With today’s construction timelines on the fast track, it means there is far less time available for drying concrete slab foundations before primary construction begins. But rushing a concrete installation project potentially translates into higher than acceptable slab moisture levels for concrete slabs and flooring.
Additionally, if you want to meet manufacturer warranties, taking care of the humidity or RH levels is a must. That’s where moisture mitigation becomes a necessary skill on commercial job sites around the country.
Causes of Concrete Moisture Problems
In some ways, the move toward more environmentally-friendly materials and practices creates the moisture issue.
In the effort to “go green”, makers of glues and epoxies have replaced toxic substances with water-based ingredients. When the final slab mixture of concrete, limestone and calcium silicate combines with the floor adhesives and surface layer, water vapors interact with the water-based glues and move up through the slab. This results in failure of the epoxy coatings to adhere to the floor.
In commercial building such as hospitals, the failure is more than a cosmetic issue. It affects the safety of everyone walking on the floor.
Of course, all concrete contractors use water in their cement mix to develop and maintain the strength of the concrete. The problem arises when slab vapor emissions create excess moisture. And it’s more than potential “slip and fall” accidents related to flooring failure that’s the concern. Excess moisture may also increase the risk of mildew and mold growth.
Moisture mitigation contractors, such as PSI Americas of Chicago, understand the importance of having a plan prior to installing concrete flooring. Their solution includes such activities as moisture tests for reading relative humidity and applying the right topical coatings to ensure that the concrete mixture adheres properly.
Minimizing Concrete Moisture Problems
PSI must consider a variety of issues when dealing with potential moisture and water issues in concrete floor surface prep and installs. To minimize potential problems, they make sure to follow the 5 methods below:
1) Proper ratio of water to cement in the flooring installation mixture
2) Careful monitoring of pour to prevent extra water entering mix
3) Use of lightweight, low-porosity aggregate rather than porous aggregates when needed above grade
4) Avoiding hard trowelling which can create densified layers on concrete surface that prevent drying
5) Adequate curing with blankets or sheeting
PSI Americas Illinois is available to help you with moisture mitigation issues on your next commercial flooring project. We’ve assisted with surface preparation and installation in the construction of hospitals, convention facilities, restaurants and more.
We specialize in commercial concrete floors, epoxy coatings and concrete polishing. Contact us at 1-877-97-LEVEL or fill out our Free Quote form at right to learn more.