Concrete RH Testing: Tips to Reduce Your Risk of ‘Courtroom Drama’


This content is brought to you by a partnership between the two leaders in Concrete Moisture Testing, IFTI (Independent Floor Testing and Inspection) and Wagner Meters.

Original article by Jason Spangler

As a flooring professional, your reputation and bottom line are at risk if you experience a flooring failure – even if it isn’t your fault. If you don’t have proper documentation of moisture testing, it can be hard to prove whose fault it is.

Nobody wants to be in that situation. So, here’s some valuable information on how you can avoid an unnecessary “courtroom drama.”

RH Testing and Documentation

To protect yourself from blame for a flooring failure due to excess moisture in the concrete, you need to make sure that the slab is properly tested and documented in compliance with ASTM F2170, the relative humidity (RH) test using in situ probes. ASTM F2170 is proven to be more accurate than any other test, including ASTM F1869.

Remember, it’s your reputation and your bottom line, so be very careful before you leave it up to someone else. The general contractor might have moisture testing documentation, but was the testing done according to ASTM F2170? Is the documentation complete and credible? How long ago was it done? Have proper ambient conditions been maintained since the tests?

If you want to be absolutely sure the slab is ready to receive the floor, it is advisable that you test the slab yourself. Fortunately, concrete RH testing is fast, easy and economical with today’s technology. With the right tools, you can accurately test and document the moisture conditions of the slab and be ready to provide the documents to all concerned parties.

What Documentation Is Needed for Concrete RH Testing?

The ASTM F2170 standard describes the required documentation for RH moisture testing. Typically, you’ll provide reports to anyone you’re contractually obligated to, like the general contractor, architect or facility owner. Keep a copy in your files in case a problem arises later.

Here’s the data included in the documentation:

  • Name and address of the structure
  • Date and time the holes were drilled, how long the probes equilibrated in holes, date and time of the measurements
  • Name, title, and affiliation of the worker performing the measurements
  • Locations and depths of the test holes
  • Relative humidity in each test hole, to the nearest percent relative humidity
  • Temperature in each test hole, to the nearest degree
  • Ambient air temperature, to the nearest degree and relative humidity to the nearest percent humidity above each test hole
  • Make, model and last calibration date of the instrument used to make the measurements
  • Any observations that might affect the interpretation of individual measurements such as standing water on the slab, wet coring operations, weather, or ventilating system operations

The Importance of Data Integrity

The reports you produce will be provided to others to prove that you’ve been diligent with your testing, and they will probably be required in court if someone sues you. That means they must be credible. If your records are incomplete, unclear, or appear to have been modified, you will have a hard time proving your case. Despite all the work you put into testing, poor data integrity can sink you.

So when you choose your tools, look for the system that provides the highest possible data integrity.

The new Wagner Rapid RH® L6 system is a complete concrete RH testing system that provides the highest data integrity using an unbroken digital stream of data from the test sensors to the final reports.

The L6 Total Reader® instantly reads slab RH and temperature data from the L6 Smart Sensor, displays it, and stores it in the Smart Sensor’s onboard memory. If you’re using the free DataMaster™ L6 app on your mobile device, the Total Reader transmits the reading data via Bluetooth® to the app.

The DataMaster L6 app manages the temperature and RH data in one, easy-to-use app that runs on both Android and iOS devices. You can upload all the readings stored in your Smart Sensors to the app for storage, display, and reporting. It allows you to input job metadata like job name, address and hole depth. With the DataMaster L6 app, you can take pictures of blueprints and then overlay specific sensor locations onto the pictures making for a quick and accurate visual representation of sensor placement. With the DataMaster L6 app and the complete L6 Smart Sensor system, each reading is positively tied to a specific sensor installed in the concrete, so there’s practically zero chance you’ll mix up or lose data.

The DataMaster L6 app also generates ASTM compliant PDF format reports that include every data point required by the standard, and more. The reports can be sent to the client directly from your device and stored or transferred to other devices. The read-only PDF format further enhances data integrity.

The Rapid RH L6 system is a complete data collection, storage and reporting system that requires no manual data entry, and generates read-only PDF reports for the highest possible data integrity.

Wagner’s Rapid RH L6 system will help protect your reputation, keep money in your pocket and help you prevent a “courtroom drama.”

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