Moisture in Concrete, Free vs Bound Moisture
Water in concrete is presented in three states: as free water held by capillarity, as absorbed water held by surfaces forces and as bound water held chemically. The ideal method of moisture measurement should quantify amounts of these three states but this is a difficult task because moisture in concrete is not uniformly distributed, and moisture distribution varies with the exposure time (Li Chunqiu 2008). Temperature, wind speed and environmental relative humidity are variables that must be considered at the moment of this measurement as well.
Using a pin moisture meter or a pinless moisture meter Is not a good method for analyzing moisture in a concrete slab. These types of meters are not able to pick up the different types of water in concrete. The meter will measure all of the water in the slab not just the free water.
The free water is what is going to affect the vapor emissions that will cause floor covering failure.
Measuring the moisture of a concrete floor is very hard because of the nature of concrete. The floor covering industry is always evolving and trying to incorporate a more accurate and efficient method for evaluating moisture in a concrete slab. 10 years ago people were only doing the calcium chloride test when analyzing moisture in concrete. Today many manufactures and people in the floor covering industry have moved to using the RH in-situ probe method following ASTM F2170 standards. Lignomat has developed a system for measuring concrete following the ASTM F2170 guidelines. Please call if you are interested in purchasing. If you would like a more detailed video of how the system works please visit link below.
Li Chunqiu, L. K. ( 2008). “Numerical analysis of moisture influential depht in concrete during drying wetting cycles.” Tshingua Science and Technology Vol 13, N°5: 696-701.