ceramic tiles. We pulled the floor up in November 2018 to find that the entire 1500 sf needed to be removed. It can be hard to tell at a glance whether a concrete floor is moisture-compromised. I have lightweight on the top floor. In the mean time, 3 months had passed and the areas from my first application appeared surprisingly dry almost like the process took longer than it was supposed to. Well, I am positive that it is NOT a ground water issue through my own long term investigation by many different means, i.e. Concrete science is still evolving. Good luck. We had a friend/contractor to suggest doing a moisture test before purchasing any flooring. And its only started since we replaced the old flooring which was laminate and before that it was carpet. Steps to make your concrete floor moisture free. It is always dry except when the Spring/Summer/Fall ambient air dew point and floor temperatures meet and the water vapor turns to water and drops on the floor. When ground water can’t move, moisture vapor pushes upwards. I would consult a reputable flooring installer or flooring distribution business for potential recommendations. There are multiple products out there to help with this problem, but you will need to better understand how much moisture you have in your concrete. BoostLee [OP] Member. I hope you can help me. We see moisture content on concrete floor. There are two main ways to suffer inaccurate moisture testing. A floor with a white or greyish powdery stain (also called “efflorescence”) likely has excess moisture. Give the concrete slab the time it needs to dry and cure. Good luck. Also, the floors we had and will be putting down are engineered unfinished wood that are glued down. The moisture we are speaking of here is moisture vapor, not physical water. I bought some vinyl floors and sone PVC floor glue which i installed in a new concrete floor. Thanks for the question. Another thing to pay attention to is the relative humidity in the air. One of the main culprits for this is that IF a vapor retarder was used under the slab originally, it has probably degraded to the point that it is no longer effective, allowing for moisture vapor to move through the soil and into the slab. We bought a used manufactured home a year ago and we took up the carpeted flooring this spring. Congratulations on the new house. Thank you in advance! summary Carefully follow the below steps to make your floor moisture-free at the right time. Our master bath, closet, and laundry room are all tiles and had not been grouted yet. Only testing performed at the correct depth can let you determine if the final moisture condition of the slab will be compatible with the flooring and the products used to install it. As I installed the drain, I determined that the water table is very high in our neighborhood. Thanks for the question. The fastest way to measure moisture in floors is to use a moisture meter for wood. Make sure that your water displacement methods aren’t generating run-off in the wrong directions. The structure is probably more than 75 years old. Try to avoid adding water to concrete that’s already mixed. I occur on two opposite ends of my home, but not in the center area. The MVER test uses the weight differential over a 72-hour period of calcium chloride salt placed on the slab’s surface. I’m in a panic not really knowing what to do… Any thoughts? This MAY lessen the issue. Thanks. If not, you may want to have someone remover the floor, leave the floor off to dry the subfloor naturally, and then have a new floor installed. I have noticed recently while either moving storage bins around as well as some work out machine mats, there is condensation occurring under those areas only, meaning I do not have any water present where the floors are exposed. new gutters, surface ground drains, multiple drilled holes all the way through my slab with no signs of moisture, 5 holes- 4 ft deep, surrounding my slab on the affecting side of the house with NO ground water layers, new a/c return vent, correcting a negative air pressure issue within the home, and more. Combined with leaks at floor and ceiling joints and around door and window frames (usually the points of greatest air leakage in buildings), this adds up to a tidy sum of air and moisture flowing into (or through) wall cavities. So look, if you want to reduce the moisture that’s coming up through the bathroom, there’s a couple of things I can suggest. There will be an airspace under the plywood so the floor temperature should then approximate the ambient air temperature which may then eliminate the dew point problem. recommendations? I now see moisture on the concrete foundation, at the base of several interior walls. The floor is sufficiently dry when the meter reads between 8 and 14 percent moisture. Any poor plumbing installation at the worksite creates a high risk of excess moisture. Thanks for the question. What is the residue? The wood has a 25 year warranty, so again I contacted the builder. No reason to start out behind the eight ball. Installing a vapour barrier (thick polythene sheeting) on the ground under your house will keep the moisture in the ground and stops the air under the floor from getting damp. Thanks for the questions. He is also going to pop out a couple of tiles in the living room to see what is going on in regards to the water pooling. now dealing with water and mineral deposits on some grout lines. The primary source of moisture in a concrete slab is the proportion of water mixed with the cement. Yet you have other water sources to worry about. Usually, warm, moist air and relative humidity enter the structure through the several openings (windows, doorways, and vents). A concrete floor with a too high moisture content can wreak havoc on a vinyl floor. I really appreciate your time and thoughts on this. Thank you. Excess moisture is caused by a number of ways a few being: the hardwood floor is cupping or cracking, you see efflorescence or a white residue on the concrete floor, or the floor over the concrete is blistering or peeling away. Amazon's Choice for hardwood floor moisture meter. Enter those two numbers into a calculator like this http://www.dpcalc.org/ to determine dew point temperature. This also can help you define the exact boundary of the moisture-compromised flooring. We went back to the people that installed it and they said they will not come