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Old 03-04-2011, 10:00 PM   #1
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Damp floor slab?


My house is 9 years old and is built with concrete slab-on-grade construction. I pulled up the vinyl flooring in the kitchen last weekend to prepare for new porcelain tile. My office has a Flir thermal imaging IR camera and Extech moisture meter like this one: http://www.extech.com/instruments/pr...=11&prodid=518 so I decided to try it out in my house.

So I set the meter on the bare concrete floor in lots of different locations all over the kitchen and pantry, and EVERY location showed 99.9% moisture. The slab doesn't really feel damp to the touch, and I'm pretty sure the meter is working correctly. I placed the meter on the drywall of the exterior walls near the floor and it only read about 6% moisture in that area.

Could my vapor barrier really have broken down in just 9 years? Or maybe the builders were so dang cheap they didn't even use one? I have glue-down engineered wood floor in about half the house, some carpet, and some tile in a bathroom and haven't really had any problems with any of the other floors in the past.

Is this something I should worry about?

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Old 03-05-2011, 06:17 AM   #2
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Damp floor slab?


There is a test that is better than hi-$$$$ cameras, but just as effective. Tape a piece of aluminum foil or plastivc about 12-16" square to the cement, tape all edges tightly. Check after 2-3 days. If moisture is there, you have a problem. If you have a problem, make sure rain gutters/downspouts are working and they get water at least 6' away from the foundation. And grading that does the same thing.

You would still be able to install tile, using thinset mortar. Other types of flooring would require moisture barriers. But the problem should be addressed if it exists.

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Old 03-05-2011, 06:22 AM   #3
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Damp floor slab?


Good one Bill, on the moisture present simple test, fail safe and needs no calibration!

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Old 03-11-2011, 12:24 AM   #4
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Damp floor slab?


if poly deteriorated under a slab in 9 yrs, 90% of the homes in the US would have wet floors. the contractor did not use a vb, i suspect. ask a qualified concrete cat if it is possible, and advisable, to seal the concrete. the thought of having a concrete floor wet all the time is spooky, so it may not be advisable. it may be better to let the moisture through and deal w/ it inside.
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