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Bad, Bad Testing

#11
The specs I write say you must test per ASTM 2170 and can test with ASTM 1869. (because the mfg has both in the testing literature) However, in the event of a warranty claim ASTM 2170 will be the test used to establish concrete moisture conditions. That usually kills the conversation and they go with RH.
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#12
(12-22-2012, 01:02 PM)CCR Wrote:  Just yesterday, I read the installation specs for a sheet flooring from a well known flooring manufaturer who actually stated in their literature to install based on the lower of the two test results Huh

What the heck are they thinking?? Well I know what they are thinking and it's a cop out... They want the sale, and they don't want to be seen as being too picky about where their product is installed, then when there is a failure, they will point at a number of problems and walk away.

Unfortunately that's the path many companies are taking. Even some big installation companies take the easy way out. When I used to use Tramex readers I had a heck of a time keeping flooring installers from installing on wet slabs. If I had 20 readings and 2 were acceptable, they'd want to install flooring. What about the 90% that busted the limits??? They didn't care, they saw a low number and they were ready to collect a paycheck.

I just sat in a meeting where the hospital was discussing the flooring they would use. 4 of the 10 people in the room didn't want to use rubber flooring from my favorite manufacturer because "they are too demanding about installation parameters" !!!!Exclamation

I had to stop them and explain the installation parameters were THE SAME as any other homogenous sheet product they were considering! Just that this ONE company makes sure the install is done as well as it can be and the client gets what they paid for. Yet this was being seen as being too demanding... Huh

I'm really tired of the 'slam it in and let someone else deal with it' crowd....
JD Grafton
Concrete Answers for Flooring Problems
[email protected]
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#13
(12-22-2012, 02:54 PM)CC Solutions Wrote:  I just sat in a meeting where the hospital was discussing the flooring they would use. 4 of the 10 people in the room didn't want to use rubber flooring from my favorite manufacturer because "they are too demanding about installation parameters" !!!!Exclamation

I do think some installation parameters from manufacturers are designed to be so complex and so detailed that they will not be followed and therefore give them an out when things go sideways on a project. But I don't get hospitals. They seem to put the most thought into the issues but they don't do it right. ever. The only people I have that put more thought into it are our pharma / Genentech type accounts who do listen but the FDA makes it so difficult they don't get the best end result and also seem to always cheap out on material and pay for it in the long run.
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#14
The biggest healthcare provider here learned some very expensive lessons over the past few years and has taken a very proactive approach to preventing moisture problems. They've found the upfront investment pays for itself hands down.
JK Nixon
Concrete Restoration Services, LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
http://www.rhtester.com
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#15
(12-20-2012, 08:09 PM)CC Solutions Wrote:  And Pat if you come back with some sassy remark about fast cheap and easy I swear I'll hop a plane and track you down... I know what's going through your mind Tongue

I'm at 15 Allied Drive, Tullamarine, VIC. It's right near Melbourne airport. Smile

I would never say that about you JD. Even despite the other post you wrote about spending heaps on wine, women and song... Big Grin

Funnily enough, most of the timber flooring installers are wising up to the fact that moisture is ALWAYS THEIR problem. But spec sheets are still a long way off. The other problem is who pays for the (minor) extra cost. As far as the end user is concerned, this is all a "new" thing...hence why should they have an extra cost tacked onto a bill which they think is already too big.

JK I'd be curious to know how often you're regarded as the "bad guy"- you know, for saying the slab's not ready. Are home owners worse than GCs in this sense?
The problem with socialism is that you soon run out of other people's money.
- Margaret Thatcher

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#16
(12-29-2012, 04:43 AM)Rubensgt40 Wrote:  JK I'd be curious to know how often you're regarded as the "bad guy"- you know, for saying the slab's not ready. Are home owners worse than GCs in this sense?

Oooo Ooooo, Me Me Let me answer that one!! Big Grin

It depends on how 'knowledgable' the players are.

If they are completely oblivious to the moisture-in-concrete phenomenon, whoever brought it up is the bad guy. If the flooring installer is about to install and he tests the slab before he starts and finds it's too wet, everything is his fault! Sad

If everyone is knowledgable and familiar with the issue, nobody is really the bad guy, but some fingers will be pointed at anyone who sealed the floor, gave it a burned (sealing) finish, or let it continue to get wet for months.

Then you have the 'other' testers.... The ones you call when the flooring guy or the GC or independent tester tells you the floor is too wet... These 'other testers' always come in with test results that are just below maximum so the job can continue... I'm serious! I've had GC's call other companies in, they test the same floors I tested and found WAY wet, like 95%, and their tests will come in at 79% if the flooring requires a maximum of 80%. Dodgy

And in the areas where the maximum is 75%, they test it at 74%. Exclamation

I have gone back to jobs and been surprised the flooring is going down, only to be told that 'XYZ Engineering' was called to test and the floor passed everywhere....

