Moisture Related Flooring Failure: How Bad Can It Be?

Moisture Related Flooring Failure: How Bad Can It Be?

By Jason Spangler in Troubleshooting Floor Failures Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 2 Comments

In any time-pressed building project, there are a number of judgment calls to be made regarding materials, scheduling and “bottom-line” decisions, and often the temptation is to trade time and budget for potential long-term liability issues. However, the stakes are higher than you might think when standing under a looming deadline. Prevention truly becomes the […]

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Top 40 Woodworking Hand Tools & Carpenter Tools

By Ron Smith in Moisture Meters Tools / Products Wood Division Knowledge Base | 69 Comments

Every trade has its tools, and woodworking is no different. Any craftsman knows that the right tool for the project is critical in manufacturing a quality end product in a timely manner. Here is a tally of the top 40 woodworking tools every woodworker should think about owning. What Hand Tools Should Every Woodworker Have? […]

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End Grain, Edge Grain, or Face Grain? The Best Wood Uses for Projects

By Ron Smith in All About Wood Wood Division Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

When embarking on wood projects, it is important to understand the differences in woodcuts, as well as the criticality of moisture measurement and moisture control in your wood. Regarding the wood grain, any piece of lumber has three surfaces: end grain, edge grain, and face grain. What Is End Grain? End grain is the grain […]

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How Subfloors Affect Hardwood Floor Installation

By Tony Morgan in Flooring Types Wood Division Knowledge Base | 5 Comments

Healthy flooring is built upon a healthy subfloor installation. When installing hardwood floors, builders often cover wood joists with wood subfloors. At other times, installers lay engineered wood over concrete subfloors. Add to this the rapid evolution of eco-friendly adhesives, and you get a sense of modern flooring’s installation complexity. Today’s flooring choices are so […]

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Ambient Conditions and Wood Flooring Movement

By Troy Edwards in Moisture Content Wood Division Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

Wood shrinkage or swelling occurs when the wood’s moisture content (MC) levels oscillate due to changing ambient relative humidity (RH) and temperature. Any combination of RH and temperature will yield what is called an equilibrium moisture content (EMC).  The calculated EMC for an ambient environment is the MC level to which a piece of wood will […]

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Working with Teak

By Tony Morgan in Tree / Wood Types Wood Division Knowledge Base | 2 Comments

What is Teak Wood? Teak (Tectona grandis) is a native species in the rain forests of Burma, India, Laos, and Thailand, and now grows in about 40 countries throughout the tropics. Domestic uses have tamed a species of wild popularity in the nautical world. In the early 1800s, sailors and traders discovered that girdling selected […]

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Understanding Wood Moisture Content

By Troy Edwards in Moisture Meters All About Wood Wood Division Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

Wood needs time to settle once it is installed because all wood must adapt to its end-use environment. In moisture content (MC) terms, wood’s natural moisture levels need to reach equilibrium with its external surroundings before construction or installation begins. Unequilibrated MC in the wood product can give rise to continuous MC instability and ongoing […]

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Primary Lumber Mills Moisture Measurement

By Ron Smith in Industry Information for Lumber Companies & Kiln Dryers | 0 Comment

We expect lumber to perform as specified, but the importance of measurement and management of lumber moisture content is seldom understood outside the lumber industry. Sawmills must integrate both strict and continuous assessment of lumber moisture at key phases of the manufacturing process in order to optimize the quality of the lumber. Inadequate management of […]

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Working with Madrone Wood

By Tony Morgan in Tree / Wood Types Wood Division Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

What is Madrone Wood Americans refer to it as the Pacific madrone tree or madrona tree.  It is known in Canada as the Arbutus tree.  European species are called the strawberry tree.  Regardless of the moniker, wood lovers call it beautiful.  The Pacific madrone is named from the Spanish word meaning “strawberry”: madroño. Regardless of […]

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Wood Species: A Distinct Society

By Ron Smith in Wood Types Wood Division Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

