We install Moisture Barrier systems onto floors and walls to protect your assets.

Moisture barrier floor prep

Moisture barrier and crack repairs – floor now ready for Sparta-guard resin coating.

What is a Moisture Barrier

Moisture vapor barriers are special resin coatings that are designed to reduce moisture transmission through a concrete substrate. They have extra strong adhesion properties that prevent them being pushed off the surface of concrete by hydrostatic pressure or “rising damp”.
 
It’s common for people to confuse a waterproofing system, with a moisture barrier. The simple way to look at it is – a waterproofing product stops water from entering a substrate. i.e. it is used on a floor or wall in a bathroom to stop water from a shower soaking through the floor into a downstairs room. A moisture barrier stops moisture from beneath the floor or wall, from getting into the room. i.e it is used in a basement, on the top surface of the concrete to stop ground moisture coming out of the concrete and into the basement.

Why do you need a Moisture Barrier

Moisture barriers are required on floors that are either too new (they have not had time for the concrete mix water to dissipate), or older concrete that is absorbing moisture from the ground or elsewhere because there is not an adequate damp proof coarse present to prevent moisture for reaching the concrete.
 
Excess moisture ingress through concrete floors and walls can have many negative effects, both on building materials, floor covering and coatings, and furnishings, and on the health of the occupants. Constant or periodic moisture migration can break down the strength of the concrete.  It also causes timber, floor coverings and furnishing to go rotten and moldy which can lead to health issues. It can also cause odors, and make the space harder to heat.

What is moisture vapor

In most cases, the moisture can not be seen. It is referred to as moisture vapor. Think of it like humidity, where the air is saturated, but invisible. That moisture then clings or condenses on colder surfaces. If there is not enough ventilation, the surfaces become saturated and moss, mold, algae and bacteria have sustainable growth. This leads to structural deterioration and other issues.

How do you know if you have a moisture problem

We can test floors and walls for moisture content. They should not be higher the 75% RH (relative humidity). We can do a simple “non destructive” scan test with one of our meters.  If a more definitive test is required, we can drill a small hole in your floor and insert and electronic sensor (this method is more costly and is not instant).

concrete floor moisture testing

Our moisture scan meter – readings over 250 indicate high moisture content in the substrate

Other than testing with a meter, there may be signs of moisture issues. With high moisture transmission rates, there may be efflorescence (a white powder residue) on the concrete surface. Other signs can be discolouration or staining, peeling or bubbling paint, peeling wall paper, swelled timber, mold, rotten timber or carpet or a general “damp” smell.
 
If the area has great ventilation many of these signs may not exist, but that does not mean there is not an issue.
 
Moisture barrier on floor and walls

Floor and walls prepared and “NXT Vapor Barrier “moisture barrier applied

Damp Proof Coarse

Modern building practices and regulations require a “Damp Proof Coarse” to be put between the dirt under the concrete slab and the slab. This is usually a combination of a layer aggregate (that will resist osmosis) and a layer of thick polythene. However this is not always done adequately or the polythene gets damaged during the concrete pour.

 
Concrete that sits on dirt will transfer moisture by osmosis – where the dry porous substrates sucks moisture from wet substrates. Once a floor is damp, the moisture then transfers to then next dryer atmosphere. This is eventually the air within the building.
 
New tenancy laws require rental properties to have a functioning/adequate Damp Proof Coarse or they require a moisture barrier. While this is only enforced on rental properties, everyone should consider the benefits of preventing moisture getting into all buildings.
 
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Find out more about our floor preparation services