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Thread: Concrete moisture meter...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
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    940

    Question Concrete moisture meter...

    Howdy folks,

    I've got a situation and need some help. I'm currently in the middle of a pretty big remodel job for a customer. I've got most of the work done and am just about ready to get the flooring portion done. That will wrap the job. I've installed a lot of laminate floating floors but never done an engineered wood floating floor. I usually do regular nail down hardwood or laminate. But this floor is a 3/8" engineered wood floating floor. I've got the material on site and should start installing it early next week. The thing is that it's going down on a lower level over a concrete slab. In order for the warranty to be valid, I have to check and document the moisture content of the slab. This house is thirty-nine years old so it's WELL cured but I still need to check the moisture content of the slab. Normally I don't install over concrete so I can't justify spending several hundred dollars to buy a meter for the job. I've called several rental places but haven't found one yet that has one to rent. Do you know of anyone in SE Michigan that has a concrete moisture meter that is available for rent? If so, a PM would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much in advance!

    John
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    15,807
    John, the quick and dirty, but effective moisture meter is to take a piece of fairly thick, clear plastic (that has no holes in it) and duct tape it to the concrete floor, so it is well sealed, then leave it for a few days, if there is any moisture at all seeping through the concrete, it will show up under the plastic.



    Hope this helps!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    30,014
    Stu beat me to it. The plastic sheet method is an easy way to see if moisture is present and migrating, but it doesn't really give a quantitative answer.

    I've used these before to test moisture content in concrete, but you won't find any of them for rent, since you need to be certified to operate one. I do see in a Google search there are quite a few other types around, but they are indeed pricey.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
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    I used plastic to check for moisture (wasn't any) and then sealed my floor (Thompsons WaterSeal) before installation.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940
    Thanks guys!

    The instruction sheet that came with the product does mention the "plastic mat method" and I may end up trying that if it's an acceptible method. I just can't justify buying a meter for just this job. If I knew that it would get regular use I wouldn't have a problem with it. But as it is, this is the first time I've ever had to lay hardwood over concrete so I doubt that it will get much use by me. This is $2K worth of product I'm installing so I can't afford to take a chance and I've got to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.

    Thanks again!

    John
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,351
    John,
    I'm not a contractor, nor a floor man, and I've only laid the floating engineered floor once and it was over a regular osb sub-floor, but the barrier you put down under the floor is a soft poly plastic kinda like what they wrap electronics in for shipping.. I would think that you could lay a polyethylene sheeting under that material to essentiall act as a barrier, then the poly sheeting and the floor over that. Or you could also seal the concrete with a water barrier such as they use in basements..
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940
    That's true. Actually I just got back from that job site. (It's a neighbor) I pulled back some of the carpet and found that there is tile already in place on top of the concrete. It's not bare concrete as I had suspected. The tile was installed when the house was built in 1970 and still stuck very well in the area I'ved pulled up so far. I'm going to call the tech support line on Monday and see what they have to say. Possibly just a layer of visqueen down first and then the foam underlayment is all I need to do.

    John
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,472
    hey john , get there name and preferablly a fax with a sig on it to protect yur self from those that look for loop holes!!!
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

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