Without a doubt, moisture testing is essential if you have installed screed on your flooring, especially if you want your final floor covering or finish to be consistent and even all throughout your space. If moisture testing isn’t carried out by an expert before you lay down your final flooring, this could result in faulty flooring, which will show up over time and which would entail costly repairs in the long run. But moisture testing doesn’t have to be too difficult a process, particularly since you can now take advantage of several different methods or processes which can ensure that your screed is sufficiently dry enough for the final flooring to be applied by your contractor. So what are the screed moisture testing methods you can use, and which is best? Here is your optimum guide.
- The air hygrometer testing method
BS or British Standards recommend air hygrometer testing, and it is the most traditional method used for screed moisture testing. With this method, the level of moisture is measured with the use of a hygrometer, which is specially calibrated. The hygrometer will measure the moisture of a sealed space or area which has been screeded after 72 hours, so it can already reach the proper equilibrium with the substrate. The reading produced by the hygrometer will show the humidity of the area, and this is where they can calculate the moisture level. Although it is a traditional process, the method isn’t much used today since it can be laborious and time-consuming.
- The CM or concrete moisture testing method
The CM or concrete moisture testing method has two methods, namely Tramex meter testing and calcium carbide testing. The CM method is quite speedy and it is also accurate, and it is often the preferred testing method of moisture testing specialists.
For Tramex meter testing, a Tramex meter is used, and this is an electronic gadget or device that provides different results for measurement. Once the specialist chooses the CM option on the device’s menu, they simply need to place the meter on the screed surface so it can read the moisture level, which is then presented in percentage form.
For calcium carbide testing, a screed sample is taken by the specialist at mid-depth, and this is then permitted to react with the reagent (calcium carbide). Once the screed reacts with the reagent, the mixture will release acetylene gas, and the amount of gas will indicate the moisture level in the screed sample.
Once your contractor has obtained the results of the test, it is up to them to make sure that they consult you prior to laying the floor covering or finish. You should discuss the results carefully with your contractor so you can make the best decision. You have three basic options based on the results: you can either wait for a longer time if you aren’t on a strict time frame with your flooring project, or you can employ another party to carry out further testing. Alternatively, you can opt for the application or laying out of surface DPM. This option can be quite expensive, however, so it’s best to consider this only when you have a very limited schedule.