New Concrete RH Testing Automation to Make Your Job a Little Easier

Previously published by Tomorrow’s Contract Floors magazine.

Time. When do we ever have enough of it? Where does it go? Does it really just fly away?

And why does it seem to slow down when we’re waiting at the deli counter?

Time certainly never seems to cooperate with a project timeline. The priority, of course, is using first-rate tools to get the job done right. But how awesome would it be if the best tool for the job was also the most efficient?

That’s right. A new relative humidity (RH) test sensor helps automate the data collection when testing the moisture condition of concrete.

RH Testing Is Your Best Tool to Measure Moisture in Concrete

Rapid RH best tool to measure moisture in concreteWe know that using an in situ RH sensor is the most reliable and accurate choice to determine the moisture condition of your concrete subfloor because the science tells us so.

Nearly one hundred years ago, the American Concrete Institute scientifically validated the idea that RH impacts the physical properties of concrete. By 1940, the National Bureau of Standards found in its research that the RH within a concrete slab varies. Over the next few decades, researchers continued to refine and validate the RH test method as the most accurate mode for measuring concrete’s moisture condition.

ASTM F2170 (Standard Test Method for Determining Relative Humidity in Concrete Floor Slabs Using in situ Probes) was based on research out of the Technical University of Lund in Sweden in the 1990s. These researchers were able to lock down the proper depth at which to place an in situ RH probe within the concrete to get an accurate reading that correlates to how much moisture will remain in the concrete subfloor once it’s covered.

And that’s what you really want to know, right? Will the flooring I install over this concrete subfloor stay looking sharp or will it suffer moisture-related damage because the subfloor’s moisture condition was inappropriate?

As Senior Principal Scientist for CTLGroup and noted expert on concrete slab moisture, Howard Kanare conducted tests on concrete slabs over the course of years. These tests corroborated the earlier research showing that RH testing is the best method to give an accurate indicator of the subfloor’s future moisture condition once covered.

Time to Speed RH Testing Up

Alright, so in situ RH testing is your best tool for determining whether that concrete subfloor is ready to be covered. Now the question is how to speed up that process.

Well, ASTM recently sped the process up since the most recent research concluded that RH test holes drilled in concrete were completely equilibrated after 24 hours. ASTM revised the F2170 standard requiring you only wait 24 hours before taking valid moisture condition readings, down from the original 72 hours.

Cutting two days off the timeline is helpful. Now, how about speeding up the RH sensor data collection process?

Wagner Meters’ new Rapid RH® L6 system builds on the company’s well-established line of RH in situ probes by making it even easier and faster to get reliable readings. The system includes a tool called the Total Reader® with Touch-n-Sense™ technology. You just touch this reader to the top of the L6 sensor to get the RH and air temperature from within the concrete. Sensors in the Total Reader itself will capture the air temp and humidity at the same time.

The simple Touch-n-Sense approach lets you power through all your sensors quickly. Every time you take a reading, it gets stored, with a timestamp, on memory chip embedded in the L6 sensor. This is already a game-changer in terms of being able to validate your readings if they get questioned.

Since the L6 system is all about making data collection easy, starter kits come with Smart Logger™ devices. Leave a small device on the job site and it will capture its ambient temperature and humidity conditions periodically. When you’re back on the job site, use the free Smart Logger app on your phone to collect the Smart Logger data via Bluetooth®.

Remember: for a reliable assessment of your concrete subfloor’s moisture condition, always choose the in situ RH test method. And when you opt for the Rapid RH L6, you’ll enjoy a test system that is highly accurate, easy to use, ASTM F2170 compliant, and gives you complete data integrity. For more information, call our Rapid RH team today at 800-933-3506,

Last updated on February 22nd, 2021

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