I have a client that owns older apartment communities ranging from 400-275 units each. I remember when the floor was installed there was a foam underlayment but I to not remember it having any plastics on the bottom side. Thanks for the question. How high are the moisture levels? During the energy crisis of the 1970s, a prevailing belief took root where it was thought that tightly sealing walls and ceilings with a vapor barrier was essential to blocking heat transference and reducing energy costs. Apparently I may have made worse because we just had to replace the sub flooring again here within the last month. Note: A vapor barrier is not the same as an underlayment. Thanks for the comment. I just bought a raised ranch modular home that sits on a poured concrete foundation on 3.25 walls. not even 2 weeks later the entire floor started to buckle. I also heard that that there is a moisture retarder/barrier that is like a primer that I can just “paint” on top of the concrete (it’s usually colored pink or purple). What risks are there to do so? has a high performance 15 mil vapor barrier for installation under concrete floors and slabs that will retard moisture migration and radon from escaping through the surface of the concrete floor. (Learn My Fast Method). Take a look at this website https://www.stegoindustries.com/. We left the boards out for over a week until the floor was dry. It helps reduce mold and condensation in buildings and is resistant to decay so it will protect against moisture emission for decades. He said with all the gravel and the French drains along the edges it was not necessary to have the membrane right up to the edges. I’m going to start building, and vapor barrier doesn’t come in sheets as wide as the house, so I’m getting the idea that the sections/layers should be sealed together with some sort of exterior silicone stuff? My concern is two-fold: 1) Will using this “air tight” method cause moisture to get trapped under the plastic sheet with no way to escape? Upon further investigation I found that the concrete walled sections of the foundation were covered with 1/2″ plywood over top of some type of other material and the plywood was covered on the outside with a latice wood material, purpose unknown to me. We have a very long run of approximately 34 ft. specifications for puncture resistance or permeance ratings for most new I hope this helps. However, the current practice recommended by the American Concrete Institute is to apply a heavy grade, non-penetrable vapor barrier (or retarder) with the lowest possible permeance for the application over a layer of granular fill (crushed rock, gravel, etc.). Thanks for the questions. I have heard of people doing this, but I would always check local building codes to confirm acceptability. In May I noticed small droplets of water seeping out of the grout lines in several areas, by August 2016 there was grout discoloration in several areas as well as water seepage. Thanks for the questions. As far as mitigation products, epoxies have been the gold standard in the industry for years. Thanks for the question. If this is the case, research some of the various moisture mitigation products available that are topically applied to the slab. You can buy a barrier separately or get underlayment with a moisture barrier built-in. I would expect that you can successfully install carpet in this situation (or any other flooring product), but it is going to require that you find someone knowledgeable to work with that acknowledges the challenges you face in this application. Oh and we use moisture/vapor kits, and a good sheet vinyl with a warranty against this type of problem…doesn’t seem to make a difference. We had thought about the vinyl laminate flooring but we are afraid it will mold underneath. I am planning on convert it into a living space and adding flooring. Thanks for the comment. I also thought about using a spray foam on the exposed slab and between crevices and on the wood joists in that area, but everything is too wet/ damp. You might need an even thicker barrier though if you’re covering material with sharp angles. Bostik Slab-Cote™ Extreme Moisture Vapor Barrier Coating is a single coat, two-component, 100% solids, epoxy formulated to dramatically reduce moisture vapor transmission and surface alkalinity from substrates. If it does find a way to escape, will it get trapped between my walls and cause a problem? Good luck. I have a 2yr old concrete slab with Spray Polyurethane Foam sprayed underneath to act as a vapour barrier. About a year later the defects showed up again in other boards in the office. The contractor I hired to form and pour the slab for my free standing garage has poked holes in plastic I had him put down as a vapor barrier. Now i started reading that this was important to do. If you just going to leave it as concrete, cosmetically, for now and the future, most probably wouldn’t utilize a vapor retarder. We used Thermax brand (available through lumberyards) of polyethylene vapor barrier because it doesn’t require an additional fire barrier. When utilizing a true vapor retarder such as https://www.stegoindustries.com/stego-wrap-vapor-barriers?hsCtaTracking=d654940e-2168-473c-934d-ed294b689fe3%7C23dd2231-f515-494b-8e7f-b042972bd744 they will have a recommended seam tape and method for application. I’m I right or am wrong this guy has really screwed me on this the form he built wasn’t strong enough to hold so the top of the form is push out 3 inches from the bottom there a spot in the middle of the slab that holds water this guy thinks he’s going to get paid for this he got the first draw he’s not getting anything else. Potentially, the area around the perimeter of the floor may not be as well insulated as the rest of the floor and so that variation may be part of the issue. Vapor barriers are a way to keep moisture from getting into the concrete. Hello Jason I want to put carpet back in my basement as I work on my music projects down there. Hi Jason, Good luck. Vapor barriers are used because while fresh concrete is poured wet, it’s not supposed to stay that way. I live in Thailand, where the temperature is never below 