back and touch it until it is fixed. The current thought is to remove the flooring and let it dry to see where the moisture is now. Thanks for the questions. It’s also called the moisture vapor emission rate (MVER) test. Somehow it’s seeping into the area of dirt BETWEEN the slab and footer and has been wetting the soils under our floor. Is there anyone in the city I can contact if the landlord brushes me off? Any test measuring only surface moisture is necessarily providing inaccurate results. For example, the meter may read 12 percent moisture content, which is within the normal range for some regions but which is too high in drier, lower-humidity areas. From what I have seen, wood floors are usually in that 75% RH range when testing concrete RH% in the concrete, but you should verify with the flooring and setting material manufacturer to make sure. Even the un-remodeled bathrooms to this day do not show water intrusion. Thank you. I look forward to your advice. Thanks for the questions. Moisture barriers also known as vapor barriers are used to prevent that moisture from coming into contact with your flooring. We are now trying to figure out how to lay stone on the floor of the shower over the concrete. My husband and I are currently building a house and we’re hoping to use vinyl flooring for a budget friendly flooring. You need to do an MVT or moisture vapor transmission test on your floor’s surface prior to applying either epoxy or paint on it. Hi. One thing you may want to try though would be a visual test. 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. Thanks for your help. Also, this only occurs in our Florida room. Thanks for the question. It’s standardized as the ASTM F1869 (Standard Test Method for Measuring Moisture Vapor Emission Rate of Concrete Subfloor Using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride). Today we had a home inspection and during the inspection of this home we are interested in purchasing was built in 2010. Good luck. The more water in the mix, the greater the chance the slab won’t get all the time it needs to set. You may be looking at an issue with how the rain came down or collected externally due to the unfinished grading you typically see with a house under construction. I find it very hard to believe it would be condensation being as there was a couple instances where it showed pressure when coming through the grout. Wet floors can also promote mold growth. Concrete 0-6% Shipped with USPS Priority Mail. How do I solve this??? I would look here https://www.icri.org/page/ccsmtt_list to see if there are any certified moisture testing people in your area. I am looking for suggestions on how to either test my theory that this is where the odor and moisture issue is coming from and some possible solutions to remedy the issue. Can you help me with advice somehow? Measuring Moisture in Wood Flooring. First, I would want to test the concrete to see how high the relative humidity is in the affected area, Second, the areas that you state don’t have a moisture issue, may. Is it moisture in the concrete, lack of ventilation, water intrusion in a wall, etc. Thanks, Heidi. Thank you for any information you can give me. Thanks for the question. For instance, you take your readings prior to installing a hardwood floor and the subfloor moisture content is 10% and the strip Hardwood was at 7%. Any insight to the problem and/or recommendations to solve would be appreciated! I would probably start with a home inspector of some type to see if they can identify a problem. You can use a combination of surface drying and air circulation to help remove moisture from the wood. and How do we fix the problem. The garage show efflorescence on the bottom concrete blocks around the garage foundation slab on some of the cement whitish residue on the surface. My wife and I purchased engineered floors for our home, which is on a concrete slab. If the moisture is coming up through your concrete floor, it becomes critically important to resolve this issue. If a wood flooring has been installed on top of the slab, the wood may be cracking or warping. EVEN AREAS THAT HAVE NO FLOORING YET,,,WHEN SOMETHING SOLID IS SIT ON IT, OVERNITE, THAT AREA UNDERNEATH WILL BECOME WET. For instance, lifting tile off the floor, rotting hardwood, damping carpet, and coatings delamination. Over the years the flooring began to buckle and bubble. Jason has 20+ years’ experience in sales and sales management in a spectrum of industries and has successfully launched a variety of products to the market, including the original Rapid RH® concrete moisture tests. When I pull the tiles back, the slab is damp to the touch and you can watch it dry out (color change) once the slab is exposed. We went back to the people that did the work and they told us to get a dehumidifier, yes it pulls a lot of water out of it, but also the flooring is buckling and it makes creakibng sounds as you walk on it. The business we were going to purchase from is supposedly unaware of any need for a moisture test, and says it will be fine. Hi are you recently had a flood in my kitchen a dishwasher pressure line broke and I have tile ceramic that was put over linoleum would it be possible that water would have gotten underneath the vinyl the insurance company does not want to remove it they said it was dry. Another sign of excess moisture that can appear in any kind of flooring is the sudden presence of pests such as termites or ants. NOW, A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER, THERE ARE MULTIPLE GRAY AREAS THAT TURN BLACK ALL OVER MY HOUSE. I live in Tampa Florida in a 2nd floor (top floor) condo. In the end, having a certified building inspector out there may be a good way to know, for sure, prior to spending additional money on fixes. Floortex™ floor coatings are the highest quality cement floor coatings on the market. First thing I would recommend is determining why it is so humid down there. Other floor coverings an excess amount of water also be standing water underneath wood! Scrape out more grout not in the FOREST floor - its distribution and movement B.J... To “ fix ” this problem without starting over that no one can determine a source for this water condensation! Yet moisture on floor many installers don ’ t need is moisture that can absorb and release moisture of time see! 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