It is now recognized that surface testing of the concrete subfloor may not determine if the subfloor is suitable for floor covering. This is because subsurface moisture tends to leach upwards to the surface over time, thereby causing failures such as debonding, peaking, deterioration of finished floor and possible mould problems for floor coverings.
On the 13th June 2012 the Council of Standards Australia approved the updated AS1884-2012 (Floor coverings – resilient sheet and tiles – installation practices) and for concrete subfloor moisture testing to cross reference procedures in accordance with ASTM F2170-18 (international standard). The means to test moisture in concrete is to determine the relative humidity - RH (moisture in the air) within the concrete slab itself in a controlled environment and after the achievement of moisture equilibrium. Concrete subfloor shall be considered sufficiently dry when measurements taken in accordance with ASTM F2170-18 do not exceed 75% or 70% relative humidity depending upon method used. It is strongly suggested to refer to the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendation for acceptable relative humidity levels for their products even if the test results are below 75% or 70% depending upon method used.
MCS can perform 3rd party testing for Builders, Commercial Floor Covering Company’s or other interested parties thereby avoiding any conflict of interest in the results. MCS will provide a formal report to clients of the results which are in strict accordance with ASTM F2170-18 requirements.
All MCS team members have completed the Construction Industry Safety Induction course and have these cards with them at all times. MCS can provide WMS (work method statements) and/or SWMS (safe work method statements) to our client in order for these to be assessed and accepted before commencement of work by the head contractor (if working on building site).
Ideal information required in advance where possible
- Site plans (critical for new buildings)
- Ground floor or level above ground
- Depth of concrete slab
- PPE (personal protective equipment) requirements if a building site
- Is site induction required and contact on site
Prior to attendance MCS will (where possible):-
- Review plans/Drawings for the building site ensuring the depth (thickness) of the concrete and separate concrete pour areas included.
- The floor area where testing is required in square meters (e.g. carpet / vinyl floor coverings).
- Determine with client the best time to attend and access to the concrete floor (e.g. ideally before internal walls due to material and personnel on site at this stage of the construction project).
- MCS will determine number of holes and placement in advance of attendance plus staging of testing if required (three for the first 93sqm and at least one additional test for each additional 93sqm or part thereof per poured slab).
- For pre-existing slabs (e.g. not new buildings) various hazards need to be considered like silica, lead and asbestos.
- Before testing occurs, the sensor probes will be calibrated within 30 days of the testing itself.