70 degrees F. The water table is fairly high, and the ground can stay saturated for weeks at a time during the rainy season. The ceiling we’re wanting to clad is the bottom of the concrete second floor slab which is 4-years old and has had no moisture issues in the past. Thank you for your time. 1. If you think the concrete sealer is warranted, is there a particular product you recommend? It’s a 15 year old house, but we’ve only been here 4 years, so I don’t know how long this has been an issue. However, they can’t stop water in vapor form from reaching and entering a concrete slab. Is this okay? The rooms are separated by a marble floor installed in the main parts of the house. Do you have any recommendations? It is obviously cheaper to do this right the next time than to replace the floor every 2-3 years. Here are the parameters: Materials can be separated into four general classes based on their permeance: Would that be sufficient or do I still need to be concerned and look into membranes (Platon, Superseal) that allow airflow? Thank you. The paint store said to put on this armor 2 part epoxy paint and it should resist the moisture. Livingroom and Hallway have hardwood floors. My understanding is that we need some kind of vapor barrier to protect against radon (even though from my research it seems the Pacific NW has a low radon hazard), as well as needing some means of keeping the cement dry. MasterTop moisture vapor barrier systems reduce the permeance of moisture vapor through concrete substrates, providing the … We have a condo in Florida that is on the ground floor. !……please help? Very simply, if there is too much moisture, a coating like epoxy will fail causing it to blister and peel. Initially we thought we could just pour concrete in the small area but in reading your information we are now worried about moisture and vapor barriers. As far as concrete every drying completely, even with a vapor retarder that’s not going to happen. Or are there problems with both of these methods? Understanding moisture vapor transmission. Exterior tar waterproofing provides a water vapor barrier. Unfortunately, the re-purposing of areas, whether commercial or residential, can lead to problems like this. Our epoxy moisture barriers are designed to be applied to either new or old concrete floors and can be used under a variety of types of flooring making them ideal for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. You might also need a vapor barrier for liability reasons because most manufacturers of flooring include vapor barriers or retarders in their installation guidelines. This causes the adhesives to breakdown and you end up with flooring failures such as swelling, bulging, or cupping. Jason, Over the Christmas holiday we had a water heater in the 2nd story attic leak causing flooding throughout our first floor which has continuous solid hardwood floors throughout. Click HERE, FREE CONCRETE FINISHING TRAINING TUTORIAL VIDEO, Figure out how much concrete you need per fence post. 3. • Vapor impermeable: 0.1 perms or less should i cover the cement ground using poly tarp ? Thanks for the question. Condensed moisture accumulation under the plastic at 16 hours can indicate a problem. He feels we need to consult with a foundation expert. Capillary action can be stopped by installing something called a capillary break, a layer of crushed rock that goes between the subgrade and the slab. claim is taking care of everything related to reconstruction phase, I think. Hello, I would also look to see if potentially doing one of the planking systems that allows for a floating installation may not bring something positive to the table. What type of moisture barrier would you recommend? Hi, I am Mike Day, owner of Day’s Concrete Floors, Inc. in Maine,  where I've been working with concrete for 40 years now, and this website is where I can share with you all the knowledge and wisdom I've gained from installing all kinds of decorative concrete, concrete floors, concrete overlays, stained concrete and also fixing cracked or spalled concrete. Would a vapor barrier padding prevent this or would it just keep the mold on one side of the barrier? The concrete sub-floor has no direct access with the ground. The concrete slab is then poured on top of it. I have personally used this product, it is excellent! Yes, Here's Why, How To Pour A Garage Floor In 17 Minutes! Very simply, concrete will conduct electricity through the ions it contains like silicon, aluminum, calcium, and sulfur. Nick. Usually, if you aren’t looking at putting a finish on the concrete, you have no issues with the moisture in the concrete. I need you help or is something I need to do around the Concret slab?? Thank you. I’m concerned that a vapor barrier would trap moisture underneath it. We know we will need a moisture barrier, but because of the issues feel we need to use engineered hardwood vs. natural hardwood. What would be the best procedure to follow to remedy the issue. Then we had different landscaping companies come out and all of them agreed it is the rainwater causing this. Always good to know! What were the values? 2. Great questions. Does my slab need to have a vapor barrier and reinforcement pre pour? What type of moisture testing was done on the slab, and then on the gypcrete? Thanks much for your help. obviously we will lay plastic for the entire floor but thought would be double protection under the footing trenches and posts to protect from moisture. The sheet would keep the construction water from dissipating into the blotter layer and help it to actually dry from the slab, if given enough time. Can you help me please? One option may be to have a coating installed that has some type of slip resistant surface. Also, in some of the inquiries I read about smells, and radon. I have concrete courses that teach you how to form, pour, power trowel finish a concrete slab, how to stamp concrete, epoxy coatings, repair foundation cracks. For example use Damp Rid for a few days? