Architects and engineers value concrete’s durability, strength, and versatility for use in a variety of applications in the construction industry. Indeed, concrete is the most widely used material in the world.
What may be less appreciated is that it takes a lot of water to make a concrete floor slab. Concrete’s water content can easily be forgotten once the concrete hardens. What we might consider to be “dry” concrete still contains a significant amount of water that is bonded chemically to the sand, aggregates, and the cement within the concrete slab. The presence of water is actually a key factor in why concrete is so strong.
At the same time, water—too much of it, anyway—can wreak havoc on a construction project. No architect, engineer, or builder wants excess water to be present when the finished floor is installed over the concrete slab. Too much water inevitably leads to a catastrophic flooring failure, which can translate into costly repairs and a damaged reputation. So it is essential that the moisture condition of the concrete slab be assessed before installing the finished floor.
The Architect’s Go-To Online Resource about Moisture in Concrete
For all these reasons, during the design and planning phase of any project that will include a concrete floor slab, the architect, engineer, or specifier should make provisions for moisture testing to ensure the project’s success. The array of test options that exist can be confusing, and some of the available information is actually misleading or outdated.
Is there a single online resource to help architects and engineers understand the latest science about moisture testing of concrete slabs? One that offers a suite of custom tools to help avoid significant project delays, costly repairs, and even lawsuits that can occur because of mold, mildew, warping, de-bonding, or other moisture-related problems?
Yes, there is: AIAspec.com. This online resource is a recent initiative of Wagner Meters.
The centerpiece of AIAspec.com is the AIA-approved online course, titled Moisture Testing of Concrete Floor Slabs. The course is hosted by Howard Kanare, a nationally recognized expert who specializes in the interaction of concrete and floor covering systems. He covers the vital information that architects and others need to know when it comes to specifying moisture testing in concrete slabs.
Kanare was the senior principal scientist for over three decades at CTLGroup, the research laboratory owned by the Portland Cement Association. He is also the author of the definitive book on the subject, Concrete Floors and Moisture. Furthermore, he has a longstanding relationship with ASTM International, with extensive experience as chairman of both the F1869 and F2170 committees.
This comprehensive course covers a number of essential topics. You’ll learn:
- The key factors in how concrete flooring systems and moisture interact;
- The most widely used moisture testing approaches used in the U.S., as well as the strengths and shortcomings of each one;
- The one test method that has been conclusively shown to be accurate and reliable, and how to use it properly;
- And much more.
AIAspec.com offers a quiz to complement the webinar-style course so that participants can earn 1.0 LU of AIA continuing education credit.
More Tools for Architects and Engineers
In addition to the webinar, the site also offers the following valuable resources:
- An 11-page Special Report explaining the how and why of performing concrete moisture testing... and featuring a head-to-head comparison of the two most commonly used moisture tests, relative humidity (RH) and calcium chloride (CaCl);
- A series of short videos highlighting important aspects of RH and CaCl testing... providing a great way to refresh your memory on these topics;
- A downloadable specification for use with concrete RH and pH testing... that can be directly incorporated into your plans for each flooring project, and shared with your colleagues;
- A downloadable list with links to over 120 major manufacturers’ installation specifications... enabling you to recommend exactly what is needed to reduce moisture risks.
A Complete Package
In conclusion, too much water in concrete can be a nightmare. But with careful planning and the right test methods, you can assure successful outcomes every time. AIAspec.com offers a complete and easy-to-access package of practical tools to help architects, engineers, and specifiers working with concrete flooring systems stay abreast of the latest scientific findings in moisture testing. And it gives professionals the essential information needed to implement best practices in order to avoid costly delays and possible flooring failures.
Visit AIAspec.com today, and put these resources to work for you.