Picture a greyish landscape. With every turn, another unfinished flooring project appears — victim of the skilled labor shortage. Recent numbers from the NAHB Remodeling Marking Index shows that 52% of remodelers rate the shortage of flooring installers as either serious or some shortage.

The situation is dire.

Fortunately, every flooring crew member has the opportunity to be a superhero and improve the crew’s efficiency. Whether you’re a veteran installer who can mentor the new guy or the new guy who’s ready to step up, mastering the most reliable and accurate relative humidity (RH) test is easy — with a bit of attention.

Villains Lurk Everywhere

The skilled labor shortage isn’t the only villain in the flooring installer’s world. The perennial threat remains the specter of undetected, excess moisture in the concrete slabs. A variation in RH percentage outside the manufacturer’s specs for that flooring product can result in catastrophic damage to a freshly installed floor.

The flooring manufacturer’s specs aren’t guidelines; they’re requirements if you want to install secure, durable flooring on that concrete slab.

The financial costs associated with moisture-related flooring failures have been described as astronomical. There are the direct costs to remediate the failure and the indirect costs to reputation and loss of future work.

Don’t be deterred. Without villains, who could become the superhero?

Holding out for a (RH) Hero

Superheroes abound today. Whether in a movie, comic book, or young adult fiction, we have superheroes ranging from teenage phenom saviors to cynical Gen Xers. There are even animal superheroes.

Flooring installation teams may not wear capes, but each member possesses a superior skill set that’s vital to project success. This includes those tasked with perfecting irregularities from base surfaces to installation manager who has to manage job completion within quoted estimates. The combination of all the various flooring skills ensures that installation occurs when the slab is ready for it and according to all the relevant specifications. The result is a flawless operation that produces a durable floor in pristine condition.

All Superheroes Also Have Their Origin Stories

While superheroes may be born with innate abilities, it’s the details of their origin stories that cultivate that superpower and make them realize what they have to contribute. Except for the Mary Sues who just appear spontaneously able to do everything perfectly, the superhero’s origin story always shows the effort invested in learning and growing to perfect their skills.

And there’s always the wise guide to help them along their way.

The same holds true for the flooring crew member intent on becoming the RH testing and ASTM F2170 expert.

Like a certain caped crusader who had a myriad of resources to help him be “super,” you too have access to a vast library of videos, documents, and online courses to develop your F2170 concrete RH testing superpowers and save your team and the floor from disaster.

The RHSpec website provides you with:

  • Sample language to use when specifying in-situ RH testing in all your projects.
  • An extensive list of manufacturers and their specified RH thresholds for their products, which you can download as a pdf or keep as a mobile app on your phone.
  • An opportunity to attend a free webinar, “Moisture Testing for Concrete Floor Slabs,” that details how moisture moves through concrete and provides a walk-through on how to conduct an accurate RH test.

You can also quickly learn how to use the in-situ RH sensors correctly to ensure accurate test results. Two types of RH sensors are available today (single-use and reusable), which gives you maximum flexibility to use the RH sensor type that’s right for each project.

It takes only four simple steps before you can get test results from an in-situ RH sensor: Drill the hole, clean the hole, verify the RH sensor’s calibration (if needed), and then insert it into the hole. Easy, right?

You can find a step-by-step description along with some videos showing how to install RH sensors at www.RapidRH.com, along with a list of mobile apps you can download for free that simplify F2170 testing and reporting.

Use these resources to develop your own flooring crew superpower. It can be your little secret you use to conduct accurate RH testing with consistent results that your team has grown to trust through numerous successful installations.

The cape, of course, is optional.