Is Field Moisture Testing A Requirement with Barrier One Dosage?

Confusion with field moisture testing?

There is both anecdotal evidence and confusion regarding field moisture testing in the construction industry today. G.C.s and Flooring Installers express frustration with regards to the lack of definable precision in certified ASTM protocol as they pertain to installations. Unfortunately, these means and method test assessments only reference the status of current moisture levels at a point in time in lieu of providing the project team with long-term “solutions”. This kind of rampant ambiguity causes frantic RFI’s which lead to expensive budget and scheduling change orders. The owner is left holding the bag.

Ambiguous Assessment vs. Solutions?

Field moisture testing measures the presence of moisture. Moisture is present in all concrete and necessary in varying degrees. While some flooring failures are the result of moisture redistribution; one only needs to look at a Manufacturer’s warranty omissions to determine their own liability. Although manufacturers recommend field moisture testing; in the end, there is only a “material defect” warranty offered for the materials they produce. So, regardless of the moisture level data reported; the flooring industry does not warrant for moisture, adhesive bonding or the installation of flooring. This is why adherence to sound ASTM F-710 guidelines while following specific planned use installation instruction is imperative and the basis for a successful flooring installation. Again, the flooring manufacturer is not responsible for substrate prep or installation errors, moisture related failures or bonding issues should they occur.

Moisture Assessment Tools

These four industry utilized tests can falsely allude to or imply anticipated flooring installation approvals.

  1. ASTM F2170 In-Situ Probe Testing

  2. ASTM F1869 Calcium Chloride Testing

  3. ASTM F2169 Non-Destructive Impedance Testing

  4. ASTM F710 – pH Testing Section 5.2

Regardless of the reported test data, these tests measure the integral “presence” of moisture in concrete to varying degrees; not the dynamic movement of the moisture. Keep in mind, that it is the redistribution of moisture that is just one of many causes attributable to a flooring failure. For the purposes of this Bulletin; integral movement and redistribution of moisture in concrete should be a primary concern. So, it is reasonable to anticipate that the integral movement of moisture will affect time value liability concerns for the project owner. The insanity cycle of never- ending testing to allude liability is a no win and costly game to all parties. Concrete is variable from batch to batch and other bulletins will address the porosity of concrete not withstanding degrees of surface densification related to power troweling.

What to Do?

While the flooring industry will always provide “material defect” warranties for the products produced: it is incumbent upon a savvy specifier to approve products that offer the GC a legitimate means and methods to bridge the warranty gaps and omissions discussed.

Simple Solution? Less Confusion?

Simplify and eliminate the ambiguity by utilizing Barrier One’s Porosity Inhibiting Admixture (PIA). Barrier One’s “Life of the Concrete Warranty” guarantees that your floor will not fail due to concrete sourced integral moisture. In the event that it is forensically determined that your flooring failure was exclusively related to integral concrete moisture; Barrier One will replace the floor including both labor and material.

CONCLUSION: Field moisture or pH testing is not a requirement of Barrier One’s (PIA) for warranty consideration. If moisture testing is conducted, Barrier One warrants up to 100% RH (per ASTM F2170) and/or 25 lbs. (per ASTM F1869). Barrier One offers demonstrated value performance and protection against the deleterious effects of integral moisture redistribution.  For more information, contact your Regional Manager today for an online or in-person discussion.