Moisture Mitigation & Moisture Vapor transmission

Typical symptoms of high moisture levels interfering with installed coatings include

blistering
bubbles
delamination or adhesive failure
scaling
pop-outs
efflorescence
discoloration
mold or mildew growth

In an ideal world a moisture vapor barrier is installed beneath the slab. Depending on the circumstances a vapor barrier may not have been installed during the construction phase. After flooring is installed thats when you may see the effects of moisture vapor transmission. Moisture vapor will travel from the ground through the slab and push its way through any coatings or floor covering. Breatheable floor coverings will not have a problem since it will pass water vapor. Non-breathable coatings may have the problems listed above. Even without a floor covering, a crack in the concrete which has a white powdery substance (efflorescence) around the crack is evidence of a moisture problem.

Here is a good article on moisture vapor http://www.concreteconstruction.net/Flooring/how-to-moisture-test-concrete-floors_2.aspx

New slabs using light weight concrete hold moisture longer than regular concrete and it can take up to a year for the moisture just from the slab to dissipate. Construction schedules are tight and everyone is under pressure to get the building finished. Floor coverings that are not breathable will trap the moisture that will eventually crack, bubble or delaminate the flooring. It takes a while for this to happen, usually over a year. By that time most floor warrenties have ended and your left with a failed floor to fix. Fixing moisture vapor failures costs over $1 Billion a year in the U.S.

All Surface Restoration installs epoxy vapor barriers. A concrete floor that is to recieve an epoxy vapor barrier should be shot blasted. This increases the bonding surface area and gives the concrete "tooth" which increases the mechanical bond with the epoxy.

Two types of moisture testing are common calcium chloride and Relative Humidity testing. Both are covered by ASTM Standards that spells out how the tests should be conducted. If you feel you may have a moisture problem it is worth getting it tested before a coating is installed.

All Surface Restoration LLC

603-529-8563

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