In As Little As Five Years …


In situ relative humidity testing for concrete slabs has seen some major changes in the past five years and it is encouraging to see how the acceptance of the method has grown.

Five years ago, according to a PowerPoint® presentation I prepared in May of 2006, I was only able to list eleven manufacturers who recognized RH testing. And many of those only tested specific products using RH testing, and not their entire product lines. Typically, manufacturers would assign a default rate (usually 75% RH or less) instead of conducting the testing necessary to establish the specific relative humidity rate appropriate for their product.

Five years ago, general contractors would not even talk  about doing moisture testing on a concrete slab. Their belief was that it was solely the responsibility of the installer to perform any testing.

Five years ago, getting distributor relationships established was difficult. RH testing was still considered too new and only the pioneer-spirited in the industry were involved in selling.

But today, those pioneers are seeing the change in the industry attitude towards and understanding of RH testing:

Manufacturers routinely specify RH testing in their installation guidelines. They have also either performed appropriate testing or gained a significantly improved confidence in the test method as it related to their products.  With RH testing, some products have been developed that specify an RH as high as 90% as acceptable for installation. That’s a big change!

General contractors may still feel the onus is on the installer, but since many general contractors have been impacted by a moisture-related flooring failure or project delay, they have become more actively involved in understanding moisture testing in general, and the importance of RH testing specifically. Awareness and discussions revolving around moisture content issues in concrete have increased dramatically.

And everyone wants to be involved in selling. As the increase in market acceptance continues to build based on both professional experience and a greater understanding of the scientific foundation behind RH testing, more and more members of the industry are finding RH testing to be a solid market force.

And this has all happened in five years. I expect relative humidity testing will continue to expand as the discussion continues and as more manufacturers, general contractors and distributors see the benefits that relative humidity testing provides in terms of labor and project optimization, warrantee savings, cost and ROI benefits and more.

It’s an exciting time to be part of such foundational growth in the flooring and concrete industries. Just imagine what the next five years might bring!

With regards,

Ed Wagner,
CEO and President of Wagner Meters