Out of sight, out of mind. Most of us understand it is necessary to protect the top of our natural cork floors with protective finishes that will guard against food, spills, and water. However, few of us realize it’s just as important to protect floors from subfloor moisture that can damage floors from underneath.
Preventing Trouble from Down Below
Left unprotected, floors that lack a moisture barrier can become damaged from moisture vapor. This is typically a big problem for floors installed over porous concrete, which tends to absorb ground water, and then through capillary action water vapor rises up through the surface. Over time, excessive moisture will cause short- and long-term damage that can include mold, mildew, warping, and buckling.
If you are installing a new cork floor over a concrete subfloor, it’s smart to protect your investment by placing a waterproof barrier underneath it. A moisture seal can add years to the life of your new cork floor and keep it looking good. Besides benefiting the longevity and looks of your floor, moisture barriers combined with underlayment, such as our QuietWalk Plus, can bring other benefits, like deadening sound and improving insulation.
Vapor barriers are easy to install. They are typically made of 6ml polyethylene plastic sheeting laid down under the floor. Some of these emit toxic fumes but our products emit no hazardous air pollutants. There are other types of vapor barriers that can be brushed or rolled on the surface of the subfloor much like an adhesive. Some of these can be applied over asbestos tile too to mitigate older tiles that may become friable. So if you are concerned about your health and the well-being of those you love, our green barriers can give you confidence in keeping your home’s environment as healthy as possible.
The moisture barriers and adhesives available at Green Building Supply give you a variety of healthier choices. Non-toxic and odorless, they are a cinch to install for DIYers. Suitable for many types of flooring and underlayment, some of these products are made from recycled materials.
This page was written by Joel Hirshberg