Wood species fall into two main categories: hardwood and softwood. Then it gets complicated. Builders must assess the woods moisture content (MC) in order to successfully install wood flooring. However, they must adjust or program wood moisture meters for the correct specific gravity setting or species adjustment for the wood species that they are measuring […]

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The Wood Moisture Legacies of Oak

By Ron Smith in Flooring Types Wood Types Wood Division Knowledge Base | 2 Comments

Home lovers’ dreams of oak flooring span generations for good reason. It is gorgeous and strong, especially when it is beautifully finished. There are many types of oak sub-species, but red and white oak are commonly used in American woodworking projects. Wood flooring installation always involves moisture content (MC) measurement and management, because all wood […]

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The Wait for Concrete to Dry

By Jason Spangler in Drying Concrete Slabs Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 4 Comments

A building project is typically handled in a series of stages, each of which has its own manager. The goal is always to smoothly hand off each segment of a construction project from one manager to the next without any delays. But when moisture-sensitive flooring is involved, there’s one part of a construction job that […]

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The Tree Next Door: Douglas-Fir

By Ron Smith in Tree / Wood Types Wood Division Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

Building projects afford wood lovers an opportunity to exercise their tastes. Douglas-fir is popular for many reasons: strength, durability, and longevity. Whether constructing an outdoor gazebo or installing wood floors indoors, moisture content monitoring and control is crucial to the wood’s health. The Douglas-Fir Tree The Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is also known across various regions […]

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The Tortoise and the Hare: When Concrete Moisture Conditions Impact Flooring

By Jason Spangler in Drying Concrete Slabs Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

In the many elements that contribute to professional flooring installation, the truth is no one wins when a flooring failure happens as a result of moisture-related problems. From contractors and construction managers, flooring installers and adhesive manufacturers right down to the facility owners and users – everyone sees the “fallout” of a moisture related flooring […]

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5 Tips to Help You Speed Up Concrete Drying Time

By Jason Spangler in Drying Concrete Slabs Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 34 Comments

How Long Does Concrete Take to Dry? According to the Portland Cement Association, once conditions are conducive for the concrete to dry — that is, consistent, reasonable heat in the air and low relative humidity — it typically takes about 30 days for every one inch of slab thickness to dry to 85-90% relative humidity. […]

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Top 40 Woodworking Tools Page 4

By Ron Smith in Tools / Products Wood Division Knowledge Base | 32 Comments

#33: The Router. Every woodworker should have a router. With the router, you can shape the edges of your work. The variety of shapes is endless, with the various bits available. If you’re a beginner, a stationary base router will do almost everything you need. This will start and end the cut at the same depth that you set before you make the cut.

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Top 40 Woodworking Tools Page 3

By Ron Smith in Tools / Products Wood Division Knowledge Base | 10 Comments

A power tool is, technically, anything that requires electrical power to function. Here, we’ll start with the most humble of power tools. The really good stuff comes later.

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Top 40 Woodworking Tools Page 2

By Ron Smith in Moisture Meters Tools / Products Wood Division Knowledge Base | 3 Comments

  CLICK HERE FOR TOOLS 1-10 #11: The Block Plane A block plane is a key to versatility in your woodwork. You can flatten a piece of wood, add a curve to it, or square your work. Shape or chamfer your stock using a block plane. Once you have a piece dovetailed, you can smooth the […]

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Hardwood Floor Acclimation: When Can You Install?

By Ron Smith in Installers Wood Division Knowledge Base | 2 Comments

Whether hiring contractors or installing wood flooring themselves, homeowners must consider measuring the wood’s moisture content (MC) as one of many installation concerns. There are many moisture meters for wood which assess both the surface moisture conditions and the MC inside the wood. A wood’s MC is addressed beginning with the kiln drying manufacturing process […]

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Temperature and Wood Moisture Measurement

By Larry Loffer in Moisture Content Wood Division Knowledge Base | 4 Comments

It is necessary to use moisture meters for wood to measure moisture content (MC) due to continual changes that occur in the relative humidity (RH) of a wood’s surrounding environment. Wood absorbs moisture from its ambient environment when the RH rises, and when RH decreases wood releases moisture. However, the correlation between RH and the […]

