As you may already know, concrete is one of the most versatile and durable solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial flooring. Concrete surfaces can be finished with a variety of different coatings to enhance the durability and appearance of the flooring, but some concrete coatings are better than others. In fact, some coatings trap moisture, which can lead to problems and reduced longevity.
Why Is Moisture Control Important?
The main reason you need to be concerned about moisture control for your concrete coatings is that it can affect the ability of the coating to bond to the concrete. Problems with moisture may not be apparent immediately, but months or years down the line, you may end up dealing with coating failure. It is not actually the moisture content of the concrete that causes the problem, however; it is the degree of moisture flow (referred to as moisture vapor transmission) through the slab that causes problems with adhesion.
In order to determine the degree of moisture vapor transmission through a concrete slab, you can conduct a variety of tests. The Plastic Sheet Test involves sealing a square of clear plastic sheeting to the concrete with tape and waiting 16 hours – if there is any condensation on the underside of the plastic, the slab is too wet. A Calcium Chloride Test is another option – this test involves placing a small dish of calcium chloride under a clear plastic cover. After placing the dish, you wait for 72 hours and compare the weight of the dish before and after to determine the degree of moisture flow through the slab.
Recommended DIY Concrete Coatings
Epoxy coatings are one of the most popular finishes for DIY concrete surfaces, because they come in a variety of finishes and they are fairly easy to install. The downside of epoxy coatings is that they tend to trap the water vapor released by the concrete, which leads to dampness and reduced longevity for the slab. If you really want to avoid problems with moisture, your best bet is to go with a moisture vapor control system. This type of DIY concrete coating is specifically designed to reduce the passage of moisture and water vapor through the concrete slab, and it works by diffusing and condensing the moisture vapor emission as it travels through the slab.
If you are having new concrete flooring installed in your home or business, be sure your contractor chooses a high-quality concrete coating with a moisture vapor control system. The Stamp Store offers a variety of concrete coatings, including water-based acrylics and other products that offer excellent moisture control.