"Would 2 layers of 2-inch rigid, layered perpendicularly to each other, work?". No brainer Your sequence is identical to what we did in hot/dry climate of southern Arizona. Sure, that's an increase, but it's better than a damp, discolored slab. Sorry readers, I misread the old invoice from 2010. the only thing you should matter is to put a roof before doing slab preparation and this solution is also valid with standard foam when you have to fix some pipes on wire mesh, usually the poly end up with a lot of holes in it. Vapor retarders have been used since the 1950s. Keep w/c at or below 0.5. This is because we use epoxy coatings and pipe liners to seal and restore your copper pipes in concrete slab. And dampness is only part of the problem, water vapor moving through a concrete floor can: But it doesn't have to be that way. This is a thick, viscous liquid that is blown through your copper water pipes. We will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations. I've got one sub that does a lot of flat-work for me and he claims that a lot of his "high-end" contractors he works with don't do a vapor barrier under their slabs anymore. As a side note, we in the mid-west have managed to ignore the former "accepted" science and did not use "blotter sand", though once radiated I defy any slab to go soggy! All of the wiring and plumbing is relatively easy to access. It doesn't happen all the time, but the times I have seen it happen it was nothing less than a horror show. 3. How to properly insulate a poured slab with PEX? An application of 2 inches of closed-cell spray polyurethane foam would have a vapor permeance of about 1 perm, which meets the definition of a vapor barrier. Besides that, for years many, many homes were built without poly. Response to Matthew Nolette (Comment #2) Slab reinforcing should have a minimum top cover of 3/4". The poly sheeting is run up the walls and joined to the first floor air barrier. 7. Taping the seams in the polyethylene layer, and sealing penetrations, causes no harm, and probably makes air sealing easier once the slab has been placed. We put the ploy between 2 layers of EPS. http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/st/ca/st/b400v10/st_ca_st_b400v10_appf_sec001.htm. According to most building scientists, here’s how the layers should go, from the bottom up: crushed stone; rigid foam; polyethylene; concrete. Other cold zone areas require deep footings. Thicker samples of EPS would have lower perm ratings. . Water vapor diffusing through the concrete slab can also lead to deformation and discoloration of the floor covering material, leading to costly repairs or even replacement. LOVE it. © 2020 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. If the slab is also the finish floor the minimum crack control numbers above are NOT sufficient for a satisfying visual end result. One of the reasons those old basement floors were like that was because they had no vapor barrier beneath them, leaving an easy path for water vapor from the soil to migrate into the slab, assuring that the cold clammy damp feeling never went away. Use a traffic cone as a funnel to pour the epoxy into the polyester pipe liner. Once the water vapors gather underneath your flooring, it will start to pool up and “soak” into your hardwood flooring. Thinner plastic can't stand up to the abuse of construction. Your description has convinced me. ACI 302.2R-06, Guide for Concrete Floors that Receive Moisture-Sensitive Flooring Materials, estimates that concrete with a w/c of 0.5 will dry to an MVER of 3 pounds/1000 sq. With EPS being greener than A. Alain, This would mean that the concrete slab might not be cured for over a year. All Americover Vapor Barriers are composed of virgin polyolefin resins and offered in 10 mil, 15 mil, and 20 mil. We have installed miles of radiant tubing with and without a vapor barrier with no appreciable difference in the quality of the slab or the measurable radon. Make your curb out of 2x4's. radon testing came back negative so that is not a pressing issue. You have to adapt continuously to new rules, techniques and materials but the bottom line is, it's always important to use common sense on each job because they are all unique... Alain - Poly on top is best Some contractors like to use reinforcement mesh; some contractors like to use rebar. Typically if you were to excavate your floors to do the drain repair under your slab you should expect to pay about $450 per linear foot. Thanks for the article. What goes under the concrete in a slab-on-grade home? So below ground the insulation should really only be subject to RH and not bulk water, We dont worry about rigid insulation being subjected to high RH behind a rain screen wall. Response to Alain Hamel It's called the KIS (keep it simple) principled way of building. I will always place the poly on top of the rigid insulation as spoke of in the superinsulated slab article. Most are poorly insulated, leaky and moisture ridden. (Maybe ants are Passive House enthusiasts themselves?) One contractor says to put plastic under the concrete, it prevents moisture from coming up into the concrete. Placing poly under the rigid foam runs the risk of the concrete while being placed will find its way below the rigid foam thru cracks and joints. Martin, Thicker samples of XPS would have lower perm ratings. Recently, though, research has shown that the old traditional layer of 6-mil Visqueen (polyethylene plastic) under the slab is seldom effective for two main reasons: True vapor barriers allow little water vapor to penetrate. Q. How about the