Concrete is hard and durable, making it a great foundation material for most types of buildings. Given its reputation, it might surprise you to know that concrete is still porous. Given enough time, water from underneath a slab makes its way through the concrete to its surface, where it evaporates. During its travels, however, the water carries along with it salts dissolved from the concrete. These salts become a white powder when they dry on the surface of the concrete. This unsightly process is called efflorescence.
Since water follows the path of least resistance, you might notice joints or cracks in your floor that never appear completely dry. This indicates a significant cache of moisture underneath your slab. Many people try to cover over the problem with tile, wood, carpet, or low-quality epoxy seals. Without a proper sealant, however, the water finds its way through, resulting in loose tiles, rotted or warped wood, moldy carpet, or coatings that peel away. At that point, the problem becomes worse, and more expensive to repair.
What To Do About Efflorescence
Depending on the severity, you might need to resolve the water problem before proceeding (such as internally leaking pipes). However, most issues only take some cleanup and proper sealing to keep the moisture from accumulating. West Coast Epoxy adds a built-in water barrier to our epoxy floors that prevents delamination from water vapor. After this process is complete, the concrete floor is indeed waterproof, from the top or the bottom. Therefore, you can safely overlay it with tiles, wood, carpet, or other laminates. The epoxy sealant ensures your floor surface won’t be vulnerable to moisture again.
The moisture remediation process can benefit a concrete floor of any age, and it is fast enough to avoid significant delays for planned construction work. If you have any concerns about moisture remediation during your remodel or building project, please give West Coast Epoxy a call or schedule a free consultation online for assistance in Sacramento and Northern California.