This happens all the time folks. XYZ gets tons of business because they always have good news and never hold up a job!

When the floor fails, new testing takes place, and who knows why it is wet now, but XYZ swears it was good before it was installed. Then they point to other failures where there were good readings and the moisture changed later (sound familiar???? CaCl!!!!) and they bow out of the repairs.

Somehow we have to hold these testing companies' feet to the fire and make them responsible for solid testing. Certification is NOT enough. Anyone can get certified and then conduct poor testing to bring in the easy money.

This is also why I suggest everyone do some testing. I'm not going to install a million dollar floor without dropping a few Wagners in it, I don't care how many 'experts' tell me they tested it 1000 times perfectly. A couple Wagners are CHEAP compared to $25 per square foot replacement costs....

And don't think for a minute when a floor fails that everyone just figures out who's fault it is and they shake hands and someone (not you) pays for it. Everyone gets called in, everyone meets to look at the floor, everyone has travel expenses and repair expenses and testing costs and many times everyone shares in the repair.

Put your own Wagners in on every job to double check no matter what anyone tells you.... That is golden advice worth a fortune right there.Wink
JD Grafton
Concrete Answers for Flooring Problems
[email protected]
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#17
Enlightening as always Mr. G. Just think about that- if yet another testing firm waltzes in and says the floor is just under the maximum, they would need to know what products are being installed, what with different spec sheets setting different RH levels.

It reeks of collusion which makes those situations even more remarkable... in a bad way!
The problem with socialism is that you soon run out of other people's money.
- Margaret Thatcher

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#18
I am sure this happens Mr. R... The GC laments that he cannot finish his building on time and will suffer huge economic loss due to delays because he cannot install his vinyl flooring on 6th floor!

Well whadayaknow? For a cool couple hundred bucks, maybe a grand, XYZ is showing the floors PASS and the work can continue!!!

Oh happy day until there is a problem.... Sad

Then there are installers who will install vinyl even when I show them the floor is at 95%. When I asked one company owner how he could possibly do that he told me he has a one year warranty so he will come back for the first year and fix any bubbles but after that he is GONE....

I almost called the building owner on that one. The flooring company and the GC were screwing over a VERY large hospital by installing a vinyl flooring on very wet slabs... About 30,000 square feet of it.....

Who polices this stuff?
JD Grafton
Concrete Answers for Flooring Problems
[email protected]
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#19
Amazing how we're regarded as the "bad guys" Sad. Everything JD said is true. From what I have read on a number of engineering company websites, moisture testing is usually a small part of their business. So I would not be surprised if many tests are not performed altogether, that thoroughly (just my assumption guys).

So it stands to reason everyone thinks these lower numbers "must be right, because XYZ Bigtime Engineering said so." And with that, the qualified independent tester is made to look like an idiot who must have done it wrong, until of course, problems arise.

As far as GCs vs. Homeowners, they look at their projects from different perspectives so it's like apples vs. oranges, except neither wants the extra cost for a mitigation application if it's needed.

Biggest challenge I see is maintaining testing business when 80% of the sites I test don't pass. It boils down to human nature... "why should I call JK to test when he always gives me bad news?"

But the fact is, on-grade restorations (with no vapor barrier) and newer concrete (with or without a "VB"), almost always fail. End of story.

So my recommendation has not changed: Architects everywhere, plan on, and budget for a moisture mitigation applocation on every job. And if it's not needed, everyone will be happy Smile
JK Nixon
Concrete Restoration Services, LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
http://www.rhtester.com
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#20
God help us! As a wood inspector it is rare anyone apparently reads the mfg's installation instructions.
Question 1 what was the mc of the concrete? Mostly answer I don't know I don't do that. Or if they do they did the mat test or if they indicate they did they have no documentation of what the readings were. When asked what the moisture content of the wood was again, I don't do that. These numbers need to be between 2% or plank and 4% for strip 2 1/4". Cupping, buckling or gaps are the result. Wood is the most sensitive flooring regarding moisture. RH 75% or less.
Calcium Chloride site testing done by flooring contractor no one abrades the concrete at all that I have seen so kind of useless or certainly not accurate. PH testing needs proper profile or readings will be way off. Which brings me to tilt up concrete walls. The breaker bond they put on the slab so it will release is seldom shot blasted or ground to allow proper adhesive bonding.
I have seen situations on this forum regarding concrete that I will probably never encounter but if I do am now aware. The engineering bulletin 119 titled Concrete Floors and Moisture by Howard M. Kanare was also enlightening to me ever after 45 years in this business. wood mfg's have complete instructions in every box regarding maintenance etc but no one reads them apparently. Sound off over!!
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