After ICT partnered with 3M ESD, the need for a moisture mitigation system for concrete slabs became a necessity. In sourcing a reliable partner in the industry, ICT found KOSTER American. ICT and KOSTER’s relationship goes back to 1998, and we have been installation and distributing KOSTER’s moisture mitigation systems successfully with millions of square feet installed and warrantied. Along the way, ICT has also partnered with TEC and HB Fuller, offering a variety of options for mitigation systems.
What is moisture in concrete?
Concrete is like a giant sponge. It is very porous, and will absorb moisture, either in the form of a gas (moisture vapor) or a solid (water). The moisture will always try to go to a point of lower humidity, which most likely is your building environment. Your HVAC will draw out the humidity in the air, causing moisture vapor to travel through the concrete into the building.
When the moisture vapor hits your flooring, the vapor can condensate and the gas would become a solid, a process called osmotic action. In this case, the pressure of the osmotic action, coupled with the potential for high pH, can cause delamination in flooring adhesives, or bubbles in epoxy flooring. When you pop these bubbles, water may come out.
This can cause trip hazards, mold and mildew growth, and generally cause a maintenance nightmare due to gooey adhesives emulsifying and oozing out between the tile joints.
New Concrete vs Old Concrete
If you have an existing slab, you might not be completely clear of potential moisture vapor issues. Your slab might not have a moisture vapor barrier, or it could be compromised. You can perform moisture testing, but its important to remember that moisture testing is only a snapshot in time. If you have no vapor barrier, your levels might be ok today, but after a prolonged period of rain, the levels could rise. The new flooring might also be less moisture tolerant. Sheet vinyl has different thresholds compared to VCT. You should always test for moisture vapor prior to a new installation.
In new concrete projects, you have many factors fighting against you.
- Lightweight concrete – Lightweight aggregate absorbs water, and on a job site is typically burnished sealing the surface.
- Metal pan decks – With no air movement from below, there is no drying effect from the underside of a slab.
- Accelerated time tables – Jobs simply don’t have the time to run HVAC and dry out to acceptable levels.
- HVAC – Speaking of HVAC, projects will keep the HVAC off for as long as possible, in order to keep dust out of the system and prolong life and avoid cleaning costs. Without air movement or humidity being drawn out of the ambient air, the RH in the concrete will stay the same.
ICT utilizes contractors suited to the project. A project in an occupied hospital has more stringent demands than others. We know how to work safe and follow stringent protocol to prevent contamination. Our experience in managing installations covers:
- hospitals – occupied and new
- high tech manufacturing
KOSTER American has long been recognized as the gold standard in the industry. A 100% solids epoxy mitigation system provides a 15 year warranty against failure due to moisture vapor. We are certified installers and able help provide you with turn key installation services. KOSTER has a diverse lineup of mitigation products, all of them certified to meet ASTM F3010, Standard Practice for Two-Component Resin Based Membrane-Forming Moisture Mitigation Systems for Use Under Resilient Floor Coverings. All KOSTER mitigation products are good to 100% RH and 25 lbs / 1000 sf / 24 hours with calcium chloride. See the other KOSTER American products such as epoxy coatings and floor prep preoducts.
- VAP 1 2000 Zero VOC – 12 hour cure
- VAP 1 2000 FS – Zero VOC, 4 hour cure
- VAP 1 2000 UFS – Low VOC, 2 to 3 hour cure
TEC Specialty, a brand of H.B. Fuller Construction Products, Inc, is a worldwide manufacturer of floor prep, tile setting, and moisture mitigation products. TEC is able to be installed, in some cases, on bare concrete, or at the very least diamond ground surfaces instead of shot blasting, making installations in cases where shotblasting is not possible realistic.
- TEC Liquidam – 4 hour cure, 2 part epoxy mitigation system
- TEC Liquidam EZ – a single component, roll down system
- Prentice Women’s Hospital Renovation
- 7 year, 22 story occupied renovation of failed floors.
- Complete demolition of existing underlayment, grinding, shotblasting, installation of mitigation and self leveling underlayment
- Parkview Medical Center
- 1 year new construction project over 250,000 square feet
- Moisture mitigation and Self Leveling
- Kiefer USA
- A long term client of ICT
- Called upon in situations of high moisture vapor impeding on installation of their specialty sports flooring across the U.S.
- Hundreds of thousands of square feet
- Northwestern Medical Hospitals
- Various locations throughout Chicagoland, from new to occupied facilities
- Sparton Electronics
- 40,000 sf of existing, phased remodel
- 40,000 sf of new addon