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Misuses of the Moisture–Vapor Emission Test

ASCC Position Statement #26

The test for moisture-vapor emission rate (MVER) is widely used in the flooring industry and is described in ASTM F 1869-04, “Standard Test Method for Measuring Moisture Vapor Emission Rate of Concrete Subfloor Using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride,” and cited in ASTM E 1907-97, “Standard Practices for Determining Moisture-Related Acceptability of Concrete Floors to Receive Moisture-Sensitive Finishes.” Floor installers are typically required by Division 9 specifications to take moisture tests in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

The test currently specified by most floor covering and adhesive manufacturers is ASTM F 1869. ASTM F 1869-04 states “Use this test method to obtain a quantitative value indicating the rate of moisture vapor emission from a concrete floor and whether or not that floor is acceptable to receive resilient floor covering.” ASTM F 1869-04 also states that “[The test] will produce quantified results directly applicable to flooring manufacturer’s specifications.” ASTM E 1907-97 includes quantitative procedures used to determine the amount of water or water vapor present in or emitting from concrete slabs, and criteria
for evaluating the moisture-related acceptability of concrete slabs to receive moisture-sensitive manufactured finishing products. Although the ASTM standards specifically state that the test is used to determine whether or not a floor is acceptable to receive resilient floor covering, MVER is being incorrectly used by some to evaluate concrete properties or quality.

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