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Concrete Moisture Meters and Humidity Sensors

Tramex Concrete Moisture Meters

Innovation In Concrete Moisture Testing

The Importance of Concrete Moisture Testing

For concrete and cementitious screeds to receive a floor covering the base must be suitably “dry enough” to prevent damage to the flooring material and to ensure a proper bond with adhesives.

Water is a vital component in the manufacture of concrete and the concrete must be kept moist during the critical curing phase to ensure the intended concrete strength. However, excess moisture in the substrate is the most common cause of floor failures, costing billions annually and causing major disruption to home and business owners.  This is why the best moisture meter for concrete is recommended.

Concrete moisture testing and screed moisture testing is simple using Tramex’s unique combination system which provides a comprehensive overview and gives the flooring installer peace of mind.

Tramex Concrete Moisture Meters and Probes

Tramex concrete moisture test methods include testing the moisture content (%MC) and Relative Humidity (%RH) using concrete moisture meters and probes:

Concrete Moisture Encounter 5 - CME5

The No-Nonsense Concrete Moisture Encounter 5

The CME5 is a favorite moisture meter for concrete among installers due to its non-destructive ease of use. This no-nonsense, robust and durable analog concrete moisture tester reads into the top ¾ inch layer of the slab and provides instant, accurate, quantitative moisture content results.

The CME5 works with the Tramex Meters App for saving data, moisture mapping, creating reports and sharing results with clients. This data can prove crucial for all parties involved to make sure that all requirements have been met during an installation process. 

Tramex CME concrete moisture meters are calibrated using gravimetric testing as a baseline. Non-destructive concrete moisture meters that are calibrated specifically for concrete provide instant and precise quantitative measurement of the moisture content (%MC) of concrete.

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The Concrete Moisture Encounter 5 - CME5

Get Xtra features with the Concrete Moisture Encounter X5

For those who want to expand the uses of their concrete moisture meter, the digital CMEX5 offers more options.  It has the added benefits of being a relative humidity meter with its built-in hygrometer for ambient RH and temperature sensor, which is essential for determining any dew point issues at time of installation.

The CMEX5 also features a plug in port for Hygro-i2 Relative Humidity probes to carry out the ASTM F2170 test and for attaching optional wood pin probes and Relative Humidity sensors. All measured data can be saved to the Tramex Meters App for moisture mapping, creating reports and sharing results with clients. This data can prove crucial for all parties involved to make sure that all requirements have been met.

Tramex CME concrete moisture meters are calibrated using gravimetric testing as a baseline. Non-destructive concrete moisture meters that are calibrated specifically for concrete provide instant and precise quantitative measurement of the moisture content (%MC) of concrete.

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Concrete Moisture Encounter X5 - CMEX5

The Concrete Moisture Encounter X5 - CMEX5

Concrete Moisture Probe - The Determinator

Go Deeper with In-Situ Quantitative Moisture Content with the Concrete Moisture Probe

The capabilities of the Tramex concrete moisture meters has now been extended even further with the innovative, first of its kind, Concrete Moisture Probe, a.k.a the Determinator. The Concrete Moisture Probe provides quantitative in situ moisture content readings in concrete slabs, down to a depth of 4 inches. These readings can be particularly useful to determine whether the moisture present is coming from below, within or above the slab. This data can help decide the type of mitigation needed to solve the issue.

The Concrete Moisture Probe can be inserted in the same hole used for the ASTM F2170 concrete rh test and no hole liner is needed. Therefore it can be easily implemented in the testing procedure, providing essential and instant moisture content data that has never before been available. Tramex has created Concrete Determinator Kits to help provide a complete moisture measuring solution for Concrete and Flooring Inspectors.

Tramex CMP concrete moisture probe when used with the CME meters will provide instant and precise quantitative measurement of the moisture content (%MC) within the concrete.

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The Concrete Moisture Probe - The Determinator

In-Situ Relative Humidity Testing as per ASTM F2170

The Tramex Hygro-i2 ® Relative Humidity probe is the most advanced, resilient and REUSABLE RH probe on the market today, allowing the user to perform in situ and hood type RH testing to comply with ASTM F2170 for the flooring industry, and is also ideal for use by Flood & Water Damage Restoration professionals.

The speed and accuracy of the Tramex Hygro-i2 ® probes set them apart from all other RH probes on the market. The confidence in knowing you are testing with the best and fastest RH probe, together with the complete Tramex concrete moisture testing system, brings reliability and peace of mind in concrete moisture meters to a whole new level, and as they are reusable they are cost effective.

