Moisture Measurement for Wood Flooring

Posted by Tom Laurenzi on Nov 21, 2013 3:53:00 PM

Moisture Measurement for Wood Flooring

Beautiful Wood FlooringWood floors add a touch of class and elegance to homes, offices, and commercial spaces around the world. Because of this, it is not surprising that property owners cherish their wood floors as valuable investments that need to be installed and maintained with a very exacting level of care.

An important part of maintaining wood flooring is moisture measuring. Many of the problems with wood floors can be traced directly to excessive moisture in either the subfloor or the wood itself, so flooring contractors need to be able trust their moisture meters to give them accurate and easy to understand data that they can rely on for making important decisions regarding the flooring.

After all, as a skilled craftsman, you want your handiwork to look beautiful for generations to come, and not have to receive that embarrassing call that the floors you worked so hard on are cupping, cracking, or buckling because of moisture problems.

Why is Wood so Susceptible to Moisture?

Wood tends to absorb water, so the relative humidity and other environmental factors make moisture in wood flooring an issue that flooring contractors need to pay particular attention to throughout any flooring project. It is almost always easier and less expensive to resolve problems before any installation takes place, so having moisture meters are designed to provide accurate results which can be easily tracked and monitored is vital.

Whether you need to check the relative humidity within the concrete subfloor or the moisture content within the wooden floor itself, having a top-quality moisture meter is a necessity for getting the job done right the first time.

The Benefits of Accurate Moisture Measurement

With the information provided by quality moisture meters, flooring contractors can take steps to prevent the following issues from occurring:

Floor Cracking: As moisture levels rise and fall throughout the year, the floor will swell and shrink accordingly. This can cause unsightly cracks to develop between the planks and allow for even greater moisture intrusion. This can also pose a safety risk for anybody using the building, as people can trip over severe cracks.

Floor Cupping: If a wood floor swells too much, the boards will push out around their edges. This creates an indentation running the length of the board, and if more than one board is affected, it creates a “wavy” appearance to the floor. It is unsightly, unprofessional, and requires replacement of the affected flooring.

Floor Warping: If the concrete subfloor is improperly dried, then the wood floor on top of it can eventually pull away from as it absorbs excess moisture coming from the concrete. This creates a loose floor, one that can shift underfoot, posing a severe tripping hazard.

Knowing that a potential problem exists is the first step in avoiding the issue. By identifying that there is excess moisture in the flooring, you can take the appropriate measures to prevent that moisture from causing damage.

By making sure that the job is done right the first time with accurate moisture measurements, you can save both time and money since you won't have to tear up old flooring just to install new hardwood floors all over again.

Ultimately, floor cracking, floor cupping, and floor warping in hardwood floors installed over concrete can be avoided by following the ASTM F2170-11 standard. This guideline is designed to help prepare a concrete subfloor and make sure that is dry enough for flooring contractors to lay that first piece of wood down.

This is why it is so important that contractors have access to the very best ASTM F2170-11 compliant moisture meters. These meters help ensure that you know the exact moisture content of the concrete before you begin to build on top of it. If you know that there is a moisture problem before you install the floors, you can take steps to prevent that moisture from causing damage.

Find the best moisture meter for your flooring job today. If you want more information about the importance of accurate and reliable moisture measurement, contact us today!

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Topics: Wood Flooring Flooring moisture meters