As a flooring inspector I have seen many different things involving flooring, the one thing that is constant; if a floor fails, the homeowner suffers. Sure...
By Jason Cantin
So I’m sitting home working on an inspection report, for a bamboo floor that failed, and my brain is trying to figure out how to make the point to these contractors (general, and flooring) that they need to moisture test. And I started thinking, I was just in Las Vegas for a flooring convention and I watched people play craps, trying to figure out the game. I have been told that it is the best odds of all casino games. Once I thought I had it figured out I decided to give it a try. (That didn’t end well) For those who don’t know the games it is about probability of what will occur when you roll 2 dice. There are only so many options that can occur when you roll 2 dice 36 possibilities to be exact.
Dice Roll Possible Dice Combinations
2 1-1 1 way
3 1-2, 2-1 2 ways
4 1-3, 2-2, 3-1 3 ways
5 1-4, 2-3, 3-2, 4-1 4 ways
6 1-5, 2-4, 3-3, 4-2, 5-1 5 ways
7 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1 6 ways
8 2-6, 3-5, 4-4, 5-3, 6-2 5 ways
9 3-6, 4-5, 5-4, 6-3 4 ways
10 4-6, 5-5, 6-4 3 ways
11 5-6, 6-5 2 ways
12 6-6 1 way
Total: 36 different possible options.
So you might wonder what this has to do with flooring, well. In my experience 84% of homes that I moisture test (Insitu-RH ASTM 2170-11) in Tampa Florida come back with a moisture reading that is 85% or below. Most adhesives on the market today can handle concrete moisture up to 85%. So what does this mean for us, if you don’t moisture test, your floor could fail 16% of the time. It means that if you were playing craps, you would be successful if you rolled anything but a 7, but guess what 7 happens mathematically more times than any other individual combination of numbers (6 out of 36 or 1/6 about 16.4%). So my wife and I just downloaded a dice game on her phone, and we tried out the theory we rolled the dice twelves times and got seven two times (1/6). This is what is going on in the flooring market in the Tampa St. Pete area, the flooring contractors are gambling with your hard earned money, and banking on the fact that you are not knowledgeable.
As a consumer demand that the flooring contractor perform a moisture test any time they are gluing something (wood, carpet, vinyl) directly to concrete. And demand that they provide you documentation (including pictures) that they have performed the correct test and performed it correctly. There are only two types of moisture test that are acceptable in the U.S. Calcium Chloride or RH Insitu, both of these tests require at least two visits. If they tell you that they can test your floor for moisture with a machine they just put on the floor and get instant readings, you might as well go to the casino and play craps.