Moisture excess in industrial floors is a problem that carries with it a series of negative consequences in terms of safety within the facilities.
From weakening the structural integrity, to disrupting or delaying the production of the warehouse.
There is no doubt that moisture problems in concrete floors require a high level of attention, the same as when cracks, fissures and other major damage is encountered.
To properly treat moisture problems in industrial floors, impermeability must be improved. To achieve it, different coatings and preventive measures exist, which we will detail below.
What causes moisture problems in industrial floors?
Moisture is a component that is present in any space with air. It occurs in the form of water vapour. Therefore, under normal conditions, every industrial building contains a minimum amount of humidity.
A hygrometer can be used to determine the humidity of an industrial facility.
Excessive moisture, which causes certain problems in industrial flooring, is caused in various ways. Among the main causes are the following:
- Water leaks, due to poor drainage or water pipes damage of the industrial building, allowing water to accumulate in localized areas of the floor and increasing its normal humidity.
- Malfunctions in the ventilation system: thermal variations and the non-renewal of air in industrial buildings are factors that lead to excess of humidity, through the condensation of water vapour.
- High permeability and porosity of the floor. Thanks to microscopic cavities and capillary channels, water can penetrate the concrete.
What problems causes humidity in industrial buildings?
Moisture-saturated industrial floors gradually become weaker, as the water inside them reacts with soluble concrete compounds, reducing the hardness of their mass, causing the material to lose strength.
In addition, a concrete floor with excess moisture is more likely to deteriorate due to freeze periods.
When humidity reaches highest levels in a floor, it begins to be transferred into the atmosphere of the industrial building, creating an uncomfortable working environment, since it increases the thermal sensation and sweating and negatively affects production.
An environment with high humidity is ideal for the growth of microorganisms. Some of those have pathogenic characteristics. Therefore, humidity problems in warehouses can have a negative impact on workers’ health.
The health problems caused by excess moisture are:
- Discomfort in nose and throat
- Difficult to breathe
- Development of asthma
- Respiratory diseases
Excess moisture causes the following damage:
- Corrosion of metallic elements
- Chemical degradation of water-soluble materials such as plaster
- Rotting of woods by the action of bacteria and moulds
- Contamination of stored materials by rodents and insects
- Growth of mould on surfaces
- Deformations and erosion of coatings
Treatments to prevent excess humidity in industrial floors
As we mentioned at the beginning, a coating is one of the treatments to prevent excess humidity in floors, depending on the substance used:
- Polyurethane: is a material compatible with cement, which can adhere to the pores of concrete and seals cavities, preventing the penetration of moisture.
- Epoxy: is an effective coating in high humidity environments. It creates a waterproof layer that prevents water absorption.
- Lithium treatment: works as a sealer, densifier and hardener of the concrete, providing a protective barrier that increases its impermeability, but does not affect its breathability.
How to prevent moisture problems on concrete floor
The best way to prevent moisture problems is to determine the cause by using a company that offers industrial floor services.
It will be advisable to seal the floor and to check industrial maintenance work to check the condition of the ventilation system, water pipes and drainage.
Another preventive measure is the construction of continuous jointless floors, as these can contribute to the saturation of the floor’s moisture content.
However, if joints are present in the floor, they must be properly sealed to minimize the spaces available for moisture penetration.
On the other hand, chemical treatments exist, like the lithium silicate densifier treatment, that provides more hardness to the concrete by means of the densification of the cured mass, closing the pores of the concrete and eliminating this way the penetration of liquids.
The BECOSAN® industrial floor treatment is a highly efficient treatment, which hardens and seals the pores of the concrete, making it less susceptible to moisture in concrete floors and preventing the above-mentioned problems from occurring in an industrial environment.