What Can Be Done for Moisture Damaged Flooring?

Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2020

What Can Be Done for Moisture Damaged Flooring?

Repairing Your Water Damaged Floor

When compared to corrosive materials and falling objects, moisture might seem like the least of your floor’s concerns. However, if left unchecked, moisture can deal serious damage to all types of floors, even concrete. Spilled liquids should always be cleaned right away to prevent damage, but as it turns out, moisture below your floor is more of a threat than moisture above it, and it often goes unnoticed until it has already caused damage.

Water in the ground beneath your floors escapes in the form of moisture vapor. Concrete “breaths” allowing the transfer of moisture vapor, when you install any type of floor covering it reduces the amount of “breathability” of the slab. Without the presence of a concrete moisture barrier (also called a vapor barrier), this moisture is constantly trying to equalize with the air above the floor covering. When the building is sealed and the HVAC is running it reduces the RH (relative humidity) in the building, however the moisture coming from the floor is still trying to equalize with the lower RH air above the floor covering.

Over time, you may begin to notice signs of water damage on your flooring. Common indicators include:

  • Bubbles
  • Blisters
  • Staining
  • Spalling
  • Presence of a brown liquid
  • Delamination
  • Efflorescence (alkaline/salt deposits)
  • Growth of mold and mildew

If your floor is presenting any of these symptoms, there’s a good chance moisture is the culprit. Here’s what you can do about your moisture damaged flooring.

Find the Source and Fix It

The first step to fixing any problem is identifying its root cause. Testing for the RH moisture content in the concrete is the first step. It is possible but not typical that water may seep into your floors due to broken, leaky pipes, a malfunctioning plumbing system. If your floor is on top of standing water, you may need to remove the water with a sump pump. Whatever the case may be, fixing the issue will allow you to successfully restore your flooring and ensure its longevity.

Install (or Replace) a Moisture Mitigation System

One of the leading causes of moisture damage is a lack of a proper moisture mitigation system. These systems encompass a number of methods and installations to reduce the rate of water vapor emissions, MVER (Moisture Vapor Evaporation Rate) and keep moisture from damaging the floor. A moisture mitigation system might include vapor barriers or retardants, surface membranes like sealers and epoxies, and some adhesives that can tolerate higher moisture levels. Using the right combination of these methods can keep moisture from damaging your floors.

Finish the Job with a Proper Sealer

After you’ve identified the root cause of moisture intrusion, repaired or replaced your subfloor, installed or improved your moisture mitigation system, it’s time to seal your floor for additional protection. Common coating options include epoxy, urethane, and urethane cement toppings.

Consider investing in Polished Concrete Floors

If you don’t want to deal with the maintenance involved with concrete floor coatings, you might consider hiring concrete polishing contractors instead. Polished concrete floors are naturally beautiful and shiny, incredibly durable, well-protected against water damage, and easy to maintain.

If moisture has damaged your flooring, there is plenty you can do to restore and enhance your floors. Kaloutas Painting provides all of the services necessary in this pursuit, including moisture mitigation system installation, concrete polishing, epoxy coating services, concrete floor repair, and more. To learn more about us and all that we do, contact us online or give us a call at 978-532-1414.

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