Basics of Handling Flood Restoration of Concrete Floors Affected

Apr 11


Ma. Theresa Galan

Ma. Theresa Galan

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Flood situations are never something to mess around with. They often require professional restoration services. The biggest concern is drying everything as quickly as possible to restore the property to pre flood conditions.

The porous nature of concrete floors allows for the absorption of materials into the floor. This makes it particularly tricky to clean concrete floors after a flood. Water causes stains and the formation of mold and mildew which results in dank,Basics of Handling Flood Restoration of Concrete Floors Affected Articles musky odor. Concrete is often challenging to dry because it has unique properties in flood conditions.

Often, once the walls contents of the room are dried, often people believe that the concrete is also dry.  People then proceed to restore their room and add new flooring. Not too soon after, they start to have problems with the new flooring and claim it is defective. The real problem is most likely that the concrete was not completely dried when they laid the new flooring down.

The dew point is often the issue. Dew point is the temperature at which water vapor in the air begins to condense into water or "dew". As the air cools, its ability to hold moisture is reduced. If it continues to cool, eventually the air becomes saturated with moisture and then condenses into water droplets. Normally, a concrete floor is significantly cooler than the rest of the room. Condensation will therefore occur at the surface of the concrete long before it happens elsewhere in the room. Such condensation may form on the concrete even if the rest of the room, walls, and contents have dried to their normal condition. Unfortunately, many contractors who are flood restoration professionals are unaware of the dew point issue. They will lay down new flooring and the customer will run into problems later down the road.

An issue you can run into with damp concrete is that water-based adhesives will not cure properly. As water-based adhesives have become more popular, this has become a bigger issue when dealing with restoration. As moisture evaporates from the concrete, the water-based adhesive absorbs it. When the adhesive absorbs more moisture it cannot stick to the floor properly. Since the adhesive fails to become fixed, it will soften and move. A sign this has happened are bubbles or blisters in certain flooring materials. When tile is applied, the adhesive may ooze or leak out along the edges of the joints or seams. People may believe that the flooring material is defective, but the real problem is that the concrete has not been dried properly. When water-based adhesives are used under the right conditions, they are extremely effective.        

Staining or sealing concrete prevents the absorption of these materials and allows for quicker clean-up. However, unsealed concrete floors can be cleaned and restored with a little bit of work. Wait for the flood water to recede or rent a sump pump to speed up the process. If you choose to use a sump pump, make sure that the flood waters have receded from around your home completely. Remove all debris and discard what cannot be cleaned with bleach. Shovel out all mud, silt and grime to the best of your ability.     

Because concrete is hydrophilic (water-loving) this equilibrium humidity can often be in the upper 60's. Any reading below 72% is sufficient to install carpet or tile flooring. Wood floors should have readings below 70%. The next best thing to dry concrete is air flow.  You may use a dehumidifier to help.

Go to main page Auckland Flood Restoration for additional insights and assistance