Are You Accurately Mitigating Concrete Moisture Intrusion? Tips to Master the Installation of VaporSolve
by Arif Kalam - Director of Sales and Business Development
Excessive concrete moisture intrusion can be a coating contractor’s worst enemy – yet this enemy can be tamed. In How to Test for Excessive Concrete Moisture, I explained how the two most common moisture testing methods – Calcium Chloride (CaCL) Moisture Testing per ASTM 1869 and Relative Humidity (RH) Testing per ASTM 2170 – worked and measured moisture levels. Here, I’m explaining how you can use our VaporSolve™ Ultra System to combat all levels of moisture intrusion.
With the CaCL test, VaporSolve is needed if the test results in 3 pounds of vapor emitted per 1,000 square feet during a 24-hour timeframe or greater.
With the RH test, acceptable levels of relative humidity range from 75% to 85%. Above that – or even close to it – VaporSolve should be used.
What is VaporSolve?
APF's VaporSolve™ Moisture Remediation Systems are highly specialized epoxy coating systems formulated to isolate moisture sensitive flooring from all levels of concrete moisture. VaporSolve systems are used when concrete has a known moisture problem, when concrete dries too slowly to meet the construction schedule, and as a preventative measure when concrete doesn't have a vapor retarder in place and future moisture conditions cannot be predicted.
The VaporSolve™ Ultra System consists of a water-based epoxy as a primer that gives deeper penetration and better adhesion when applied to silicate-contaminated concrete, as well as a finish coat of VaporSolve 100, which greatly reduces the possibility of concrete outgassing.
System thickness is 12 mils. It must be used if reactive silicates have been previously applied to the concrete, or if the history of the concrete cannot be positively determined.
Tips to Install the VaporSolve Ultra System
When installing VaporSolve, there are three steps you need to consider: prepping the surface, mixing and applying. Here’s what you need to know:
• Surface Profile: The slab should be shot blasted using a 50/50 mix of 280 and 330 sized shot. It should then be cross-hatch blasted (east/west and north/south). Shotblasting should give a profile equal to ICRI’s CSP level 4.
• Mixing: Use a variable-speed drill with an appropriate paint paddle and a rubber baking-type of spatula to ensure all contents of the kits can be scraped out. One quart of water should be added to the ¾ gallon kit of primer, and 1 gallon should be added to the 3-gallon sized kits.
When mixing the primer, mix parts A and B for 1 minute before adding water. Then, continue mixing with water for an additional minute. Pour the material out of the mixing bucket within 5 minutes of mixing. The 100% solids material should not be diluted. And, you should always use full kits – do not split the kits.
• Application: First, apply the VaporSolve joint filler on all cracks and control joints. Next, apply your primer and then the 100% solids with a squeegee and back roll. Apply both coats at a rate of no less than 200 square feet per gallon. With the primer, calculate the spread rate, excluding the added water. The 100% solids should be applied once the primer is fully tack free, and within 24 hours of the primer application.
Once VaporSolve is installed, your slab is ready to receive any type of flooring system. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your technical rep with any questions. You can learn more about VaporSolve here.