Standard Active Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018
ASTM E1643-18a

Standard Practice for Selection, Design, Installation, and Inspection of Water Vapor Retarders Used in Contact with Earth or Granular Fill Under Concrete Slabs

Significance and Use

3.1 Vapor retarders provide a method of limiting water vapor transmission and capillary transport of water upward through concrete slabs on grade, which can adversely affect floor finishes and interior humidity levels.

3.2 Adverse impacts include adhesion loss, warping, peeling, and unacceptable appearance of resilient flooring; deterioration of adhesives, ripping or separation of seams, and air bubbles or efflorescence beneath seamed, continuous flooring; damage to flat electrical cable systems, buckling of carpet and carpet tiles, offensive odors, growth of fungi, and undesired increases to interior humidity levels.


1.1 This practice covers procedures for selecting, designing, installing, and inspecting flexible, prefabricated sheet membranes in contact with earth or granular fill used as vapor retarders under concrete slabs.

1.2 Conditions subject to frost and either heave or hydrostatic pressure, or both, are beyond the scope of this practice. Vapor retarders are not intended to provide a waterproofing function.

1.3 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.11
Developed by Subcommittee: E06.21
Pages: 4
DOI: 10.1520/E1643-18A
ICS Code: 91.120.30