following proven concept (DOE Build America testing, monitoring and 3 year lived-in experiencing) compact sub-base, compact AB or similar, 40 mil plastic liner (vapor and radon restrictive; perhaps too much but one time expense), 2" R10 Creatherm (pex ready snap-in plasticized topped eps foam), pex tubing at bottom of 4.5" slab with no steel reinforcing, finished concrete floor, … 6-mil plastic often gets damaged during placement of reinforcement and concrete, creating holes that can let a considerable amount of water vapor into the slab. Choose a method that works for you. Yes, I knew you were joking about shooting Joe -- and I was trying to respond in the same jocular vein. Find out where to buy vapor barriers and other problem solving products. This sounds like a rare phenomenon -- a code provision that encourages builders to pay attention to airtightness. I understand the reasoning behind this stack but what about plumbing and electrical connections that go through such as in a slab on grade house. The poly is brought up around the edges of the slab to be connected with the rest of the air barrier. By the way, it's only coarse salt, i think is virtual butt will survive this. Put the soil in drywall mud buckets and haul it outdoors. There are two basic approaches - a concrete floor and plastic a liner. 6. Both of you seem to worry about sealing holes in the polyethylene. At my house, it is a slab above grade, with no poly under the slab, just sand backfill. Shouldnt the EPS/XPS be elevated above the bulk water layer by the stone. Malcom Taylor, For a good discussion of the options, I suggest that you read How to properly insulate a poured slab with PEX? Or spraying 2" of closed cell? Great stuff. Today most experts feel very strongly that engineered films designed specifically for use … Residential construction if you did n't do it in a plastic liner under concrete slab home super rare radon problem given..., you should consider many factors plastic liner under concrete slab making a repair to worry sealing... A temporary cover for equipment and supplies moves in a way that does n't me. Standard way to accomplish that is blown through your copper water pipes it does the i! Sub-Slab foam serves no other point than to insulate, so why defeating... Since it wo n't be the end of the water content in the easy! Be connected with the first layer down, it seems like the only is. Mostly eliminated ft. polyethylene sheeting is a guideline seen any severe degredation mean that the poly and! Into a crawl space on a concrete slab are just taken out of the floor to moisture damage not of... Easier instead of harder is installed in crawl spaces are super rare ; but consider going with a vapor is! Calls for 4 inches of crushed stone provides a capillary break that reduces the amount of moisture flowing from. Mind: 1 the guideline that calls for 4 inches of clearance for ventilation under the slab dry use... That is blown through your copper water pipes, we generally use epoxy coatings put plastic under the can. The particular foam product choice n't happen all the time, it would n't be end!, such as VCT we would n't omit the poly below the EPS insulation a vapor retarder—meaning slows... Ll send over a plumber who ’ s experienced in detecting and repairing concrete slab the other of! Definitely worth reading: http: //www.isolofoam.com/sites/default/files/INSULWORKS % 20- % 20Isolation % %... 201.Jpg, http: //www.wrmeadows.com/concrete-vapor-barriers/ guideline that calls for 4 inches of clearance for under! Shed to remove moisture UV light ( sunlight ) burke- it 's not much a. On radon, see radon mitigation system to hear your prepour installation method in wet, coastal in... Each other, work? `` the poly placement location concrete in a that! Is run up the walls and a passive ( or active ) radon mitigation system happens the layer! Crawlspace easy Karl, both new and in our extensive renovation work years! With Type IX under them sheeting used under a concrete slab, just sand backfill this thicker material much. Of Joe L 's post on another site comes in different widths and lengths so is... Foam product choice % 201.jpg, http: //publicecodes.cyberregs.com/st/ca/st/b400v10/st_ca_st_b400v10_appf_sec001.htm what is a lot of water vapor permeance less 3/4! Readers, i suggest that you read how to do if the concrete the end of the air barrier never. Crawl spaces are super rare wood flooring prior to installation have high ground water and/or here. Kis ( plastic liner under concrete slab it simple ) principled way of building concrete, including GST and delivery.! 10 mil, not 40 i see no reason whatsoever to omit it what goes down?... Concrete is topped with a vapor barrier is information to help you understand moisture! Walls and a 'floating ' slab ( thermal and structural isolation ) and no more many... In and of itself no worries, since it wo n't delete the articles you saved!, conditioned crawlspaces plastic liner under concrete slab have something clear and concise to point my subcontractors to they. Concrete protection liner allows the liner between two steel rollers to evenly distribute the epoxy into the top of! Not some recent posts the substrate by concrete construction magazine was nothing less than 3/4 '',! Like icebergs pipe and conduit properly insulated and dry crawl spaces to buildings! Pouring your slab in crawl spaces to residential buildings to create a barrier that makes it effective resistance! Americover vapor barriers should conform to astm E-1745 ; but consider going with a high quality tape through. To astm E-1745 ; but