There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these testing options. Our Inside Edge team of experts would be happy to talk through them with you.
What are your moisture mitigation options?
High Performance Adhesives typically require the slab to be “new” as well as have a “properly placed intact vapor retarder”. When this option is proposed in a remodel situation, where the existing slab does not meet the requirements, we will work with the adhesive manufacturer to provide warranty coverage on a case-by-case basis based on the specific project site conditions.
Reactive Penetrants reduce moisture transfer from the slab by reducing the surface porosity of the concrete by combining with the hydroxides within the cement paste.
There are many factors that will determine the effectiveness of this option:
- The material must be capable of penetrating into the concrete.
- The reactive material must then find a sufficient amount of calcium hydroxide in the concrete to complete the intended reaction. (Materials such as fly ash can reduce the availability of calcium hydroxide needed by the reactive penetrant.)
- Reactive Penetrants must not be over applied; they need sufficient time for the chemical reaction to take place. Over applying can create a film that can adversely affect adhesion. With so much reliance on the proper chemical makeup of the slab combined with the fact that Reactive Penetrants moisture tolerances are so low, we typically do not recommend Reactive Penetrants when Inside Edge is required to assume liabilities. Product examples are DriSeal, BoneDry, and SDG.
Membranes are becoming a popular solution to moisture problems and are getting a lot of traction due to their ease of use. The data shows that these systems work in the right application at moderate moisture levels. Membranes utilize a specialty fabric that creates a buffer between the slab and the flooring material. This fabric is typically not attached or adhered to the substrate.
Membranes are generally limited to modular products.
Coatings are the most common mitigation option and have been around the longest with the most proven track record. They require an aggressive surface profile such as shot blasting or grinding and typically are epoxy based. When installing resilient type products they will require a “cap” or skim coat of patching compound. When working in an open store remodel situation this system often cannot be completed in one night. This is due to the dry (cure) times associated with the coating, the skim coat primer, & the skim coat. The extended dry times can make it difficult to apply the coating, install the flooring, and move the fixtures back before customers arrive. Therefore this system typically requires moving the fixtures twice.
Other Products – There are a number of flooring options available that either allow sufficient moisture to escape from the floor surface or are simply not affected by high moisture levels. Specialty tiles, for example, are one of the largest growth segments in our industry. These tiles do not use adhesives an instead “interlock” mechanically creating a “floating floor” (limited to modular materials). Beyond specialty tiles, additional product options are:
- Colored, stained, & polished concrete
- Colored or stained overlays
- Ceramic tile
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Click below for an illustration of how Inside Edge’s Coating’s Process can provide a lasting solution to your moisture problem.