Concrete moisture issues plague the building industry and continue to delay construction projects throughout the world. The question is, why is this happening now, when it wasn’t quite so common 30 years ago? The answers aren’t completely black and white, but in the end it comes down to three things: speed of construction, human error, and the fact that concrete is a sponge. A sponge? Yes, read on.
Concrete, by nature, takes time to strengthen and cure properly. It also has to happen in a perfect environment. With weather being unpredictable, the likeliness of anyone getting perfect conditions is slim to none. We are always challenged by the potential for rain, or that it may be too hot or too cold on any given day. We combat these weather challenges with admixtures such as accelerators and water reducers. We also adjust the time of placement of the concrete to when the temperature is more ideal.
Time & Money
GSG Distribution is providing the most cost effective ways to prevent and solve the flooring, roofing, and coating industries moisture needs.
Next, and even more unpredictably, we have the human aspect. There are only two reasons for water to be present in concrete. One is for proper hydration of the concrete and the other is called the “water of convenience.” Portland-‐‑based cement only needs a specific amount of water for hydration, which varies depending on the amount of cement by weight. The remaining water -‐‑ the aforementioned “water of convenience” -‐‑ is only there so the concrete
finishers can place and make the concrete smooth and flat. This water will escape in the final finishing process by working its way up and out of the concrete as “bleed water.”
So, what happens when the concrete finishers add more water to the trucks in order to make the concrete easier to work with? The answer is, quite simply, a lot. The concrete now has the potential to lose its intended strength. But even worse is the fact that increased porosity is a certainty.
The reason for this is, as the water of convenience (bleed water) works its way through the concrete paste, it creates voids called “capillaries,” which are actually the culprits that turn concrete into a sponge.
Of course, bleed water will always exist in concrete, but excess bleed water creates more voids than necessary. This is one reason why moisture-‐‑testing results can vary greatly over large slabs. Multiple trucks pouring concrete means that more water could be added to one truck than the next. As each concrete truck pours, the inconsistency of the water in each batch means that one area may have higher moisture readings than another. More moisture equals more voids. Less moisture, less voids. The area that contains more moisture that is able to move freely through the slab will have higher readings.
So, what are our options?
If a project is already underway and high moisture readings are found that will cause delays, GSG is proud to offer AC Tech 2170, the most cost effective two-part epoxy system that is suitable for all types of flooring.
“ Concrete Solutions Made Simple”
• 100% solids epoxy: solvent free
• 100% reactive
• 98% pure resin, no fillers or extenders
• Zero VOC emissions (Berkeley Labs)
• “Fast-‐‑Cure” FC @ 4 hours
• 14,500 psi compressive strength upon cure
• Complete 24/7 technical support
GSG Distribution realizes that slowing down the building process will never be an option because time is money. For this reason we have partnered with the best product manufacturers in the industry not only to help you keep your deadlines, but also to reduce your liability.
Being proactive will always be the most cost effective way of eliminating your risk for concrete moisture issues in the future. GSG offers Spray-‐‑ Lock Concrete Protection to meet and exceed those needs, without breaking the bank. Their SCP 327 is an industry proven “go early” product that is applied at time of placement. When using SCP 327, you get not only a top to bottom 15-‐‑year warranty, but you will also receive the following benefits:
• Waterproofs new concrete
• Superior cure, proven benefits of a 28-‐‑day ponding with no delays
• Reduces shrinkage cracking & slab curling
• Minimizes scaling & spalling
• Allows flooring, coating & roofing installation in as little as 14 days.
• Zero VOC’s
GSG also understands that some owners want to take a “wait and see” approach. They will hold off on preventive treatment and will solve the moisture problem, if and when it presents itself.
ACTech also has a 15-‐‑year performance warranty that is backed by a 7 million dollar policy to give you peace of mind for years to come.
However, if these two options don’t stay within your customer’s budget constraints, GSG has yet another way to help your projects stay on track. Spray-‐‑Lock Platinum Elite adhesives can handle up to 98% RH and were developed for LVT/VCT floorings. These high moisture-‐‑capacity adhesives have been performing at an exemplary level in some of the largest retail and health care chains in the country. Literally hundreds of millions of square feet have been successfully installed. This track record, along with a 5-‐‑year bond warranty, will grant you assurance when facing a moisture mitigation issue, while also saving a substantial
amount of money.
Moisture issues will continue to cause problems for flooring, roofing, and coatings used in the buildings constructed today. Understanding what causes these issues is only the first step to finding an excellent solution.
At GSG, we pride ourselves in understanding these problems, and focus on preventing and solving them while protecting your schedule and your budget.
Please let us know how we can help you with your future and existing projects.