Moisture Vapor Barriers to STOP Moisture Vapor Transmission

How important do you think it is to test for moisture?

Moisture barriers or moisture vapor mitigation refers to water problems that seep through the concrete floors. A moisture vapor system helps create a barrier for concrete slabs to keep your floors safe and dry. Although the majority of our customers have a general idea of the style and type of floor they want, such as polished concrete floors, what they don’t know is what’s beneath their concrete slabs. Moisture vapor transmission, or MVT, is becoming an increasingly expensive challenge for commercial and industrial building designers, contractors and owners.

Moisture Control Concrete Flooring Systems | Why You Need One


What is Moisture Vapor Transmission?

MVT or moisture vapor transmission happens as a natural result when water vapor penetrates through the slab capillary action excreting a high-ph liquid that causes coating bond failures. Basically your epoxy floor will begin to peel, bubble, or discharge a liquid that looks like oil.

In the past, we waited for new concrete to cure fully before installing floor surface coatings. There was always a hope that the moisture in the concrete slab would dry up but sometimes that could take months while some would never get dry enough. Things are much different today, with advancements in technology and construction deadlines, we no longer have to wait with our fingers crossed.

Measuring Moisture Transmission

There are a number of tests that you can do to to establish moisture content and moisture vapor transmission. The moisture tests we suggest are the Plastic Sheet Test (ASTM-D-4263), Calcium Chloride Test, and RH testing.

Industry requirements today have determined that you need a 75% relative humidity result (or less) as an acceptable range for all floor products. However, we suggest that when you get your floor tested for moisture levels that you over estimate the readings. When installing a non-breathable flooring system you run the risk of the RH increasing after the floor is installed.

As a result, the higher relative humidity increases your potential for dampness (condensation) to occur under the flooring system. That is not good because the increased moisture will cause the concrete’s natural alkaline levels to reach the surface. This new elevated alkalinity-pH concentration is destructive to the flooring products.

Controlling Moisture Transmission

Moisture vapor transmission failures are nothing new. They wreck havoc on production floors to extent that it requires removing the concrete slab and starting over. It can be costly. The good news is that floor coating manufacturers have created products to reduce or eliminate the water vapor transmission problem all together.

I’ve been called out on jobs many times over the years to help repair moisture problems in concrete. While none of the customers enjoy paying for the repairs, they realized where they went wrong.

What Moisture Vapor Mitigating Floor Coatings Do You Need?

What I strongly suggest to every facility engineer is to do a 3rd party moisture test before we start any project. This simple test will tell you what the moisture levels are in your concrete slabs and show you in a nice little report.

These test results will determine which of our MVT industrial flooring systems will work best for you and your budget.

benefits and features
  • Nearly any of our high performance floors can be installed with MVT protection
  • Select from highly decorative or utilitarian aesthetics
  • Meets USDA requirements for food facilities
  • EPA registered antimicrobial protection available
  • Range of slip-resistance for you to choose
  • One of the most extensively proven moisture control flooring lines available

Reliable Moisture Control Barriers

When installing the right floor for the right application, these moisture control floors will remain well-bonded and perform as promised. Advanced Floor Coatings offers a full range of MVT Moisture Vapor Mitigation Floor Coatings in industrial and commercial flooring including coatings with highly decorative skid-resistant finishes. Our moisture vapor control floor coatings work, plan and simple!

Preventative Solutions for Moisture Vapor Transmission Failures

What MVT Looks LikeMoisture Mitigating Floor Coatings begin with prevention. Here’s our advice:

  • Use an endorsed independent testing company
  • Use a topical moisture or pH suppression system
  • Ensure proper preparation of the concrete
    • Install vapor barriers/retarders beneath the slab
    • Consider the pros and cons of installing cheaper floors compared to the costs of remediation with a more expensive floor covering

    WE DO IT RIGHT – Moisture Vapor Mitigating Floor Coatings

    Today concrete failures due to high moisture is a billion plus dollar issue. Not everyone is experienced with installing moisture vapor control barriers on concrete floors. Advanced Floor Coatings offers a full line of Moisture Vapor Control (MVT) flooring solutions.

    It takes experience, proper equipment and the right materials to prepare the surface and create a strong bond so that moisture does not haunt your concrete.

    To learn more about Moisture Vapor Barrier Floor Systems & Moisture Vapor Transmission Solutions from Advanced Floor Coatings, call 1-800-288-9589 or email today.