Epoxy Coatings – Assessing Concrete Moisture

Ken Hanson Uncategorized Leave a Comment

As a floor coating company with over 20 years experience, we have seen many contractors and DIYers apply coatings without ever testing for moisture content before beginning an epoxy floor application. This is surprising because assessing concrete moisture is one of the most important pre-installation steps.

The Problem with Moisture

High moisture present in concrete is one of the most common problems associated with peeling (also called “delamination”) of epoxy floor coatings. With all concrete, water vapor gets trapped under the concrete slab. Because epoxy coatings create an impenetrable moisture barrier, the water vapor cannot pass through. As a result, a hydrostatic pressure builds with enough force to lift the coating right off the surface!

And then we get a call. Usually within 6-12 months of the original application. So many of our contracts are “removal and re-coats” of previously coated concrete floors. Most of these re-coats were due to a failure to assess concrete moisture by the installer.

What Do We Do?

Well, we perform an on-site assessment of your space to be coated. Other than looking for the telltale signs of moisture like efflorescence (salt that has migrated to the surface of the concrete) and dark spots, we always use a calibrated moisture vapor transmission meter to assess the moisture level of the concrete to be coated. Multiple readings are taken and recorded.

If the readings are high, we select our moisture-mitigating hydro epoxy as the primer coat. Two-component hydro epoxies provide deep substrate penetration and are used to mitigate substrate moisture issues (due to hydrostatic pressure). The problem is that once a moisture-mitigating hydro epoxy is selected for application as the primer coat, installation becomes a 2-day process…at best.

So what’s with the contractors promoting 1-day installations? Well, be vigilant of the “1-day polyurea” hype and stay away from the standard DIY epoxy kits. If you want a durable coating, seek out real professionals. Not assessing for moisture and applying the wrong product to concrete with high moisture content will be a costly mistake.

The Wrap

With over 60,000,000 square feet of coating experience and a reputation for total customer satisfaction, superior workmanship and highly developed production techniques, GarageFloorCoating.com is a national forerunner in the booming garage enhancement market. The company is widely recognized for pioneering and perfecting the art of coating concrete floors. Visit us at GarageFloorCoating.com to find a dealer or franchise near you.

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