Before installing Epoxy or Urethane Floor Systems, Perform a Calcium Chloride Test

Calcium Chloride Testing

Calcium Chloride Testing is a test used to measure the amount of moisture vapor emitting through concrete. If you’re operating a food processing plant or manufacturing pharmaceuticals, you could be seeking an impervious floor coating to keep your operation easy to clean.  Or you could be processing or manufacturing anything else, and still be seeking an impervious floor coating.  Regardless of what you’re producing, an epoxy or urethane floor will improve the functionality of your floor, whether you’re looking for slip-resistant or easy to clean.  But despite the disparity in productions, each plant will have a similar concern before installing a floor system:

What’s my moisture emission rate?

Your moisture emission rate is how much moisture you have emitting from the concrete slabs in your floor.  Concrete may appear to be solid and heavy, but it is very porous, making it a very easy target for moisture emissions.  And if you’re moisture emissions are too high, then the following problems can occur if a floor system has been installed:

  • Ridges, bumps or bubbles
  • Osmotic Blistering
  • Tile curling or peaking
  • Mildew, bacteria or mold growth
  • Change in color of flooring
  • Deterioration of adhesives

If moisture is present in the concrete, it can cause installation failure for flooring and also lead to alkali buildups. Thus, it is important to ensure that the concrete slab is dry before starting with floor installations and commercial painting of the premises.

But, how do you verify that the concrete slab is dry?  Even if the slab seems dry it may not be completely dry. It is possible that moisture vapor is still passing through the concrete. Moisture-related failures related to concrete can cause huge losses to a company.  So testing concrete slabs for excessive moisture has become a standard for all kinds of building constructions.

Calcium chloride testing is a popular way to check the moisture content in concrete slabs, and this method is used by most industries. Calcium chloride test method determines the MVER (moisture vapor emission rate) of a concrete slab. For conducting this test, a small dish of calcium chloride under plastic dome is sealed on a clean area of concrete slab and left undisturbed for around 60 hours.

Based on the weight of the jar before and after the process, the moisture is calculated and determined if the moisture level is acceptable or not. Due to the nature of its process, this test is also called vapor emission test.  Inexpensive and accurate, this test is widely used in industries, especially in flooring and adhesive ones.