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Moisture Issues with Flooring

Moisture can be a floor covering challenge everywhere – no matter the climate!

What causes a floor covering moisture issue?

Moisture related failures are most often due to one or all of the following:

  • The moisture in the concrete slab has a higher emission rate than the floor covering can tolerate.
  • The concrete slab was not allowed to dry sufficiently before installing the floor covering over it.
  • No moisture testing was performed or it wasn’t done correctly.
  • The conditions in which the moisture test was initially done changed over time.
  • The alkalinity level is too high in the concrete slab due to a high moisture emission rate. High alkalinity levels destroy the bond between adhesive and floor covering.
    • Alkalinity is measured on a pH scale of 1-14. Ideally, the concrete should be between 7-9 before the floor covering is installed.

What can happen to your flooring due to moisture issues?
Damage to floor coverings include debonded flooring, bubbling, blisters, discoloration, adhesive degradation or oozing. Cupping, dents, indentation, gaps between tile, the smell of adhesive coming from your floors and even mold are all also signs of a moisture issue. Without moisture correction precautions, the flooring could be destroyed completely.

Examples of flooring susceptible to sub-floor moisture:

  • Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT)
  • Unbacked Sheet Vinyl
  • Rubber Flooring
  • Carpet Tile
  • Vinyl Tile
  • Other non-breathable finished floors

There are many methods of correction depending on test results. Sometimes changing the product is enough, other times changing to high moisture adhesive works, and sometimes you need a full remediation system. What choice you make depends on application, product and levels of moisture.

Brief guidelines to a moisture remediation:

  1. Remove current floor covering.
  2. Perform flooring tests. The results from these tests will point you in the direction to correctly address any issues.
    • Types of tests:
      • RH (Relative Humidity): Shows the available moisture in the slab in its final state.
      • Calcium Chloride: Shows the amount of moisture in the concrete at the surface.
      • Alkalinity Test: Measures the pH levels in your flooring.
  3. Determine an appropriate floor covering option. This is where Continental Flooring can help! Contact one of our flooring representatives for further assistance.

So, where does Continental Flooring come in?

Our floor covering experts can help guide you through available choices for your particular requirement. From moisture testing to installing your new floor covering, we can help! We have water resistant, floating and breathable floors – all great options for a facility with a high moisture rating!

Offering materials only (DIY) or complete installation services, Continental Flooring is here for you every step of the way.