As the name suggests, rapid-drying concrete differentiates itself from conventional concrete through its drying time. While a conventional concrete can often take more than 100 days to reach adequate moisture levels, rapid-drying concrete finishes the job in less than half the time. Of course, the speed-to-market benefits can be easily imagined, but in what other ways does rapid-drying concrete separate itself from the standard stuff?
Uniform Drying vs. From-The-Top-Down
Conventional concrete runs the risk of curling (warping caused by differences in moisture and temperature in different areas of the slab) because the concrete slabs will dry from the top down. Drying from the top down allows for a marked disparity in moisture levels between the surface and base of a slab. Conversely, rapid-drying concrete dries uniformly during hydration and eliminates the risk of a warped surface.
Target MVER Will Be Reached, Regardless of Environment
Moisture evaporation rate (MVER) measures the amount of water vapor pressure emitting from a concrete slab. A general requirement for MVER is 5lbs/1000 ft2/24 hours and rapid-drying concrete will reach these levels in as few as 45 days. Conventional concrete, if the environmental moisture becomes an issue, might never reach an adequate MVER. Conventional concrete that suffers from rewetting, or a rain event, will substantially extend the drying timeline for those concrete slabs.
A Final Solution to Moisture Mitigation
Moisture mitigation solutions, such as surface sealants, become unnecessary when a concrete’s MVER and relative humidity (RH) drop to an innocuous level. One key factor contributing to rapid-drying concrete’s success is its lowered requirements for water in the mix (this water is known as “water of convenience”). The reduction of water of convenience plays into the reduced drying times and cuts the primary driver of flooring problems — moisture emission.
Those utilizing conventional concrete often resort to additional moisture mitigation solutions upon realizing the concrete won’t dry within an acceptable timeline. Though certain solutions, such as moisture mitigation coatings, are capable products, they only add to the cost of the project and simply mask the root of flooring problems: excess moisture trapped in a concrete slab.
Cuts to Moisture-Related Costs
In addition to eliminating the need for costly moisture mitigation add-ons, rapid-drying concrete performs better in preventing the potential liabilities of sick building syndrome (the deterioration of air quality from mold forming in the presence of moisture). Other costs potentially incurred include: maintenance to damaged flooring, mildew damage, investigations on flooring damages, construction delays, and injury liabilities from flooring failures.
Though rapidity is rapid-drying concrete’s calling card, its reduction of excess moisture makes it revolutionary.