Archive for March, 2011

Don’t Get “Tripped Up” Over Flooring Issues

March 10th, 2011

Flooring in healthcare facilities continues to be a challenge in regards to the maintenance, appearance and safety of the product. Not only is it vital to select the right flooring for each room in the hospital as required by building codes, licensing requirements and practical considerations, but it is equally critical to properly prepare the subsurface (concrete slab or other material) to assure the proper installation of the floor.

With the introduction of water-based adhesives, there has been a growing problem of flooring failure with regards to the separation of the flooring from the subsurface material or concrete slab. The failure is generally caused by excess water vapor off gassing from the concrete slab as it cures, or the presence of free water under the slab that the porous concrete wicks to the surface of the slab. Concrete never stops curing, but it will eventually reach a point where the amount of free water or vapor is negligible and will not affect the flooring mastic. Further compounding this problem is the pressure to complete projects faster, which often results in the concrete not being cured to a point that water and water vapor are reduced to an acceptable minimum. Often, buildings are enclosed early, which in turn traps water and humidity in the building. The building materials, including the concrete, absorb the water. The trapped moisture will eventually find its way to the surface of the slab and interfere with the flooring mastic.

Be sure to check out our next Milestone (on) Times for our in-depth look at the problems that can arise when flooring is not installed properly and what steps you should take to resolve these issues.

Example of Flooring with Slab Moisture Issue