Although concrete flooring is highly durable, moisture is one of the few factors that can quickly cause wear and problems at a commercial facility. Excessive moisture causes concrete to weaken and deteriorate. In Denver where temperatures in the winter can cause water to freeze and expand, moisture may be a cause of stress and cracking in concrete. Moisture is also a health hazard as it can increase the risk of slipping or encourage mold and mildew growth.
Sweating slab syndrome can be a problem with concrete floors that causes moisture to collect on the surface of a slab. While this can be a challenging problem if unaddressed, there are different solutions to sweating slab syndrome at a commercial property that can help you manage moisture problems.
What Is Sweating Slab Syndrome?
Sweating slab syndrome is a result of condensation. Temperature changes in the air occur far faster than temperature changes in a concrete floor due to concrete’s low thermal conductivity. In the morning, particularly in the summer, the air will heat up quickly but a concrete floor will take longer to warm. When the warmer air comes into contact with the cold floor, the hydrogen and oxygen molecules cool quickly, becoming water and condensing into droplets on the concrete slab.
Buildup of salts in the concrete slab can make the problem worse as the salt will encourage moisture absorption and, when capacity is reached, this salt will dissolve and release the collected moisture from inside the concrete slab.
With Denver’s low relative humidity, sweating slab syndrome is not as common as it is in other parts of the country, but days with higher humidity or commercial properties that have a high indoor moisture content can experience this issue. Based on the condition of a concrete floor and temperature differentials between the air, some of the ways to reduce concrete sweating and the problems associated with concrete moisture include:
- Improving Ventilation – When possible, increasing the ventilation of your property can significantly reduce moisture. Fans and ventilation systems are reliable and often cost effective choices. Dehumidifiers can also pull moisture from the air, but can be more expensive to run depending on the size of your commercial space.
- Temperature Control – Relying on an HVAC system to help manage air temperature in relationship to flooring temperature can help reduce the temperature differences that cause condensation. However, depending on the size of a building, heating and cooling costs can become expensive.
- Enhanced Cleaning Procedures – Oil and dirt on a concrete floor will tend to increase moisture by trapping both heat and water. More regularly cleaning your concrete floor can help eliminate dirt and reduce moisture problems.
A Denver commercial flooring contractor can also support you with a reliable flooring installation job that reduces the chances of moisture problems and other challenges by providing expert work tailored to the specifications of your business and the Colorado climate.
Colorado Concrete Repair installs commercial flooring with the leading solutions for commercial garages, storage facilities, warehouses, manufacturing plants, health care facilities, and more. We can also provide solutions if your existing concrete flooring is experiencing problems from moisture build up. Contact us to learn more about our commercial concrete flooring services.