Over the past 25 years, moisture-related problems with floor coverings and coatings have been one of the most frequent, costly, and troublesome problems faced by owners, general contractors, project managers and flooring installers. The problems stem from the inability of conventional concrete mixtures to dry to the moisture level required by the manufacturers of the flooring materials within the time allowed by the project schedule.
During this same 25-year period, scores of moisture mitigation treatments have been introduced and tried with various levels of success. Today, however, rapid-drying concrete mixtures are taking the guesswork out of selecting which moisture mitigation system to use by eliminating slab moisture concerns from the start of the project. By adopting this approach, rapid-drying concrete is making moisture-related flooring problems a thing of the past.
Uniform Drying Crucial for Rapid-Drying Concrete
A rapid-drying concrete mixture not only dries to an acceptable level of moisture within a matter of weeks, but by drying uniformly from top-to-bottom, slab warping (curling) and drying shrinkage is essentially eliminated. These benefits translate to considerable cost savings when compared to the floor leveling and joint treatment costs typically associated with floor slabs constructed with conventional concrete.
When you specify, or use rapid-drying concrete for your floor slabs, you’re saving time and money by implementing your moisture mitigation strategy at the most opportune, least costly, and least disruptive time in the construction process.
Fast Track Construction Demands Timeline Compression
Fast track construction projects generally begin before designs are finalized. Time is of the essence and contractors are moving quickly to complete their trades within a compressed time frame. With more industries demanding quicker construction, such as healthcare and telecommunications, projects can't afford concrete moisture delays. Unfortunately, designers and contractors will often rush flooring installation without allowing enough drying time or an effective moisture mitigation solution. This negligence can lead to thousands of dollars in potential damages after a project is complete. Rapid-drying concrete, meanwhile, takes the burden off contractors and places faster, more predictable drying times into the construction process.
Relative Humidity Tests Confirm Rapid-Drying Concrete's Moisture Mitigation Ability
Relative humidity (RH) tests have replaced calcium chloride tests as the industry standard for checking the moisture content of concrete slabs. A concrete slab must at least reach an RH level of 80 percent or less in order to meet industry standards. To adequately test RH levels, readings are made at 40 percent of a concrete slab's depth for slabs drying from the top down and 20 percent for suspended slabs. Rapid-drying concrete reaches industry standard RH levels in less than 45 days.
Using Rapid-Drying Concrete as Proactive Moisture Mitigation
Rapid-drying concrete eliminates project delays and cost overruns associated with a wait-and-see approach or the attempt to install a moisture mitigation system after the building is closed in, framed out and fully operational. By taking slab moisture out of play from the start of the project, rapid-drying concrete will result in compression of the construction schedule.
This blog post was originally published on 08/24/2016. It has since been updated with recent developments in the industry.