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The Significance of Concrete Subfloor Moisture Testing

Numerous issues with hardwood flooring can be attributed to moisture, some of which may show up right away, others of which may not show up for months or even years. In addition to warping, scaling, pop-outs, efflorescence, discoloration, gaps or fissures, swelling joints, and even mold or mildew growth, these issues can include cupping, buckling, scorching, crazing, adhesive failure, or delamination.

The requirement for both concrete and wood floor moisture testing is therefore crucial for people working in the wood flooring industry to understand. Additionally, they should be able to distinguish between the two accepted concrete test procedures and the two different kinds of hardwood moisture meters. Before we examine the impact of moisture on wood floors, let's first examine how it affects concrete and why a concrete floor moisture test is mandatory.

Floor Moisture Damage

Experienced floor installers are aware that a concrete slab's surface cannot be used to determine whether it is dry enough to install a floor. Large amounts of moisture could be present deep within the slab. After you put in a floor, that unseen moisture may rise to the slab's surface and damage the floor. Numerous methods of testing for moisture have been developed over time, however, the majority of them lack a scientific basis and lack accuracy and reliability.

Time and High Alkalinity

Too much alkali is a problem similar to too much moisture. The link between the glue and floor covering is destroyed by high alkalinity. When the slab is exposed to excessive moisture, high alkalinity results. All concrete naturally contains alkalinity. The good: Rusting of the reinforcing steel is prevented by the internal alkaline state of concrete. The drawback: Adhesive and bonding systems may be affected when the alkalinity of a concrete slab's surface is higher than 9 on the pH scale (typically 10 and above). Testing with pH paper or a pH meter must be done to confirm that the alkalinity of the concrete is at the required level. Water damage is inevitable, but water with a high pH is disastrous.

Problems with Floor Covering

An alkalinity scale of pH 1 to 14 is used. Before laying down a floor covering, concrete should ideally have a pH of 7-9; otherwise, moisture and high alkalinity (high pH) will damage the bonding of the flooring adhesive. The pH level of the concrete surface should be between 7-9 prior to the installation of flooring.

When it comes to the appropriate installation of wood flooring, all flooring specialists must be proactive. Their best line of defense against moisture-related flooring failures that can result in lost time, money, and even a damaged reputation is accurate moisture testing. This article should have helped readers gain a basic knowledge of why moisture testing is crucial.

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