Many people are familiar with the problems that moisture causes for hardwood floors. However, moisture can seriously damage concrete floors as well. If you have concrete floors in your home, it is in your interest to confront moisture problems immediately.
Moisture occurs in concrete floors for several reasons. These include condensation, moisture migration through the concrete from the soil underneath the slab, broken or leaking pipes under the concrete, surface water leaks or flooding.
Once moisture has accumulated on the concrete, several problems can result. These include mold and mildew growth (which can lead to health problems), wet rugs and carpet, musty odors, rotting wood, wet insulation, rusting metal, bacteria growth and insect infestation.
Reversing a moisture problem in a concrete floor will depend on the specific problem. For example, a mold and mildew cleaner will remove mold and mildew. Place open containers of a chemical that absorbs moisture, such as silica gel, on the ground to remove moisture from the concrete. A dehumidifier will remove moisture from the air and surfaces.
The University of Iowa recommends several measures to avoid moisture problems. These include using air-entrained concrete with a 28-day minimum compressive strength of 3,000 pounds per square inch, insulating the floor with polystyrene, and using a dehumidifier to keep the relative humidity (RH) in the room between 30 and 50 percent.
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