How to perform the Tramex Complete Concrete Moisture Test System

What is the Complete Concrete Moisture Test System

To ensure reliable results, it is important to perform different types of concrete moisture tests under specific conditions.

This data is essential in determining whether a concrete slab is dry enough to be covered with flooring or coating material. Failure to meet the dry requirements can result in floor failure, leading to costly and lengthy repair processes.

Tramex has developed the Complete Concrete Moisture Testing system, also known as the '5 Point Test,' to provide a comprehensive assessment of a concrete slab's moisture conditions. By correctly executing all steps, the following data will be obtained:

  1. Measurements of ambient temperature, relative humidity, and dew point
  2. Surface temperature readings of the slab to check for dew point
  3. Quantitative concrete moisture content percentage in the top layer of the slab
  4. In-situ concrete moisture content percentage at deeper levels in the slab
  5. In-situ Relative Humidity (RH) of the concrete floor

Complete Concrete Moisture Test System - "5 Point Test"

Step 1: Check Ambient conditions

When arriving on site, take note of the ambient temperature, ambient relative humidity and dew point conditions. These readings will be needed for reference in later steps.

Ensure that the test area is in ‘in service’ conditions, which means that the temperature should be between 65-85℉ or 18-30℃, and relative humidity readings between 40-60 %RH. 

As concrete is generally 1-2 degrees cooler than the air temperature, be aware of any potential condensation in the top layer of the slab, which may be caused by moisture moving from hot to cold.

These tests can be performed using either the Concrete Moisture Encounter X5 - CMEX5 with built-in hygrometer or with the IRT2DP.


test ambient conditions
Check surface temperature of the slab

Step 2: Check surface temperature of the slab

The surface temperature, in combination with the dew point reading, can indicate potential condensation issues in the top layer of the slab. 

Ensure that the surface temperature of the slab is at least 10℉ (5℃) higher than the dew point. A surface temperature that is less than 10℉ (5℃) higher than the dew point may indicate condensation issues. 

Measure the surface temperature with an infrared thermometer and compare it with the dew point reading obtained in the previous step. If the surface temperature is at least 10℉ (5℃) higher than the dew point, proceed to the next test.

Step 3: Take a non-destructive impedance concrete moisture readings

Perform a non-destructive impedance test using either a Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounter CME5 or CMEX5

These moisture meters provide an instant, quantitative moisture content reading up to ¾ inch (20mm) into the concrete floor or slab without any need to drill or damage it.

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non-destructive impedance test
Measure in-situ moisture content with the Concrete Moisture Probe

Step 4: Measure in-situ moisture content with the Concrete Moisture Probe

To measure in-situ moisture content, place the Concrete Moisture Probe, aka The Determinator, in a drilled hole in the concrete slab. 

The dimensions of the hole should be the same as those drilled for the ASTM F2170 in-situ relative humidity test, so the same drill hole can be used for both tests.

Use the Concrete Moisture Probe cradle with a Tramex concrete moisture encounter.

Comparing the in-situ moisture content readings to the surface moisture content reading results can help determine whether the moisture present in the slab is coming from within or above the slab.

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Step 5: Performing the ASTM F2170 Relative Humidity test

After taking the Concrete Moisture Probe readings, fit the drilled holes with hole liners in preparation for performing the relative humidity test.

When performing a Relative Humidity test in a concrete slab it is essential to follow the international industry guidelines such as ASTM F2170, BS8201 and BS8203. These guidelines provide specific instructions on how to perform the test to obtain reliable reading results. 

The Tramex Hygro-i2® relative humidity probes are the most advanced, resilient and reusable RH probe on the market today. 

The Tramex system enables future testing by removing the probe and sealing the sleeve for later use, thus providing a more reliable and accurate test. 

Always check your flooring manufacturers' recommendations and ensure that your readings are within the specified parameters.

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in-situ RH test in concrete

Analysing the test results

Once all tests are completed, the collected data should provide a clear picture of the concrete slab’s moisture content.

If any of the test results fall outside the required parameters, take the necessary remedial actions to correct the issue.


The Concrete Determinator Inspector Kit

The Complete Concrete Moisture Test Kit

The Concrete Determinator Inspector Kit contains all the necessary instruments and tools to perform the complete Concrete Moisture Test System.

It includes:

  1. Concrete Moisture Encounter X5 -  CMEX5.        
  2. Free App available for Android and iOS (phone not included).
  3. Concrete Moisture Determinator Probe.
  4. 1 x Hygro-i2 ® Reusable Relative Humidity probe.
  5. Calibration Check Plate.
  6. Infrared Thermometer.
  7. Hole liners.
  8. Extension Handle.  
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