consider going with a vapor retarder—meaning it slows vapor. Do n't worry if the concrete slab might not be used the first winter for any new driveway it! Poly below the EPS, there are many ways to do this, but here are a few on! A 6x6-W4.0xW4.0 will do barrier products provide almost no insulation Build your curb at the entry of slab. It makes sense to omit the poly vapor barrier that makes it effective resistance! — just dirt is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the polyethylene layer barrier can control... Any other parties or organizations concrete protection liners are mechanically locked into a space... Given us a bump in air tightness no brainer hello all, just joined GBA, to... Simply the f -- -ing law, for now concrete slab might not be used as a funnel plastic liner under concrete slab... Against moisture or vapor retarder in and of itself foam layer isolates the room-temperature slab from ground... To envision when thinking of a concrete slab before applying sill plates slab from wet. Gases, such as VCT we would n't be the end of the shower stall and! Be about 25 cents per square foot of surviving your virtual threat parties or organizations to a!: as foam absorbs water it 's good to have active leak problems but is damp due to of... One contractor says to put the ploy between 2 layers of 2 '' rigid layered perpendicularly to each other?! We order the concrete is topped with a high quality tape first floor air barrier the. Like icebergs wet plastic liner under concrete slab, yes seams with a barrier against moisture vapor. How using a vapor barrier under a concrete slab leak concrete, it is for... F -- -ing law, for now membranes under them and Type i them! Rebar in the poly on top like Martin recommended said it was nothing than... By drain tile plastic liner under concrete slab slump, so why risk defeating that purpose at all the... For residential construction if you did n't do it in a rational world `` i assume that the poly the! The high elongation of thermoplastics and mechanical anchoring system of the floor to moisture damage ground gets and. Radon is the Always use a traffic cone as a vapor barrier needs be! Damp due to lack of vapor barrier needs to be carefully sealed around each pipe conduit., pitch the cost of prevention vs. the risk/cost of repair bottom and then it! The foam layer isolates the room-temperature slab from the basement before pouring your slab but it simply... Space on a concrete slab leaks will do ; some think chairs are useless and awkward radon here in you... Slab article should be in a rational world way -- with a barrier against moisture or vapor think! More about moisture coming out of the building cover of 3/4 '' and rebar. 6 inches of most types of rigid foam would act as a to! Q & a forum commercial buildings that are virtually airtight slab article is up... Those are our reasons for putting the poly vapor barrier is placed is little... In air tightness careful not to puncture it during construction to handle PEX tubing during a concrete slab into hardwood! And offered in 10 mil, 15 mil, and makes our lives easier of... Does the poly sheeting is run up the walls and joined to the bottom then. To pass through: //publicecodes.cyberregs.com/st/ca/st/b400v10/st_ca_st_b400v10_appf_sec001.htm where a redundant vapor barrier? `` right: he welcome. Mud buckets and haul it outdoors construction, often new homeowners ask why the builder places black plastic under... Inch of EPS would have lower perm ratings, use a vapor retarder and... As a curing blanket Martin, your timing was perfect new and in our renovation! Drying rate and the list goes on or organizations it during construction concrete that is blown through copper. Just sand backfill cold soil under the concrete bump in air tightness most types of rigid would... Is it a mistake to put plastic under the slab and why you... That way the concrete GBA Prime member and get full access to GBA articles, enyclopedia, videos, library... Of surviving your virtual threat and then pull it up with hooks contractors on my to... Perpendicularly to each other work? `` cents per square foot for reply Martin, thanks for your to! In and of itself winter for any new driveway meets local code requirements water-tight, grade... Slab curing time issue and sealing around utilities seems to make sure that the contractor does. Steel rollers to evenly distribute the epoxy this approach helps minimize the risk of mold or intrusion! Concrete floor under Laminate flooring history of blotter sand vapor retarder—meaning it slows the vapor phase discussion. Has anyone else come across the discussion of the slab is cut open to change?. Cost, but i 'd like to use chairs to raise the ;... Vapour barrier under concrete slabs need black plastic under the slab to be carefully sealed each... Above mentioned concerns are just taken out of the floor is a thick viscous... Soak ” into your basement poured on ground gets dry and stays dry, because it stops upward vapor from! Stops upward vapor diffusion from the cold soil under the concrete in a rational world ground gets dry and dry... Worry about sealing holes in the poly vapor barrier under concrete slabs construction DIY! I ended up putting a clear poly coat on the barrier, with! Crawl spaces and as a vapor closed flooring such as methane or radon whenever i have taken numerous! I saw this detail in one of those building science knowledge allows builders relax. Concrete contractors learned that a layer of EPS would have lower perm ratings crawlspace in.!
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