 

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Hygro-i2 Relative Humidity Probe

Moisture Measurement Methods

Gravimetric-based, Quantitative Impedance Testing of Concrete with CME5 and CMEX5

When concrete is first placed, its moisture content by weight will be approximately 6 to 7% water, and half of that water reacts to form cement. The remaining water is chemically bound and no longer of concern for flooring installation. As such, we are essentially concerned with this 3% to 6% window to determine when the concrete is ‘dry enough’, and so precision is critical - precision that concrete moisture meters calibrated using gravimetric testing method as a baseline can provide. Only a top quality quantitative concrete moisture meter like the Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounter, the CME5 and CMEX5, provides quantitative readings of the actual moisture content in the concrete floor or slab.

Non-destructive concrete moisture meters that are calibrated specifically for concrete provide instant and precise quantitative measurement of the moisture content (%MC) of concrete.
The best concrete moisture meters have been calibrated using gravimetric testing as a baseline. Gravimetric testing (the measurement of water % by weight, aka ‘the oven method’) is an industry standard moisture test in many different and diverse industries, including the wood industry, grain storage, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. As a result, gravimetric measurement has been established as the most accurate method of measuring the moisture content of virtually anything.

Tramex CME concrete moisture meters are calibrated using gravimetric testing as a baseline. They also provide stability in use, by way of spring-loaded electrodes, giving repeatable and reliable measurements. If a moisture meter is not calibrated specifically for concrete it cannot be used to measure moisture content, and should only be used for comparative reference.

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Gravimetric-based, Quantitative In-situ Testing of Concrete with the Concrete Moisture Probe

The Concrete Moisture Probe operates on the principle that the electrical impedance of a material varies with its moisture content. The CME instrument is pressed onto the CMP cradle which is pressed onto the material surface with the pins fully compressed and the probe inserted into the pre-drilled hole (using 3/4 inch / 19mm drill-bit) to measure the moisture content. The electrical impedance is measured by creating a low frequency alternating electric field between the electrodes and the probe, to a depth of up to 4” (100mm). This field penetrates the material under test. The very small alternating current flowing through the field is inversely proportional to the impedance of the material. The instrument detects this current, determines its amplitude and thus derives the moisture value.
These in-situ %MC readings are directly comparable to the top surface layer non-destructive %MC readings, and the comparison can be particularly useful to determine whether the moisture present is coming from below, within or above the slab.

  • If readings are higher at the surface than the in-situ readings in new concrete, this may be a result of dew point issues, where condensation has formed at the surface.
  • If readings are higher at the surface than the in-situ readings in older concrete, it may be the result of an old vapor or moisture barrier at the surface causing moisture to collect in the top 3/4 inch (20mm) layer below the surface. 
  • If in-situ readings are more than 1%MC higher than the surface NDT readings, this may be due to moisture coming up from the concrete due to a lack of subfloor barrier.

The hole that is used for the in-situ %MC readings with the Concrete Moisture Probe can now be used for the in-situ %RH probe hole liners.

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In-Situ Relative Humidity Testing with the Hygro-i2 probe

When performing moisture testing of concrete it is important to get the most accurate and most useful data from the tests. For this reason Tramex recommends an approach that involves the instant %MC tests as a first step.

For the in-situ RH testing, Tramex recommends that, as per ASTM F2170, once the test holes are drilled, the sleeves are placed and capped and left for a period of 24 hours. The Hygro-i2 RH probes are then inserted and a suitable equilibration time is allowed before taking readings. The probes should reach temperature equilibrium before measuring relative humidity.
 

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When Should A Concrete Moisture Test Be Done?

Concrete floor slabs and screeds should be tested regularly during the drying period, to help evaluate and control the drying process, and ensure that the substrate has reached sufficient dryness before the floor covering is installed. The CMEX5 is also an excellent moisture meter for wood floor installation as the external pin probe provides measurements of moisture content in wood. For the purpose of restoration and concrete slab moisture remediation, testing can be done on existing concrete floors and screeds to evaluate the extent and source of water damage, controlling the drying process, and fixing moisture problems in concrete.

Installation Quick Check tests should also be done at the time of installation. This involves testing the ambient conditions and the moisture content in the top surface layer. Ambient Conditions are important and often overlooked when measuring the moisture conditions of a concrete slab to check if it is dry enough to accept a floor covering or coating. It is important to remember that moisture moves from Hot to Cold and that Concrete is generally 1-2 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature. If the temperature of the slab is too close to Dew Point, the upper portion of the concrete can become saturated with the moisture that moves from the warmer air to the cooler concrete slab.

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The Installation Quick Check Test