Concrete is solid and strong, making it a great floor material for most kinds of installations. Given its repute, it might stun you to learn that concrete is in fact porous. Given enough time, water from under walkways or slabs makes its way through the concrete to its surface, where the water then evaporates. During its travel, the water picks up salts taken from the concrete. These salts become a white powder when the water dries on the surface of the concrete. This ugly substance is called efflorescence.
Water comes up through the floor for many reasons that do not involve leaking pipes. The form of soil and the amount of rainfall might influence the height of groundwater. The presence of springs or near-surface aquifers can create water reservoirs underneath your location. And a nearby lake, river or creek might influence the water content in the soil, especially if your foundation is below the level of the high water mark.
What to Do About Ground Water
Depending on the extent, you might need to resolve the water problem before proceeding (sealing the slab may not prevent problems in the walls or other areas). If the situation is localized to the concrete, some cleanup and epoxy sealing should stop water from accumulating. West Coast Epoxy adds a water barrier to our epoxy sealer that halts delamination from water vapor. After the treatment is complete, the concrete floor is fully waterproof on top. Therefore, you can confidently overlay it with ceramic tile, wood, carpet, or laminates. The epoxy sealant ensures your floor surface won’t be vulnerable to moisture again.
For epoxy sealants, the age of the concrete generally does not matter if it is stable. Epoxy coatings dry quickly, minimizing delays, but it cannot be applied to new concrete until the material is fully set. To learn more about water remediation for concrete foundations, talk with West Coast Epoxy for assistance in Orinda.
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