A Standard for Testing the Dryness and Suitability of a Concrete Slab Intended to Receive Floor Coverings or Resinous Coatings Utilizing Anhydrous Calcium Chloride

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 corrective action.

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 conflicted interest.


Concrete Moisture Vapor Emission and pH Testing (01450)

***NOTE - per ASTM F 1869-22 - 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 aggregate.***

Part 1 – General

1.01 Section Includes

A. 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)

B. 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

A. Section 09620 - Specialty Flooring

B. Section 09640 - Wood Flooring

C. Section 09650 - Resilient Flooring

D. Section 09660 - Static Control Flooring

E. Section 09670 - Fluid Applied Flooring

F. Section 09680 – Carpet

1.03 References

A. ASTM F-1869-22 – Standard Test Method for Measuring Vapor Emission Rate of Concrete Subfloor Using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride.

B. ASTM F-710 – Standard Practice for Preparing Concrete Floors and Other Monolithic Floors to Receive Resilient Flooring.

1.04 Submittals

A.. 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.

  1. List test locations on chart and show same on 8 ½ x 11 site map (when such map is made available to testing agency)
  2. Deliver results in duplicate for distribution to Architect and General Contractor.

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

A. Calcium Chloride Test as Manufactured by Vaprecision (800) 449-6194, Full Spectrum Flooring (804) 714-2454, or equal.

B. pH test paper as manufactured by Micro Essential Laboratory, or equal.

Part 3 – Execution

3.01– Quantification of Concrete Moisture Vapor Emission

A. 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.

B. 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 feet.

C. 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.

D. Weigh test dish on site prior to start of test. Scale must report weight to 0.1 grams. Record weight and start time.

E. Expose Calcium Chloride and set dish on concrete surface.

F. Install test containment dome and allow test to proceed for 60 – 72 hours.

G. Retrieve test dish by carefully cutting through containment dome. Close and reseal test dish.

H. Weigh test dish on site recording weight and stop time.

I. Calculate (interpolate) and report results as "pounds of emission per 1,000 sq.ft. per 24 hours"

3.02 Quantifying pH level (if requested or required)

A. 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


External link opens in new tab or windowASTM F1869 Document


Revised 12/22