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Understanding a Squeaky Floor and How to Fix Them

By Larry Loffer in Flooring Problems Wood Division Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

There are many reasons for those annoying wood flooring squeaks. They can begin when installing wood floors, or be caused by conditions that change after the floor has been in use for a while. Either way, understanding wood moisture content (MC) is key. It begins by ensuring that the wood’s MC is stable. Those who […]

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Sapwood and Heartwood

By Ron Smith in Tree / Wood Types Wood Division Knowledge Base | 2 Comments

To achieve high-quality woodworking, knowledge about wood is a must. Projects can succeed or fail based on which part of a tree is used. In particular, it’s important to know the difference between heartwood and sapwood. The Parts of a Tree Knowing how a tree grows sheds light on which part of a tree is […]

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Rubber & Vinyl Floor Moisture Testing

By Jason Spangler in Flooring Types Wood Division Knowledge Base | 8 Comments

The Different Characteristics of Rubber and Vinyl Flooring Vinyl and rubber floor products have a myriad of advantages including excellent water resistance, easy maintenance, and a natural scratch resistance. They are typically durable and long lasting and come in a variety of applications to suit almost any location. The other advantage to vinyl floor products […]

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Warranty Strong: How RH Testing Limits Flooring Problems

By Jason Spangler in Relative Humidity (RH) Testing Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 4 Comments

Recurrent moisture is a plague on the modern flooring industry, especially as it applies to shrinking building schedules and budgets. When builders apply flooring over improperly-dried concrete slabs, high moisture levels can trigger perpetual problems which can jeopardize a floor: adhesive breakdown, debonding, osmotic blisters, staining, efflorescence, curling or expansion. In recent years, the flooring […]

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The Pros and Cons of Concrete Floors

By Jason Spangler in Relative Humidity (RH) Testing Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 2 Comments

Humans have long utilized the strength and performance of concrete to support their grandest structural creations. Ironically, both ancient Egyptians and Romans encountered exactly the same fundamental challenges facing today’s concrete builders and homeowners. We have come a long way in recent years, but concrete’s success is still built on fundamentals. In the 21st Century, […]

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DIY Wood Floors: How to Install Them the Right Way

By Tony Morgan in Installers Wood Division Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

In the do-it-yourself era, installing wood floors looks like a simple enough task for the budget-conscious home renovator. The home show industry is fueled by like-minded individuals whose initiative compels them to do for themselves. This leads to wondering just how hard can it be to install a hardwood floor yourself? Simple as a concept, […]

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Osmotic Blisters: The Plague of Resin Floors

By Jason Spangler in Specialty Floors and Moisture Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 2 Comments

Since the 1960s, builders and consumers have selected resin floors for their seamless strength. Base resin, when mixed with reactive hardener, induces in situ polymerisation. Although builders use different chemicals to manufacture resin floors, this curing reaction is critical to their formation. High School Chemistry: Osmosis When builders apply resin floors to concrete with adhesives, […]

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Calcium Chloride’s (MVER) Achilles Heel

By Jason Spangler in Calcium Chloride/MVER Test Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

Technical evolution has influenced two guidelines practiced by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Specifically, ASTM F2170 co-exists with ASTM F1869 as construction moves from one era of moisture content measurement to another. Moisture Vapor Emissions Rate (MVER) Regulation: ASTM F1869: Use this test method to obtain a quantitative value indicating the rate of […]

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Multi-Use vs. Single-Use Moisture Sensors

By Jason Spangler in Concrete Products / Tools Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

Contractors and flooring installers take note: when it comes to testing for moisture in concrete slabs, the scientific evidence points to in situ relative humidity (RH) testing as the clear winner for accuracy and reliability. ASTM International has established an industry standard, ASTM F2170, that builds on the science and sets forth guidelines to ensure […]

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Concrete vs. Cement Part II

By Jason Spangler in Concrete Chemistry Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

