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Amazing Concrete Moisture Solution!

#1
Once upon a time in the present day, there was a large restoration project that included placement of several thousand sf of new concrete. Knowing that the schedule was fast track with a dead set deadline, a 100% solids epoxy moisture mitigation was specified from day one as a contingency.

Then one day, a sales person from a (not to be mentioned) moisture barrier concrete additive company somehow came into the picture and promised everyone there would never be a moisture related flooring problem if they use his company’s product in the concrete mix. And of course, they would save thousands of dollars on the job.

Everyone was amazed… the architect, the managing GC, the GC! And they told the owners of this wonderful, amazing product that would eliminate all their moisture problems! The salesman told them so. And the project moved along and the concrete was placed with this amazing, inexpensive additive inside.

After several months, it was time to level the floor and install the expensive floor system. And the knowledgeable leveling contractor asked what the RH levels were. To that, the GC replied, “95%, but we expect the levels to come down next week before you install the leveling underlayment.” The installer replied, “I’m not installing my leveler until the RH levels are at or below the manufacturer’s specs!” That shocked everyone in the meeting. How could someone be so bold?

The leveling contractor reminded them that many months ago, he warned them that the amazing, miracle moisture barrier additive was not the way to go, but alas, they did not listen to him. They only listened to the nice salesman and their wallets. Now, they would be forced to deal with the many unknown issues such as compatibility with the right installation products, including the proper moisture mitigation system, not to mention the additional costs and delays.

And where did the company go? Well, they said there must have been a misunderstanding because their product “stops moisture”, not “moisture vapor emissions” or “reduce RH”. Therefore, their warranty did not apply.

This story is still unfolding, and I do not know where it will go. All I know is that when someone promises me that they can solve or fix my problems, and for less than someone else’s solution, I have learned to walk away from the nice salesmen.
JK Nixon
Concrete Restoration Services, LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
http://www.rhtester.com
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#2
I think you should name the company. Otherwise others will not find this thread through google.

What I am surprised is he bid knowing this was in the mix. Out here on the left coast we've had more and more people just refuse to bid such projects in fear of the inevitable lawsuit because when you bid div Z you are forced to accept div C in the general conditions. So if you knew of the issue in div C pre-bid, you should have built in the repairs needed in div Z. Exp on private work where the bid is meaningless if you bid per plans and specs. Public work you have a right to qualify your bid but you still must stop the initial injury from happening if they cut you a contract before div C happens.
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#3
The leveling contractor bid this probably close to a year before all this transpired. Obviously he could have withdrawn altogether, but the fallout would have been considerable based on the contracting companies involved. As far as naming the manufacturer, it's probably best to keep that confidential for the time being, as legal action may be pending. I can say that it was a silicate-based additive (again). Ugh!
JK Nixon
Concrete Restoration Services, LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
http://www.rhtester.com
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#4
And THIS is the major problem I have with the snake-oil salesmen and their miracle products.

They tell you the product is NEW and REVOLUTIONARY and CUTTING-EDGE and in fact it is SO new that you can't test it using 2170 or 1869....

Only the manufacturer can test it in their lab, using an unrelated soils test incorporating columns of water pushing against a full thickness slab, seeing of water oozes through the concrete.

We all know concrete is water proof. It is far from vapor-proof and even farther from being cured and low enough in alkalinity for successful flooring installation.

They trumpet the successful installations (that would have worked whether the snake-oil was in the concrete or not) and blame the failures on the installer, the ambient conditions, the moon phase, whatever.

Ask the flooring adhesive manufacturer if they warrant their adhesive using the magic powder and the testing procedures set forth by the miracle product company.

Ask the patch manufacturer the same question.

Diet pill manufacturers do a fabulous business using the same sales technique. Remember the Tornado airflow direction stabilizer that you put in your car intake to improve milage? Same scam. Fuel milage booster pills?

Buyer beware. Sad

.
JD Grafton
Concrete Answers for Flooring Problems
[email protected]
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#5
As long as you two have your blood up.... here is one for you. I have a spec in front of me from one of the larger west coast silicate, spray on, crete sealing companies & it says their product IS ASTM C309 compliant.
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#6
(05-31-2013, 02:52 PM)eaadams Wrote:  As long as you two have your blood up.... here is one for you. I have a spec in front of me from one of the larger west coast silicate, spray on, crete sealing companies & it says their product IS ASTM C309 compliant.

Is it F-710 compliant? Tongue
JD Grafton
Concrete Answers for Flooring Problems
[email protected]
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#7
hmmmmm

That is a very good question. However F-710 doesn't have space there. Granted, my copy is from 2005, but I read it just to says that "the flooring or adhesive manufacturer or both shall be consulted" X1.3.2.

So... I guess it could certainly conform to F-710. Since F-710 refuses to actually say 'hell no'.


I have always used ASTM C309 as a barrier to such products. But if they now claim C309 conformity that changes the game. I know some of the larger concrete mitigation corps use C309 as their safety language also.
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#8
(05-31-2013, 02:52 PM)eaadams Wrote:  As long as you two have your blood up.... here is one for you. I have a spec in front of me from one of the larger west coast silicate, spray on, crete sealing companies & it says their product IS ASTM C309 compliant.

ASTM 309? Geez, I could go broke purchasing every ASTM document out there!!!Sad I would welcome any info on one floor covering manufacturer that requires anything besides ASTM F710, 1869 or 2170?

Bingo, JD!Smile
JK Nixon
Concrete Restoration Services, LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
http://www.rhtester.com
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#9
From my spec:
M. Concrete slab shall meet ASTM C309-07. Specifically, no vapor emission control system or concrete curing system shall be used that contains water based solutions of sodium, potassium, and lithium silicates. Silicate based solutions are chemically reactive bond breakers to floor covering adhesives and do not meet the intent of ASTM C309-07.
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#10
Thanks for the info. Makes absolute sense.
JK Nixon
Concrete Restoration Services, LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
http://www.rhtester.com
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