Floors give an appealing touch to the surfaces, leaving them clean, tidy, and impressive enough to walk on. While selecting them appropriately could fetch long-lasting results, a casual option may even backfire in terms of bubbling, blistering, or popouts. These undesirable results result mostly due to presence of moisture between the concrete and the slab. It is hence a wise practice to test the floors for moisture before moving ahead.

Floors that require Moisture Testing

Several floor types contain more humidity as compared to others, some of these include as below:

Concrete floors

The methods to test the state of moisture get a major setback by the continuously challenging hydration levels in different parts of the slab, change in temperature, and various other environmental conditions. Choosing a foolproof method is therefore inevitable in this regard. Notably, the Plastic Sheet Method withers these tough conditions easily, and is hence one of the best methods to test the moisture arising in the concrete floors. The steps are as follows:

  • Tape the plastic sheet securely to the surface of the concrete floor, such as it forms a seal around the sheet.
  • Leave the sheet for around 3 days
  • Use a dew point hygrometer to test moisture level under the sheet and in the air.
  • This will determine the volume of evaporation correctly that took place in the past 72 hours

Another method to execute this task proficiently is to do a calcium chloride test on concrete subfloor, that will measure the moisture vapor emission rate by the floor. Additionally, there is also a test to determine the relative humidity in concrete floor slabs, which involved drilling hole in to the floor and inserting an electronic meter inside it.

Hardwood floors

Installation of hardwood floors requires you to perform proper moisture testing in order to detect the moisture content in the floor. A slight imbalance between the subfloor and hardwood flooring can cause certain adverse affects, like cupping, etc. Depending on the climatic conditions, whether dry or wet, inappropriate moisture content could tend the floors to shrink or expand. It is therefore a wise move to use hand-held meters for testing moisture in the floors.

A DIY testing is equally helpful for people who find it difficult to buy expensive meters to test moisture. You can perform this simple test on concrete floors before installing hardwood floors. The steps are as follows:

  • Buy some poly film (visqueen) and duct tape
  • Cut 5-6 pieces of the film into 2 'x 2' sections
  • Keep them at random in the installation area
  • Stick the sheet to the concrete slab by applying duct tape across the perimeter
  • Seal it completely to adhere to the concrete
  • Remove the sheet after 24-48 hours
  • Observe the concrete floor.

If you find any color change or condensation, this means the concrete has a moisture problem that needs to get away before hardwood floor installation.