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Plumbers: Back Then, Today, and Tomorrow

When talking about any profession, most people tend to focus on the here and now. That's understandable. it's really important to know what's going on in the present tense. But you are missing out on some vital information if you never read and learn about the history of a profession. This applies to plumbing, in particular. You can really further your understanding of the profession by knowing how it began and what changes have been made over the years. That's why we sometimes reference the history of plumbing on this blog. We'll also dive into the future of the profession from time to time because, after all, you have to know where you're headed.




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Plumbers: Back Then, Today, and Tomorrow

Damp Flooring In A Slab-On-Grade Home: Do You Need To Have It Waterproofed?

by Madison Dean

Waterproofing is most often associated with keeping basements and crawlspaces dry, but slab-on-grade homes need waterproofing as well. This is most often done during construction — the slab is poured on top of a vapor barrier that prevents water in the soil underneath from rising up into the slab.

Unfortunately, not all slab-on-grade homes were built this way, and some may have damaged vapor barriers that still allow water into the concrete slab. Excess moisture moving into the slab can cause damage to flooring, and it can also lead to mold growing in your carpets. To learn more about how to tell if your slab-on-grade home needs waterproofing, read on.

How Do You Know if Your Slab-on-Grade Home Needs Waterproofing?

The biggest sign that water is rising into the concrete slab is flooring damage. Water that enters the concrete will begin to work its way into the flooring above. Carpet will get damp and begin to smell musty, and mold will begin growing underneath the fibers. Hardwood flooring will begin to start cupping as it gets damp. Laminate flooring and other adhered tile floors will begin to detach from the concrete surface entirely.

Water becomes very alkaline as it picks up dissolved minerals from the concrete, and the alkaline water that reaches the adhesive will slowly liquefy it. If you have bare concrete floors in your home or in your garage, you may notice that they feel slightly damp when you walk on them, and they may be slippery as well.

How Can You Waterproof a Slab-on-Grade Home?

Unfortunately, there's no way to restore the vapor barrier underneath the concrete if it's missing or damaged, so some water will always find its way into the slab. The first step in waterproofing a slab-on-grade home is to reduce the amount of water that's entering the concrete. This requires improving the drainage on your property so that water is rerouted away from the soil underneath your home.

An excellent way to improve drainage is to install French drains around the perimeter of your home's foundation. These are pipes with tiny holes in them that are buried within the soil. Water in the soil enters the pipe and is carried downhill to a street or other low-lying area. Installing French drains will keep the area underneath your foundation as dry as possible, which reduces the amount of water that enters into it from the soil.

The second step in waterproofing a slab-on-grade home is to prevent the water in the slab from affecting your home's flooring. Your home's existing flooring needs to be removed, and then you need to install a vapor retarder over the exposed concrete floor. Vapor retarders significantly slow down the rate at which water moves upwards from the concrete. When combined with improving the drainage around the foundation, a vapor retarder does an excellent job of preventing your flooring from being damaged by water.

If your home has problems with damp flooring due to a damaged or missing vapor barrier underneath the slab, it's important to fix the problem as soon as you can. Your flooring will continue to be damaged until you successfully stop water from rising up through the slab into your home, so call a waterproofing contractor and have your slab waterproofed — it's not very expensive, and you'll be able to end your problem with damp flooring.

For more information contact waterproofing contractors like Rapid Response Waterproofing.