Don't Let Moisture Ruin Your ESD Flooring Installation

Yesterday I was contacted by a client who wanted my opinion about a small company's new inexpensive system that would eliminate moisture vapor problems in concrete. The client was excited because his facility has a major vapor emission problem in the concrete floor. Measurements using Test Method ASTM F2170 had determined concrete humidity levels in excess of 90% all over the facility. These measurements are quite high; Essentially these numbers equate to a near 100% probability that any static dissipative or static conductive floor installed with low VOC conductive adhesives will fail without some form of moisture mitigation system. The supplier of the new moisture prevention system told the client that their system will prevent this problem from happening and they will guarantee it for the life of the floor. Their warranty would cover up to "8 pounds" of moisture per the ASTM F1869 calcium chloride test method. Their guarantee states "in the unlikely event of any failure resulting from moisture vapor below 8 pounds, XYZ Inc will either replace the material or refund the cost of the floor.

Let's talk about what's wrong with this scenario:

  1. The system is brand new and it is from a "small company." How can the warranty claim "the life of the floor?" the system hasn't been around long enough to be vetted. How will a small new company handle a warranty claim that could run into 100s of thousands of dollars?
  2. The moisture mitigation manufacturer is citing a different moisture test method than the method the client used for the first set of tests. Why isn't the warranty tied to the currently favored method of measuring concrete humidity? Instead, the warranty is rated to the less accepted and outdated calcium chloride test method.
  3. The guarantee only covers the replacement costs of material. It does not cover labor or the costs associated with lost business due to shutdowns and inconvenience. Labor will cost as much as material in many cases. Depending on the industry, lost business could cost 5, 10 maybe 50 times more than the cost of the ESD floor.

The bottom line: Moisture problems are expensive to solve. However, these problems are even more expensive if they are not handled with lock tight solutions up front. if moisture testing determines you have a bad problem - you have a bad problem Don't go looking for contrary test results so you can pretend there isn't a problem. Someone will always be willing to take on a risk in order to gain your confidence. But, will they pay for your down time if the floor needs to be replaced?

If it sounds too good to be true - it probably is too good to be true. You generally get what you pay for...

Please note: Staticworx is not in the moisture mitigation business. This information is merely provided as a service to the many clients and contractors who use Staticworx ESD flooring.