GEORGE DONNELLY TESTING & INSPECTIONS Arkansas
(501) 915-0626 / Los Angeles (626) 827-4848
A Standard for Testing the Dryness and Suitability of a Concrete Slab
Intended to Receive Floor Coverings or Resinous Coatings Utilizing Anhydrous
This document does not purport to examine all of the concerns regarding
concrete as a suitable substrate for the installation of floor covering and
coating materials. The limitation of this section is to determine concrete
moisture vapor emission and pH levels for comparison to installation
requirements of floor covering materials. Most manufacturers of flooring
material and adhesives print a maximum tolerable level of moisture vapor
emission and a range of pH for installations over concrete substrates. Moisture
vapor emission and pH levels in excess of that tolerated by flooring systems
specified must be corrected prior to flooring or coating application. The
purpose of this specification standard is to insure testing is performed by
qualified personnel and that the results of these tests are reported to the
Owner, Architect and General Contractor, in writing, for review and/or
The owner is best served by including these tests in section 01450. Thus
having the tests performed by an outside agency, whose sole function is
delivering accurate information. In the past this testing was often left out of
construction documents or it may have been included in individual sections of
Division 9. These tests were to be performed by the General Contractor or
Flooring Contractor. This choice of specification location should be avoided as
testing may be performed by untrained personnel or someone with a biased or
Concrete Moisture Vapor Emission and pH Testing (01450)
***NOTE - per ASTM F 1869-16 - This
test is to be used on normal weight concrete, containing hard rock aggregate
only. This test is not to be used on concrete containing lightweight
Part 1 – General
1.01 Section Includes
- Provide concrete moisture vapor emission and pH testing to all concrete
specified to be covered with floor coverings or resinous coatings.
Includes concrete placed below, on and above grade. (For re-model
projects suspended slabs may be excluded from this requirement)
- Testing shall take place after allowing concrete to dry for a minimum
of 90 days. Testing to be scheduled no less than 1 nor more than 3 weeks
prior to scheduled flooring installation.
1.02 Related Sections
- Section 09620 - Specialty Flooring
- Section 09640 - Wood Flooring
- Section 09650 - Resilient Flooring
- Section 09660 - Static Control Flooring
- Section 09670 - Fluid Applied Flooring
- Section 09680 – Carpet
- ASTM F-1869-16 – Standard Test Method for Measuring Vapor Emission
Rate of Concrete Subfloor Using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride.
- ASTM F-710 – Standard Practice for Preparing Concrete Floors and
Other Monolithic Floors to Receive Resilient Flooring.
- Report all test results in chart form listing test dates, start/stop
time, start/stop weight, weight gain in grams, moisture vapor emission
value and pH levels.
- List test locations on chart and show same on 8 ½ x 11 site map (when
such map is made available to testing agency)
- Deliver results in duplicate for distribution to Architect and General
1.05 Quality Assurance
A. Independent Testing Agency
1. Certified by Test Kit Manufacturer for product use.
2. I.C.R.I. (International Concrete Repair Institute) certified, or
agency with verifiable experience
B. Commercially Produced Moisture Vapor Emission Test Kits
1. Test dish including calcium chloride must be commercially
packaged and delivered to test site in sealed factory wrapping
2. Test dome from same source as dish.
3. Test kit must comply with ASTM apparatus standards of size and weight.
C. Wide range pH paper, and distilled or de-ionized water.
Part 2 – Products
2.01 - Manufacturers
- Calcium Chloride Test as Manufactured by Vaprecision (800) 449-6194,
Full Spectrum Flooring (804) 714-2454, or equal.
- pH test paper as manufactured by Micro Essential Laboratory, or equal.
Part 3 – Execution
3.01– Quantification of Concrete Moisture Vapor Emission
- The test site should be maintained at the same temperature and humidity
conditions as those anticipated during normal occupancy. These temperature
and humidity levels should be maintained for 48 hours prior and during
test period. If meeting this criteria is not possible, then minimum
conditions should be 75± 10°
F and 50± 10% relative humidity. When a
building is not under HVAC control, a recording hygrometer or data logger
shall be in place recording ambient environmental conditions during the test period. A
transcript of this information must be included with the test report.
- The number of vapor emission test sites is determined by the square
footage of the facility. The minimum number of tests to be placed is equal
to 3 in the first 1,000 sq.ft. and 1 per each additional 1,000 square
- Tests sites are to be lightly ground and cleaned of all adhesive residue, curing
compounds, paints, sealers, floor coverings, etc. 24 hours prior to the
placement of test kits. Testing when floor coverings have never been
installed may waive the 24 hour wait period.
- Weigh test dish on site prior to start of test. Scale must report
weight to 0.1 grams. Record weight and start time.
- Expose Calcium Chloride and set dish on concrete surface.
- Install test containment dome and allow test to proceed for 60 – 72
- Retrieve test dish by carefully cutting through containment dome. Close
and reseal test dish.
- Weigh test dish on site recording weight and stop time.
- Calculate and report results as "pounds of emission per 1,000
sq.ft. per 24 hours"
3.02 Quantifying pH level.
- At each vapor emission test site, after removal of test containment dome, perform pH test.
1. Place several drops of water onto the concrete surface to form a
puddle approximately 1" in diameter.
2. Allow the water to set for approximately 60 seconds
3. Dip the pH paper into the water and remove immediately, compare
color to chart provided by paper supplier to determine pH reading
B. Record and report results.
End of Section