Concrete Moisture Testing with Tramex Concrete Moisture Meters and Probes

Tramex Moisture Meter for Concrete

The Tramex Complete Concrete Moisture Test System has been developed for professionals in the concrete and floor covering related industries. The testing methods help avoid moisture related problems in flooring and to identify the cause of problems if they do occur.

  • It starts by testing the subfloor, using the Tramex Concrete Moisture Meter CME5 or CMEX5, for a non-destructive quantitative moisture content test of the concrete slab. Non-destructive, quantitative testing is instant and therefore the fastest test method, facilitating the testing of larger areas.
  • The Concrete Moisture Probe, the Determinator, provides in-situ quantitative Moisture Content measurements. The Concrete Moisture Probe test is carried out with a Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounter and the probe fits into the pre-drilled hole for the F2170 test. 
  • The Tramex Concrete Moisture and Relative Humidity Testing System also involves performing the ASTM F2170 test with Tramex Hygro-i2 reusable in-situ Relative Humidity probes
  • The ambient conditions of the building are also measured and it is equally important to check the moisture condition of floor coverings, such as wood flooring, so that they have acclimated to the environment before installation.
  • With the Tramex Meters App, concrete moisture and relative humidity test results can now be saved, shared in reports, made into moisture maps and used as vital supportive documentary evidence for your moisture measurement readings.

Non-Destructive Quantitative Concrete Moisture Test and as per ASTM F2659

The Tramex CME instant and quantitative moisture test for concrete is completely non-destructive and specified by many floor-covering and coatings manufacturers around the world, in part because of its simplicity and the repeatability of the results. This concrete moisture test can be carried out with one of the Tramex Concrete Meters, the Concrete Moisture Encounter 5, CME5, or the Concrete Moisture Encounter X5, CMEX5. The ease and speed of the CME5 and CMEX5 allows for many tests to be carried out over a large area in a short amount of time. Non-destructive tests can be for quantitative moisture content readings, or comparative readings as per ASTM F2659.

The Concrete Moisture Encounter 5 - CME5

The Concrete Moisture Encounter X5 - CMEX5

Concrete Moisture Meter on concrete

How To Test Concrete For Moisture

To do so, simply turn on the concrete moisture meter and push it onto the surface being tested and read the results on the clear display, analog for the CME5, digital for the CMEX5. The results are calibrated to show quantitative percentage moisture content by weight using gravimetric testing as a baseline. Record and map the readings using the Tramex Meters App (when using the CME5 or CMEX5).

ASTM F2659 calls for 3 to 5 readings in the same location. If there are any variations in those readings, the highest result is recorded. This process is repeated in at least 8 locations for the first 1000sq.ft. and 5 for every 1000sq.ft. thereafter, allowing the user to build up a moisture map of the entire slab and identify when and where to test further if testing, for example, with the Concrete Moisture Probe for in-situ %MC readings, or for in-situ %RH tests as per ASTM F2170.

In-Situ Quantitative Moisture Content in Concrete

The Tramex Concrete Moisture Probe, the Determinator, measures the in-situ quantitative moisture content within the concrete slab. The concrete probe is the first of its kind and provides the user with crucial information about the location and depth of moisture content. Is the moisture coming from below or above the slab? This data can prove to be the decisive factor in determining the type of mitigation that is required. The Determinator can be extended to a depth of up to 4 inches and fits in the hole used for the ASTM F2170 relative humidity test for concrete. A measurement can be taken before the hole liner is placed to instantly gather moisture content data from deep into the concrete slab. 

The Concrete Moisture Probe - The Determinator

How to Use The Concrete Moisture Probe

Choose the correct probe extension depending on the thickness of the slab. The probe should be inserted to approximately 40% of the depth of the slab. Connect the probe to the base of the cradle. Place your Tramex Concrete meter into the cradle of the CMP and ensure that all of the electrode spring-loaded pins are fully compressed, both on the CMP and the CME. Take 4 readings by turning the Concrete Moisture Probe and CME meter from ‘12 o’clock’ to 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. Record the highest reading, discarding any obvious anomalies. Similar to ASTM F2170 Recommendations for frequency of use: 3 Tests per 1,000 sq.ft. and 1 additional test for every additional 1,000 sq.ft. or partition thereof. Record the readings using the Tramex Meters App (when using the CME5 or CMEX5).

cmp in concrete

Concrete Relative Humidity Testing as per ASTM F2170

The reusable Tramex Hygro-i2 Relative Humidity probe has been designed specifically for measuring the relative humidity of an airspace created in a  a slab or screed as per ASTM F2170. The Hygro-i2 probes are the most advanced and resilient RH probes, and they are Reusable. The speed, accuracy and reusability of the Tramex Hygro-i2® probes sets them apart from all other RH probes on the market. In situ readings are taken with the Concrete Moisture Encounter X5 and the Hygro-i2 RH probes. When testing is complete the Hygro-i2 RH probes can be removed with the extraction tool and re-used repeatedly. The user must be mindful of all the proper safety precautions as mentioned in the ASTM standard.

CMEX5 in situ with Hygro-i2 probe

How To Do a Concrete Relative Humidity Test

Having found the most suitable locations to perform the test (and following all necessary safety precautions), 3 tests should be carried out for the first 1,000sqft and 1 test for every 1,000sqft after that. Holes should be drilled to 40% of the overall depth when testing concrete which is drying from one side only (i.e. ground floor) and 20% of the overall depth when testing concrete which is drying from both sides (i.e. upper floors). ASTM F2170 instructions guide us to insert the holelines and cap them 24hrs before inserting the probes. This allows the airspace inside each sleeve to achieve equilibrium with the RH in the concrete before making relative humidity measurements. After equilibrium is achieved, caps are removed from each RH sleeve and Hygro-i2® probes are inserted into each sleeve and allowed to acclimate to the internal environment. The probe should be at the same temperature as the concrete before taking a reading to accelerate acclimation time. When RH readings do not change over 5 min., equilibrium can be assumed.


Measuring Ambient Condition As Part of a Concrete Moisture Test

The Concrete Moisture Meter X5 features a built-in hygrometer, measuring Ambient Relative Humidity, Temperature, Dew Point and Humidity Ratio. These results allow the user to assess the environmental ambient conditions within the building, making sure they are suitable for installing a floor covering. When using an Infrared Surface Thermometer in combination with the relative humidity results it becomes easy to identify condensation problems at the time of Installation. The majority of moisture-related flooring problems actually occur at the time of installation, and a quick check will help eliminate this possibility. Learn more about this Tramex Quick Check Test or watch the video below.

CMEX5 and Infrared Thermometer

How To Perform The Installation Quick Check Test

Using The Tramex Meters App To Record Concrete Moisture Test Readings

The Tramex Meters App enables you to visualize live readings and report data from all your Tramex Bluetooth devices. Photographing and Geo-tagging can provide vital supportive documentary evidence for your moisture measurement readings. Moisture mapping can be used in reports as explicative visual documentation and are able to be exported in files. 

Tramex Meters App

Moisture Mapping With The Tramex Meters App

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Excessive moisture in concrete floor slabs and screeds or a disequilibrium between moisture content in the building and the flooring materials can lead to major problems in many types of floor coverings. Tramex has developed a number of Moisture Testing Kits for the flooring and concrete professional to carry out a full and in depth moisture survey. 

Learn More about our Flooring Inspection Kits >


Why Risk it? Test with Tramex.