When proper moisture mitigation precautions aren’t taken, or occasionally, even when they are, there’s a good chance your facility’s foundation or flooring could be compromised. There’s a reason concrete moisture mitigation exists on such a massive scale, and it’s because millions of dollars are at risk if excess moisture is left unchecked. We cover some of the early warning signs that, despite all efforts, excess concrete moisture could be an issue.
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1. Carpet, Wood or Tile Flooring Becomes Stained
Stains in flooring materials are one of the surefire signs that dangerous levels of concrete moisture are afoot. In the case of carpet, it’s likely the moisture can be felt and is at its most conspicuous. Discoloration of tile and wood should also be a red flag that there is an immediate threat of moisture in the concrete slab. Compounding the issue is the presence of alkaline salts in the concrete moisture. With more projects moving towards fast track delivery methods, concrete slab installation can be declared complete before moisture levels are acceptable for flooring installation.
2. Mold Formation, Odors and Sick Building Syndrome
The formation of mold and bacteria under and within flooring materials is another direct sign of moisture-related issues. If not solved right away, this buildup of mold and bacteria can contribute directly to cases of sick building syndrome. Employees exposed to unusually high amounts of contaminants can suffer headaches, allergies and respiratory issues such as asthma. If mold in flooring materials is found, or employee health concerns are widespread, concrete slab moisture is worth investigating.
3. Flooring Becomes Noticeably Warped
The pressure from excess moisture moving through a concrete slab can become so extreme that it warps flooring materials. This can have disruptive indirect effects, requiring the moving of furniture or the relocation of critical operations in an area. Hazards caused by warped flooring can become a dangerous and potentially expensive liability if not handled right away.
Rapid-drying Concrete as a Preventative Moisture Mitigation Measure
Rapid-drying concrete, by reaching healthy relative humidity (RH) levels within 45 days, does not require additional moisture mitigation after installation. A self-desiccating material, rapid-drying concrete slabs will dry uniformly (rather than top-to-bottom) so excess moisture doesn’t remain trapped near the bottom of the slab. For project owners, designers and general contractors looking to reduce the risk of liability, rapid-drying concrete is a concrete-only preventative solution.