The concrete slab has been poured. Cement is chemically reacting with water, a process called hydration, and the resulting paste is bonding with aggregate in the mixture. Done well, concrete production goes a long way towards resolving many potential concrete slab moisture problems. Water’s Okay… to a Point The presence of water in concrete is […]

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When Leapfrog Becomes Fatal

By Jason Spangler in ASTM Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

Concrete moisture measurement helps to avoid mildew, mold, gaps, and bumps in concrete floors. Successful builders test moisture to ensure equilibration before proceeding to install floor coverings over subfloors. Excess moisture in concrete causes floor covering failure and perpetual concrete moisture problems. In short, installers have plenty of reason to incorporate precise moisture measurement into […]

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KilnDrying.org: A Primary Forest Products Forum

By Ron Smith in Industry Information for Lumber Companies & Kiln Dryers Kiln Drying | 6 Comments

It is a historic era in which individuals tap into a seemingly endless well of information on almost anything of interest. The pickings are a little slimmer for lumber professionals because their business is so technical. However, the concept of lumber moisture is of colossal importance to the lumber manufacturing industry. New Places to Dig […]

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The Real Dangers of Hydrostatic Pressure

By Jason Spangler in Troubleshooting Floor Failures Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 1 Comment

Concrete can be a problem when we do not comprehend the fundamental construction terms related to its installation. Contractors also tend to misuse the term, hydrostatic pressure, to describe the dangers of moisture. High relative humidity (RH) levels and hydrostatic pressure can both ruin floors. However, contractors overestimate and overuse the words hydrostatic pressure when […]

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Concrete Vapor Barriers: Everything You Need to Know

By Jason Spangler in The Rapid RH® Concrete Moisture Test Subfloor Moisture Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 125 Comments

What is a concrete vapor barrier? A concrete vapor barrier is any material that prevents moisture from entering a concrete slab. Vapor barriers are used because while fresh concrete is poured wet, it’s not supposed to stay that way. It needs to dry and then stay dry to avoid flooring problems. If you’ve ever had […]

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Successful Wood Joints & Wood Moisture Content

By Larry Loffer in Wood Moisture Wood Division Knowledge Base | 2 Comments

Wood joinery exists to enable humans to link separate wood pieces together. Joinery is the heart of fine woodworking. Otherwise, the world would drown in the shavings of endless wood sculptures without the ability to connect pieces of wood! Engineers and woodworking project-makers alike can attest to the aesthetic and structural importance of strong and […]

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Is the Mountain Beetle Eating up the Lumber Industry?

By Ron Smith in Industry Information for Lumber Companies & Kiln Dryers Other Topics | 0 Comment

The North American pine beetle epidemic has been fed by fires, droughts, storms, and the wind. Norway encountered a similar kind of outbreak in 1969. Ferocious wind storms felled thousands of spruce pine trees in southeastern Norway, while the country simultaneously experienced its hottest, driest summers since 1840. Since the 1990s, the water tables diminished, […]

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Environmentally Friendly Flooring: Making the Right Choice

By Ron Smith in Flooring Types Wood Division Knowledge Base | 1 Comment

With continued interest in environmentally friendly products and practices, it should be no surprise that many wood flooring manufacturers are also looking for products and suppliers that meet their customer’s expectations. Understandably, the notion of “green” wood carries several connotations for the woodworking and wood flooring expert. There are different types of eco-friendly products available […]

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Dehumidification and Drying Concrete: Hurrying Up the Wait

By Jason Spangler in Drying Concrete Slabs Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 22 Comments

In flooring applications, either finished concrete or applied flooring, there is always a “hurry up and wait” element – wanting to move ahead but knowing that rushing too quickly may result in a flooring failure or flooring problem. Meeting concrete and flooring specifications can seem to be a luxury that is not always available to […]

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When a Cupped Floor Has Been Rightly Installed

By Ron Smith in Flooring Problems Installers Wood Division Knowledge Base | 33 Comments

