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A most unfortunate flooring failure!

#1
I was called by a large flooring manufacturer to conduct post installation moisture testing on a floor that was failing only a few months after installation.

I verified the slab thickness and installed several Wagner Rapid RH at the proper 40% depth. After 72 hours the RH readings were terribly high. I submitted a preliminary report of findings and was called a day later by the floor owner.

The owner had a lot of great questions about flooring materials and why some older materials may have stuck while new materials have problems. After about 15 minutes of discussing the particulars of moisture testing and flooring requirements the owner told me he had contacted the flooring installer and the installer had said "If we would have known this slab may have had moisture problems we would have tested it before installing the flooring". Huh

I think I will contact the installer and show them how Wagner Rapid RH testing can help prevent these problems before hand. This is a very unfortunate and expensive learning experience.
JD Grafton
Concrete Answers for Flooring Problems
[email protected]
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#2
Yes, I just did a similar moisture testing gig for a firm who put an epoxy coating on a drive outside a hotel driveway. But, no effloressence just some blistering. I felt it was improper prep instead of a moisture issue even though I got high readings.

The old epoxy had not been taken off and it was pulling as well. Multiple layering of the epoxy by the maintenance staff before this contractor got there.
Stephen Perrera dba
Top Floor Installation Co.
http://www.tucsonazflooring.com
http://www.floorsavior.com
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#3
(11-16-2012, 09:38 AM)CC Solutions Wrote:  If we would have known this slab may have had moisture problems we would have tested it before installing the flooring

aka if I thought I could win the bid and include the cost of doing $xxxx or testing I would have but I didn't because I wouldn't get the work if the other guy wan't going to do the testing.
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#4
Your quote makes it look like I said that! Blush

Unfortunately I think this flooring contractor is in for an expensive lesson.... This is bad all the way around.

Jason really needs to get out here and talk to ALL the flooring companies. I cannot seem to get to them all in time.... Perhaps the political campaign phone call people have some free time now and we can get them to start calling every installer!
JD Grafton
Concrete Answers for Flooring Problems
[email protected]
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#5
No don't waste time marketing to subs. It has to be in the specs. That is the marketing mistake Wagner makes. They should be marketing to the spec writing community, AIA, etc....

Contractors wont voluntarily do testing. You have to specify it.

Manufacturers won't just specify RH because subs over charge for it. You have to get the architect & designer to put RH testing in the testing section general conditions, Div3 or Div9.
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#6
I disagree. After this installer gets burned, and then sees that the testing is as easy as drilling a hole and inserting a reader, he'll be sure to use RH probes every time.

At least that is what I have noticed around here. The Rapid RH is so easy and so quick, guys that install expensive flooring are very eager to use them now.
JD Grafton
Concrete Answers for Flooring Problems
[email protected]
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#7
Yes but that marketing tactic requires someone to get burned before they see the light. For me, that isn't the best strategy. One is limited only to the market of people who got burned not the far more vast market of those who just don't know better.
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#8
I haven't been here for awhile...Busy! But these tales all ring true. I'm a stong proponent of getting RH testing in the specs, and I'm seeing it more. And I still see Cal. Chlor. testing in the same section. When I get calls to do both, I try to guide the GC to RH for all the reasons we know. They almost always let me do what I think is best.

As far as installer testing (RH & Cal Chlor), I still see it done improperly too often. I know ICRI is actively certifying installers, so I wonder why I see "certified testing testing techicians" conducting tests wrong? Huh

And I love the comment "if we thought there was a moisture problem..." I heard the very same thing a year ago from a large flooring contrator with an ICRI certified tester on their payroll!!!! Geeez, what is it going to take?

Worst of all, I continue to see testing specs ignored altogether. Why? Because the GCs and installers bidding are afraid to lose the work.

And in the end, the customer is the loser once again when the floor fails.
JK Nixon
Concrete Restoration Services, LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
http://www.rhtester.com
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#9
This is an unfortunate issue in our industry. Most architectural firms in our market do specify 2170. However, Flooring Contractors will not include budgets for testing in fear of overshooting their target by a few thousand dollars. We have recently began a campaign to reach specification writers and encourage them to specify 3rd party independent moisture testing agencies. When this happens, everyone is on a level playing field and must include the numbers in the bid package. The building owner ultimately picks up the tab and everyone wins!:Big Grin
Steve Anderson
President
Surface Testing Group
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#10
(11-20-2012, 03:07 PM)surfacesteve Wrote:  We have recently began a campaign to reach specification writers and encourage them to specify 3rd party independent moisture testing agencies. When this happens, everyone is on a level playing field and must include the numbers in the bid package. The building owner ultimately picks up the tab and everyone wins!:Big Grin

Great move, I like this a lot. Welcome Steve, and please keep us updated on how this campaign is going!
The problem with socialism is that you soon run out of other people's money.
- Margaret Thatcher

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