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Substrate moisture measurement

Substrate moisture measurement
Depending on the structure or sample, measuring moisture can be done through several methods.
In concrete or anhydrite structures, three methods for measuring moisture content can be used.

Moisture measurement with oven drying

Sampling

A sample of the material is analysed in a laboratory where it is oven dried at 70°C.

Weight loss

The total weight loss of the sample weighed at regular intervals, in relation to its mass (dry or moist), determines its moisture content or water content.

Measuring water content with carbon carbide

Sampling

This method of moisture measurement consists of putting crushed samples to react with calcium carbide.

Pressure of acetylene gas

Moisture produces acetylene gas in reaction with the calcium carbide, which pressure is converted into moisture content.

Humidity probe

Measurement of the equilibrium relative humidity (ERH) of a material is done by inserting a humidity probe into a wedge in the structure or box fixed to the surface of a structure (in case of an heating floor, for example). If the moisture rate is equal to or less than 80%, the light works can be installed.
The NF DTU 53.2 and 54.1 as well as the ASTM F 2170-02 US norm integrate this method Equilibrium Relative Humidity (ERH) measurement.

The two first methods imply to partially damage the structure at each measurement. As precise as the previous ones, the measurement of the equilibrium relative humidity is less destructive to the structure.
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Excess moisture

Peeling or blistering paint, spots on the ceiling, stained walls, unstuck carpet or paint are all signs of excessive moisture. But moisture is dangerous even before it becomes visible.