There are few wood flooring problems more upsetting than cupped floors. Almost all wood floors will experience some contraction and expansion as the seasons change. Cupping of the wood floor can be a natural reaction to these seasonal moisture changes if they occur to a minor extent. If the cupping is more severe, it could indicate […]

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Concrete vs. Cement Part I

By Jason Spangler in Concrete Chemistry Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 6 Comments

In construction, concrete slab moisture problems result from many possible mistakes. One is a common misunderstanding of the difference between concrete and cement.   Cement Is Simply an Ingredient of Concrete The most basic concept to understand is that cement, by itself, will not produce concrete. Concrete is formed by mixing cement, aggregate, and water. […]

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Don’t Polish New Concrete Floor Finishes

By Jason Spangler in Drying Concrete Slabs Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 8 Comments

Concrete floor finishing tastes are surprisingly subjective. However, strength and performance characteristics are beyond question when concrete slabs are properly installed. Professionals choose designer finishes to dazzle with color and light reflection while warehouse tenants choose concrete for its resilience to forklifts and work boots. Individuals may opt for the beautiful, buff-polished beauty of bare […]

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The Real Costs: Calcium Chloride (CaCl) vs. RH Testing

By Jason Spangler in Calcium Chloride/MVER Test Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

For decades, flooring contractors have conducted moisture tests to verify the appropriate “dryness” of a concrete slab, prior to installing finished floor products. The anhydrous calcium chloride (CaCl) provided a moisture vapor emissions rate (MVER) which was the industry benchmark since the 1950s. In the 1990s, experts raised methodology concerns and suggested that the CaCl test did not […]

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The Practicality of CaCl – A Test Message That Will Self-Destruct

By Jason Spangler in Calcium Chloride/MVER Test Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

Building contractors and flooring installers most often choose one of two methods to test for moisture in concrete slabs: either the calcium chloride (CaCl) test or the relative humidity (RH) test. ASTM International, which publishes technical standards for a wide range of materials, has developed standards for both tests. That doesn’t mean the two methods […]

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What to Know about Bamboo Flooring before You Install

By Tony Morgan in Flooring Types Wood Division Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

The question of installing wood floors using bamboo provokes many related questions. How much? What is the moisture content of bamboo? How do you even choose bamboo flooring when it looks like so many options are available? Due diligence is the simple answer. Easier said than done when bamboo, as a flooring material, is so historically […]

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MVER Testing is Only Skin Deep

By Jason Spangler in Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

Whether it’s wood or concrete construction, knowledge empowers all players to assess moisture content for optimum results. Moisture Vapor Emissions Rate (MVER) Commonly called the calcium chloride test, MVER is a traditional measure of concrete moisture content. Due to its longevity, building contractors still use it. However, installers had used calcium chloride to measure concrete […]

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When Admixtures Turn Us into Chemists

By Jason Spangler in Concrete Chemistry Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 0 Comment

Admixture: ingredients (other than water, aggregate, hydraulic cement, and fiber reinforcement) added to a batch of concrete or mortar before or during its mixing. The world of building and technology collide with the evolution of concrete admixture. This is due to the rise of chemical admixtures, those compounds which produce chemical reactions with the components […]

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Adhesive Breakdown and Flooring Betrayal

By Jason Spangler in Moisture Meters Flooring Problems Wood Division Knowledge Base Flooring | 5 Comments

The new floor is in, and the diplomats are arriving for the show. What’s that smell? Why is glue seeping from the cracks between floor tiles!? Welcome to an adhesive breakdown in flooring, a catastrophic product of moisture content and high pH. Moisture vapor naturally evaporates from the surfaces of all concrete floors. If installers […]

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40%: Why Testing at the Correct Depth Is Crucial

By Jason Spangler in Relative Humidity (RH) Testing Concrete Information & Knowledge Base | 2 Comments

All concrete slabs contain moisture and they always will. This is because concrete is composed of three main ingredients: water, cement, and aggregate. The three function together to form a concrete slab. Moisture problems occur when flooring installers and contractors do not permit sufficient time for the process of drying concrete. During this process, some […]

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