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am getting ready to strip it for about the fourth time. I have an existing concrete floor on a very old building (~1920). HI I live in brooklyn NY and i have a crawl space of earth (dirt) underneath my den. 2). As moisture makes its way to the surface of a concrete slab, soluble alkalies come along for the ride and raise its surface pH above that of flooring adhesives. The contractor removed the visqueen, poured the cement on the dirt in the crawl space, and then put the plastic back on top of the cement after it cured. Lastly, regarding vapor retarders, there is a need to balance the entire building envelope “system” which would include the slab and finish as one unit, not the slab and finish separately. Watertight concrete is often considered to have a w/c less than 0.50. The crawl space fan is good, but I would also look at how much ventilation there is to the outside. How Much Concrete You Need For A Fence Post (Calculator), Concrete Courses - Education & Training - Learn Concrete Skills, How Many Bags Of Concrete Are In A Yard? Good luck. There’s only one-way moisture leaves concrete, though, and that’s via its surface. Good luck. That reason is that it isn’t always indicating the moisture in the slab and if it does, you don’t know how much moisture there is in relation to a potential flooring failure. The adhesive was supposed to be a “2 in 1” adhesive/vapor barrier product. 2) Try to find a flooring product that is more “breathable” and/or less moisture sensitive. Your email address will not be published. (40lb 50lb 60lb 80lb bags), Does Concrete Conduct Electricity? VAPOR BARRIERS The pre-construction solution is to use a vapor barrier under the concrete. Personally, I would follow their guidance. Being that this is a very specific, unique question, I am enrolling help from one of my industry counterparts from Stego. Hi Jason, Whether you’re laying tile, hardwood flooring or laminate flooring, underlayment is an essential moisture barrier that also provides insulation and sound absorption. • Vapor semi-permeable: 10 perms or less and greater than 1.0 perm I am replacing a laminate floor with a new laminate floor (it sits on concrete). Well…. Should you continue living in a home where no moisture barrier was used when you have already experienced mildew smell? These usually aren’t inexpensive, but they are better that some alternatives like replacing flooring or replacing the concrete slab. It has not happened in the last 16 years but Mr. Murphy could show up at any time. After about a year, they noticed small “pimple like” defects in the wood, in a few boards in the office. We are pouring a 24×30 patio in central Florida on a sand base . Perminator also helps reduce radon gases from entering a building through the concrete floor.All these new generation moisture and vapor barriers are very tough and will resist damage from normal job-site traffic. The crawlspace is probably only 1.5′, so it’s kind of tough to manuever around, but it is possible. Pouring concrete floors fast takes certain steps and planning for a successful pour. of rigid, moisture-proof insulation. There are many products on the market that would allow you to apply a moisture remediation product on the original concrete and then you a self-leveling product for smoothing. Here’s what happens. I would consult the National Wood Flooring Association at http://www.nwfa.org No matter what material you chose, make sure you consult the manufacturer to ensure you are addressing the “long runs” appropriately. Thank you. The durable top surface is flat and can support finished floor applications such as laminates, carpet, engineered vinyl planks and engineered floating hardwood. I recently had some water in my basement due to heavy rain. I have a 40 X 20 pole-barn type building with a concrete floor, it was probably built in the mid 70’s. It has been there almost for a week, and it is not helping hardly any, of course we have had some high humidity since I’ve installed it. Help me!???? First and foremost, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for a proper, warrantable installation…including installing the 6 mil. Although not using a vapor retarder may be debatable for the improved strength and health of the concrete, not using one is catastrophic for most flooring finishes. Jason, thank you so much. I am working on a project and the exiting mat slab is maintained and will have a new foundation next to it. Based on the information, I really can’t answer the question. The contractor says that we must have a cracked slab that’s letting in moisture and that his installation technique was fine. There are huge failure issues with bottom up staining, i.e., mold and mildew, and they are determined to stick with vinyl. Is there something I need to be aware of and watching for in having a concrete floor as my flooring? As far as installing the laminate, I would contact the manufacturer of whatever product you chose and have them give you some recommended solutions. How to Apply a Moisture Barrier to Hardwood Floors. Concrete absorbs and retains water, and the moisture can seep into the carpet padding and then into the carpet. So I do not know if there was a moisture barrier down on the slab, Now 4 years after the carpet was installed l found 3 wet spots about 6″ diameter which have recently appeared on the carpet which I tested with a moisture sensor at over 35% ( thats the highest the meter reads) I suspect that the slab may have cracked and and any moisture barrier may have been compromised. The slab is butted right against the outside wall of the building which is an old wooden country store with the wall opened up that has the normal reach in doors to the inside of store. Thanks for the comment/question. I do not want to replace this floor again anytime soon! The building inspector for my community says I need to apply a vapor barrier to the cement (it has none underneath) to avoid future mold problems. I would say you are right on track with the thought of mold growth. No frost wall is required per zoning. 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Walk in conditioned crawlspace manufacturers of flooring include vapor barriers are moisture barrier for concrete floor because fresh.

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