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Flooring Failure & 99%RH


I am a homeowner of a 1978 house built on a slab. Here is the series of events

1. Noticed hardwood discoloring downstairs on slab
2. hired flooring contractor.
3. contractor ripped floor out
4. moisture under floor
5. plumber called- found slab leak, repaired it
6. 6 weeks later, flooring contractor determined floor was dry enough to put floor down (using a hand held meter and the plastic sheet test)
7. 8 months later I notice darkening of the floor in the room where the leak was
8. Had plumber return to check for leaks 3 times- no leaks
9. floor in the room that had the leak ripped up for moisture issues
10. RH probe put in 2 locations in my house. (1 in the area where the leak was, 1 10 feet away from it in a closet)
11. RH in the room where the leak was 99% RH for 3 months and stayed at 99%RH
12. RH in the closet RH 78%
13. Had foundation specialist out to house- He said foundation is fine but recommended french drain because we have a hill in the backyard.
14. had french drain installed
15. Had irrigation system checked - no leaks detected
16. Got in contact with concrete specialist who recommended we seal the concrete with Koster VAP 2000 system.
17. We had the Koster VAP 2000 system applied to the floor in the room with the flooring failure. That was in August (so far so good!)

Note: gutters & french drain - drain to the street via pipe

- Did we do the correct thing putting the Koster sealant down?
-Should the entire slab be sealed with Koster, presently just the room with the 99% RH is sealed?
-My garage which is attached to the house- the floor changes in color ( I assume related to humidity/moisture) is this an issue? My neighbor had this same issue and sealed the garage.

Thank you!

Considering you have two of the foremost Koster applicatiors in the country reading this forum I think they will weigh in.

1) Most foundation specialists are only looking for structural (building is going to fall down issues)
2) For flooring you should have 75-80% RH for where you want to install flooring.
3) Changes in color or moisture in a garage is not necessarily bad. There is Esthetics vs Function.

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. Once the Koster is applied would it then be okay to apply the flooring (because we did)?

I have not stopped worrying about all this since the leak happened. I have learned way to much about concrete, RH, testing meters, CaCl tests, ground water, sprinkers, drains, plumbing. This has been exhausting. I just want to make sure I did the right thing for my family and our health.

I am thinking about ripping up the floor that doesn't have the Koster and putting the Koster on that part of the slab since it is in the adjacent room to where the leak is. I don't want to have to go through this again.

The challenge with the RH test and all tests is that they are a snapshot of a moment in time. It doesn't tell you what the future RH will be. I had no idea flooring could be this challenging.

If this wasn't my house I would find concrete extremely interesting.

Don't rip up good flooring. If it is ok you should be fine.

Carpet can hide mold if that is what you are worried about. But the better test is to get an IAQ test done. They come in, take an air sample, and can test it for mold. (I watch too much Holmes on Holmes)

I did that - no mold.

I always find it strange when I talk to people about moisture in the slab and they say to put down carpet. I always cringe...

Anyone have any feedback on the koster etc?

Is there an expert I should speak to about drying slabs? I have not been able to find one.

where are you? http://www.kosterusa.com/us_en/m-116/contact-koster+usa.html

And the Koster is the right thing to do. It is the gold standard.

The problem from the get go was the hand held meter and the plastic sheet test. Was this below grade as well?
Stephen Perrera dba
Top Floor Installation Co.

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