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        Were Service

        Conditions Met?

        ...Or NOT?

                                                         BY JASON SPANGLER, SALES MANAGER, WAGNER METERS

                 flooring installer has numerous variables to consider   Let’s say it is a commercial office space that will have sealed
                 when it comes to testing the moisture condition   windows, so it’s environment will be entirely controlled by the
                 of concrete accurately. One of the most frustrating   HVAC system. The design documents may anticipate a room
        Avariables is ensuring the slab and the area have been at   temperature setting of 70 degrees F. Does that mean HVAC needs
        service conditions before testing. For the contractor who needs to   to run at 70 degrees F to do testing? No. Is an office building with
        comply with ASTM F2170 (standard for in situ relative humidity   hundreds of people in it during business hours going to have an
        testing for concrete slabs), the slab and environment need to have   actual ambient temperature of 70 degrees F during the day? Of
        been at service conditions for at least 48 hours prior to testing.   course not, the traffic will increase the internal temperature. That’s
          This raises the question: What exactly are “service conditions”?   the service condition for this office space.
        The short answer is that the service conditions for a given space are   As you can see, specifying the service conditions for a particular
        the temperature and humidity that are expected when the space is   space takes some thought as to how to create and maintain them for
        being used.                                         at least the 48 hours prior to testing and during the 24 hours of the
          The more precise answer is that the temperature and relative   test period required by ASTM F2170.
        humidity (RH) that’s normal for an area itself depends on a number   Regardless of whether testing in compliance with ASTM F2170
        of variables. For example, the service conditions of a single-family   is specified in the construction documents, complying with the
        home are very different from the service conditions in a mall that   RH testing standards is smart business and good protection. The
        has to account for thousands of people present and moving through   standards, including the service condition requirements, are there
        the building every day. How about a parking structure where the   because they’re required to ensure accurate testing of the concrete’s
        slab has to withstand the elements directly?        moisture condition. Meeting service conditions isn’t negotiable for
          There’s also the question of where the building is located. Is it   complying with ASTM F2170, and it’s not negotiable if you want
        in a warm or hot location, where it’s expected windows may often   to conduct an accurate RH test. Pencil whipping the numbers isn’t
        be open? Or such a hot, high humidity location that windows are   going to help you if the flooring gets installed before the concrete is
        sealed because a powerful AC is expected to be running?  ready for it.

   14    The Flooring Contractor Magazine      Spring 2021
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