What You Need To Know About Moisture
Trapped In Concrete Floors Without A Barrier
Have you ever wondered why your laminate flooring starts to buckle along the joints when it is laid over a perfectly flat concrete floor? How about why the carpet in the family room feels damp when nothing has been spilled there? There is an easy answer to these questions, and that answer is probably moisture. Three-Quarter Inches of Plywood versus Four Inches of Concrete You might think it would be easier for moisture to penetrate a three-quarter inch sheet of plywood sub-floor than for moisture to make its way through four or six inches of concrete, but it's not. The problem is not really moisture penetration -- the problem is moisture evaporation. The moisture that affects finish-flooring materials that are laid over concrete actually originates from within the Concrete Moisture Remediation Services. A concrete floor feels like it is one solid object once is has been poured and has had plenty of time to cure, but it actually is not. It is still a combination of sand, gravel, 'water', and cement. Without the water, we would have no concrete. We would only have loose sand, gravel, and cement. Each of these ingredients absorbs some of the water that is added to the concrete mixture prior to installation. The water becomes trapped within the concrete because it is absorbed by the solid elements. It also gets trapped in the empty spaces between the solid elements. This is why the water
is so important in concrete, and why it serves as the glue that holds everything together. Is it a Solid, a Gas, or a Liquid? Over time, the water that is trapped within a concrete slab begins to evaporate. That solid concrete sub-floor that your laminate finish floor is resting on will release moisture causing it to buckle. Same thing happens when carpet is laid directly over concrete. The water must go somewhere, so it rises towards the finish material that is lying on the slab. What about draining out the bottom? Since it is trying to escape from the concrete, shouldn't it drain rather than rise? The answer is actually no. If it were still water in liquid form, then that would be correct. However, since the water is trapped inside the concrete, it cannot escape until it becomes a gas. As a gas, the vapor becomes lighter than everything in its environment, so it rises. Over a long enough period, all of the moisture in a slab of concrete would be released this way. This is why old concrete that has been busted apart looks like a sponge or rough grit sandpaper. All of the voids that are recognizable in a demolished piece of old concrete were once filled with liquid water. Wait, There is a Solution This does not mean that you should not install a nice finish floor on top of a concrete slab; it just means you need a bit of protection. That protection comes in the form of a moisture barrier. This moisture barrier is designed to create a space between the finish floor and the concrete slab where the gas can escape without penetrating the barrier. Next time you visit a friend's house and notice their floor starting to buckle, you can amaze them with your x-ray vision by telling them that their floor is installed directly over concrete. When they ask how you know that, you can answer by telling them that the buckling floor is the result of water in the concrete evaporating into a gas and rising towards the surface. Additionally, you can tell them that their floor should have been installed with a concrete floor moisture barrier, and they would not have had an issue. Advanced Floor Coatings Since 1984, Advanced Floor Coatings coated concrete floors across the United States in commercial warehouses and industrial manufacturing facilities. We specialize in concrete moisture remediation systems and epoxy floor coating finishes that require little maintenance and are dust free.
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