Avoid the problems, start the conversation early. Concrete slab flatness and preparation are critical to avoid delays when delivering a quality product. Minor discrepancies in new or existing subfloor surfaces can be adjusted by using patching compounds. This is considered, within reason, part of the flooring contractor's work. Where discrepancies do not meet NFCA or floor covering manufacturers tolerances (Straight Edge Method, 3/16” over 10’), floor levels must be corrected by grinding and or using Hydraulic Cement Underlayment (HCU), the application of which shall be done by others (General Contractor or Owner) or may be undertaken by the flooring contractor as a billable extra. Correct specification of work responsibilities helps all parties budget and plan accordingly. Leaving the discussion for when the flooring installer starts work can result in delays and rejection of finished product. NFCA Floor Covering Reference Manual. www.nfca.ca
Are you managing the risk or rolling the dice? Just because a concrete slab is 20 years old doesn’t mean it's dry. Sure, it’s likely to be dry, but anyone who says it IS without proper testing, will do so until they are told to put it in writing and accept full responsibility for any floor covering issues that may develop later. Floor coverings and related materials such as leveling cements and adhesives can be negatively affected by moisture present in a slab. Bond failure, bubbles, discoloration and mold growth are a few of the possible issues that can develop after installation. Old and new concrete absorbs and holds water. Water can come from multiple sources on site, such as slow leaking embedded pipes, broken vapor barriers, warm humid air condensing on cold slab surfaces (dew point), spills, and broken window seals. Testing is inexpensive and easy to perform if you plan ahead, budget and schedule accordingly. Floor failures are the opposite! www.nfca.ca
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