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WARNING! Watch for Chemically Abated Concrete

Make sure you follow manufacturing requirements when installing flooring over concrete. Without taking the proper steps, the flooring may not adhere correctly and can cause issues in the future. Whether the concrete is brand new or worn, you should always perform the testing method(s) suggested by the manufacturer of the flooring you’re installing. Note that in some cases, you might have to seal the concrete, patch and use a self-leveler.

If you discover that the concrete on your job site has been chemically abated, you will want to be very cautious in your preparation process. Chemical abatement is a cost- effective process intended to eliminate and/or suppress asbestos, minimizing an abatement crew’s job and increase their profits. The downside for the retailer, installer and end user is that this process uses heavy moisture and chemicals that can result in product failure, installation failure, or both. If you have accepted an installation project that has chemically abated concrete, you may opened yourself up to significant liability. Make sure to discuss the risks with your customer prior to installing the new flooring and have a plan to resolve any issues that may arise.

The Risks
Common failures you may encounter come from moisture used during the chemical abatement process. The process can open up the capillaries in the concrete, allowing water and chemical retention. Ultimately, that excess liquid can cause long-term failures in the floor. Not all manufacturers or installation instructions highlight this form of asbestos removal or the consequences of installing over a chemically abated floor.

A Recommended Solution
One manufacturer’s research recommended doing the following process to a floor that’s been chemically abated:

  • Shot blast the floor to a CSP (Concrete Surface Profile) of 4 to 5.
  • Smooth/level the floor with approved floor patch or self-leveler.
  • Let dry and proceed to install.

The preferred method for all asbestos floor preparation would utilize the “dry” abated process. For more information on this process contact your Territory Manager.