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Moisture–Sensitive Floor Coverings on Concrete Slabs

ASCC Position Statement #10

Many design professionals, construction managers, contractors, flooring and adhesive manufacturers, and concrete producers currently face problems related to moisture-sensitive floor coverings installed on concrete floors. The problems range from claims for constructionschedule delays caused by concrete drying slowly to lawsuits related to floor covering failures and loss of facility use during removal and replacement of the floor covering. 

Design and specifications for concrete slabs must address the moisture-emission potential of the concrete slab, protection of the slab from
external water, and the compatibility of the concrete’s moisture and pH with the specified floor covering and adhesive. Guidance on the design
and specification can be found in “Design of Slabs That Receive Moisture-Sensitive Floor Coverings, Part 1: A Design Guide for Architects and Engineers and Part 2: Guide to Specification Issues for Architects and Engineers,” Concrete International, March and April 2003.

Drying time will be extended when the ambient relative humidity is high, slabs are rewetted, or the building ventilation system isn’t yet operating. On projects with tight schedules, the engineer or architect should estimate the drying time needed to permit floor covering installation because compressing the schedule by using desiccant drying, surface treatments, or adhesives with a greater moisture tolerance generally increases project cost.

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