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Conducting Accurate Moisture Testing: Why is it Important Before Sealing Concrete?

18 November 2019

Concrete slabs are commonly used as the base layer before adding tiles, carpet, sealer, and other flooring materials. However, many property owners are surprised when they found out that their newly installed flooring layer above an old layer of concrete has already been damaged or disfigured after a few months or even weeks.

The Effects of Moisture

The answer as to why this happens revolves around moisture. You see, concrete slabs may appear to be solid and dry, but the microscopic structure of these slabs are moist in nature. Even an old layer of concrete can still produce moisture despite its appearance of being hard and dry. Concrete can readily absorb and transfer ground moisture to the layers above them. This transfer of moisture then results in damages and warping to the flooring. Moisture can also contribute to the growth of mould and mildew.

The moisture problem starts when it slowly attempts to escape the surface of the concrete, which will affect anything that sits on top of concrete slabs. The moisture, in the form of water vapour, may have escaped if there are enough space, warmth, and ventilation on the concrete. However, floorings tightly cover the entire concrete surface for good, trapping the moisture underneath. With nowhere to go, the moisture will then find a way to escape.

Moisture Testing

Construction firms know this too well. They conduct regular moisture testing to the concrete slabs for them to know the best sealer and flooring material that they will use. Keep in mind that the moisture level of concretes differs from each property depending on the concrete mix created. As the moisture level varies from one concrete mix to another, sealers and flooring materials are now produced to sustain different moisture level.

Most of the time, accurate moisture testing is done with a calcium chloride kit or a relative humidity meter. Both methods can produce the precise level of moisture that is present on concrete, which help determine the best products for the flooring layer.

Homeowners may also want to know the moisture level of their concretes even without the special tools. Just cut a plastic sheet into several 24 by 24-inch squares, and place them securely to the concrete with duct tape or any waterproof tape. All sides must be taped so that any moisture won’t escape. Leave the plastics for two days and check them after. If there is any moisture in the plastics, either in the form of water droplets or fogginess, then your concrete slabs have a considerable amount of moisture inside. This may explain why your flooring is uneven and gets damaged easily.

The Importance of Moisture Testing

Concrete sealers are created to protect concrete slabs from damages, corrosion, and staining. If your garage is made from concrete, you may apply some sealer to it so that it won’t get damaged as you use your car every day. These sealers can even block holes of the concrete, which reduces the absorption of water and salt that causes damage to the surface.

Even if the concrete sealers can block holes, a series of accurate moisture tests must still be conducted to know the correct variation for your concrete slabs. The suitable concrete sealer can help you have a concrete that is:

  • Robust: With the attributes of sealer, this can help you obtain a concrete that is non-porous and won’t easily be damaged by any factors. This makes your concrete achieve a flat even surface for a very long time.
  • Mould and Stain-Free: Since holes are now blocked, there is no chance for moulds to grow. The protective coating of the sealers also prevents the concrete from getting stains.
  • Seasonal: The protective coating of the sealers can also block intense heat from the sun and coldness from the snow.

To determine which products are useful in protecting your concrete, consult with our company Auseal-Curite. Our company provides the best products possible for the renovation of your floors, patios, walkways, driveways, and more.

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