Concrete flooring requires the use of water in order for the reactions of its ingredients to take place. The result is a strong solid material. But if too much moisture is used, or if there is moisture coming through the concrete floor from the environment, moisture mitigation must be done. Moisture mitigation in a concrete floor means to reduce or eliminate the water from moving through the floor in the form of vapor.
If moisture mitigation in a concrete floor is something you need to undertake, you’ll know because of the common symptoms of too much moisture: blistering, delamination, bubbles, warping, crazing (tiny cracks), efflorescence (salts deposited on the surface), discoloration, mold or mildew.
Moisture mitigation systems for concrete flooring involve a few steps. The first is moisture testing. This is crucial to determine how much moisture is in the flooring system. Moisture testing should be done before, during and after installation.
Vapor barriers are often used. These are very efficient barrier membranes that do not allow moisture to pass through. This would be used if the problem is water seeping in from below the floor, for instance. Vapor barriers are often placed between a subgrade and a poured concrete slab.
Surface systems include sealants made of epoxy or cementitious products that do not allow moisture to pass through. A surface treatment like this prevents water vapor from passing through the concrete slab to the top flooring treatment. Moisture mitigation in concrete in this manner will prevent blisters and bubbles in your top coat and can be used with most floor covering options, including VCT, vinyl, carpet, wood, laminates, epoxy resin flooring and epoxy terrazzo.
Failure to take into account the moisture mitigation of your concrete floor can be expensive and cause headaches down the road. A flooring professional can determine ahead of time if moisture mitigation will be necessary. When moisture mitigation is undertaken early in the process, a good outcome is assured.
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