As part of the installation services of vinyl floors, carpets and other coatings we provide products and services that allow you to correctly prepare the subfloor and thus meet the minimum flatness and humidity requirements required by the supplier of the final floor.
Depending on the requirements of the final floor, several steps must be taken to review the current floor in order to recommend a series of procedures to ensure that the floor meets the requirements. The two measurements that are made are: measurement of relative humidity and pH, and determining if the level of flatness provided is sufficient to receive the final floor.
RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEST AND VAPOR BARRIERS
The goal with measuring relative humidity is to be able to know the amount of humidity trapped in the concrete slab, which can affect the final floor and especially humidity-sensitive floors such as vinyl, carpets and other solutions.
Moisture in concrete can be caused by three reasons:
subsfloor moisture, which is moisture that comes from the ground, and is generally present at ground level and lower levels (basements).
moisture trapped in the concrete, fruit of the use and excess water during the preparation of the concrete.
presence of physical water, which may be due to pipe breaks, external water filtering through the concrete.
a source of steam, such as gas pipes, a kitchen or laundry area on a floor below, etc.
The test we use is the Wagner Rapid RH which measures the relative humidity within concrete, it is the most accurate and safe test on the market today.
For this, a drilling is made in the concrete and provides a percentage of relative humidity.
Other complementary tests that can be performed are the pH level, which measures the alkalinity of the floor. Very high alkalinity can attack adhesives as well as plasticizer and composites on vinyl floors, modular carpet backings, etc.
The measurement resulting from the Relative Humidity (RH) and Alkalinity (PH) test must be compared with the requirements of the final floor (specified in the technical data or installation sheet). If any exceed the needs of the floor, then it is necessary to mitigate the humidity with a temporary (in the case of new construction) or permanent moisture vapor barrier.
When to use a vapor barrier?
When the humidity levels determined by the relative humidity test or by the calcium chloride test exceed the maximum levels required by the final floor, it is necessary to mitigate the humidity with a moisture vapor barrier.
Epoxy moisture barrier.
An Epoxy Moisture Barrier (Ardex MC Rapid) is a two component solvent based application that can mitigate measurements of up to 100% relative humidity. The epoxy barrier reduces emissions to a tolerable minimum for any type of final floor (<1%) and can, by adding sand, serve as an anchor for a self-leveling base. I don't know
For applications on new concrete above ground level, where the humidity is temporary as a result of the curing process, a moisture retardant can be used, which is a kind of temporary moisture barrier.
FLATNESS VS LEVELING
Do I need flatness?
Another very important step when preparing the floors is to determine if the surface meets the flatness required by the final floor to be used.
While some types of floors such as vinyl SPC and laminate flooring tolerate certain unevenness or marked ceramic joints; Most of the coatings will require flatness so that the imperfections of the floor are not reflected in the final floor to be laid.
When to use a patch?
A patch is used to make spot patches on a concrete base or on ceramic and porcelain tiles. The patching seeks to promptly improve defects that could, if not corrected, affect the performance of the final floor. Some patches can even be used to make spot corrections before a self-leveling or moisture barrier.
If you have specific defects in the floor (holes, cracks) or if you want to fill the grooves of a well-marked ceramic, an Ardex GPS or Ardex Feather Finish patch is the best option. These patches can be installed without primer preparation or primer, and are typically dry and ready to install final flooring in up to 20 minutes after application.
When to use a self leveling underlayment?
When a floor shows imperfections in most of its surface, the recommendation is to use a self-leveling agent. While patching (applied to a trowel) is used for point imperfections, the self-leveling agent is poured onto the floor and is arranged so that it looks for its level before setting.
Usually self-leveling when they are going to receive a final carpet-type floor, vinyl floor or wooden floor; they are installed in thicknesses from 3mm to 6mm.
Most self-leveling agents require mechanical preparation of the base to achieve an anchoring profile, they also require primer and most of them require 16 to 24 hours after installation before laying a final floor.
ADHESIVES FOR CARPETS AND FLOORS
All great preparation needs to use a good adhesive that guarantees the good performance and durability of the final floor. But more than using a quality adhesive, it is important to use the correct adhesive for each type of final floor to be used.
The WW Henry has high quality adhesives, with high resistance to humidity, and good grip depending on the type of final floor to be placed.
With Adhesives for Roll Rugs, Modular Rugs, Roll Vinyl Flooring, VCT Composite Vinyl, Artificial Grass, Rubber Floors, Vinyl Skirting, and Carpet Sealers; WW Henry Company offers specialized adhesives so you don't have to settle for traditional strong-smelling adhesives.
Henry's adhesives are mostly free of strong, non-flammable, water-based odors.
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