Approximately six out of ten industrial buildings with concrete flooring experience problems like cracking, pitting, and premature wear. An experienced concrete supplier knows that proper installation of industrial concrete floor slabs starts before the pour.
””Before the installation of industrial concrete floor slabs begins, special considerations must be made to ensure the concrete’s longevity. Be sure to hire an industrial concrete producer who focuses on preventing and accounting for shrinkage, addressing rising vapors, and monitoring moisture content within the concrete.
Accounting for Shrinkage
As concrete dries, water evaporates from the slurry, causing shrinkage. Unaccounted-for shrinkage can cause shifting or uneven concrete flooring, which can affect the placement of studs, pipes, and drains in your building. Use a concrete mix with lower water content to ensure that your industrial concrete floor slabs maintain their shape and size.
An experienced concrete supplier will likely recommend that your concrete foundation be poured slightly larger than the available space. This allows extra space to address the shrinkage and prevents potential cracks from forming along the outer edge of the slab.
Vapor Barriers and Water Conten
Concrete may seem impenetrable, but vapors and plastic fumes rising from beneath your concrete flooring can cause damage to the slabs. Most erosion and cracking can be avoided through the use of a “vapor retarder” or “vapor barrier”. A popular example is a layer of sand placed between the industrial concrete floor slabs and the ground they will be poured on.
The proper water content ratios can make or break your flooring slabs, and are decided on a case-by-case basis. Good concrete producers will use local aggregate conditions and experience to determine the appropriate water-cement ratio for your concrete flooring.
Concrete with a higher water content is more susceptible to the development of an acidic surface. However, the lower the water content in concrete, the less malleable and easy to pour it becomes.
Talk to your concrete supplier about the appropriate water content and water-cement ratio for your project and make sure that they are following the American Concrete Institute’s 211 recommendations for proportioning concrete mixtures.
Outflow and Surface Acidity
As industrial concrete floor slabs dry, water content evaporates and moves out of the slab through a process called “outflow.” External factors, such as humidity, temperature, exposure to direct sunlight, and airflow affect how rapidly this process occurs.
Weather conditions and temperature affect the drying process, so it is important to hire a concrete producer who has worked in your area through every season. For example, pouring industrial concrete flooring slabs in cold weather requires special attention to the concrete mix’s water content to ensure a neutral surface. Likewise, extremely hot weather presents challenges to pouring concrete.
When proper pouring techniques and materials are used, the surface acidity of your concrete flooring remains neutral. When water from outflow collects on the surface of your flooring slabs, it can cause the surface to become acidic.
An acidic surface can cause cracks and shrinkage, resulting in poor structural quality for your building. Adhesives, such as vinyl glues, erode in acidic conditions, which can result in the detachment of your flooring.
Hire a concrete producer who understands how the Arkansas climate affects outflow, shrinkage, acidity, and water content for the best results with your industrial concrete flooring.
From planning to pouring, Razorback Concrete is available to help you with your next concrete project. Contact Razorback Concrete to request a free concrete estimate at 870.455.0700.