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Moisture, Mold, and Dricore --how did your installation perform?

Moisture, Mold, and Dricore --how did your installation perform?


  #1  
Old 03-20-03, 09:26 AM
C Grover
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Question Moisture, Mold, and Dricore --how did your installation perform?

I see a lot queries and talk about actually instaling dricore in these forums, but what I want to know is how did your installation perform after x months/years? In particular, I am concerned about how the occasional moisture on the concrete floor under the dricore affected the flooring and mold content in the room. It would seem to me that the floor under the dricore, would tend to become slimy and mold mildew covered over time, if mositure were to get in there, as happens with basement floors. Then the room would have a mold mildew problem stuck under the flooring. What do you know?
 
  #2  
Old 03-20-03, 10:52 PM
R
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Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Experts

http://www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/moldguide.html This is an EPA website on mold prevention and cleanup.

Throughout this entire site and within the IAQ and related industries the most common and widely accepted approach to mold prevention and cleanup is moisture control. I do not pretend to be an IAQ expert, however my experience with IAQ far exceeds any IAQ expert primarily because this industry has not been around so long. The impact of mold and moisture control in my industry is expressed on the Energy & Weather-stripping forum in the post "Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) & Energy Conservation." It explains why homes today are experiencing mold and mildew problems and 20 years or more ago they did not. And the reason is, we are building and/or improving our homes to be energy efficient. We are doing so without controlling the moisture in our homes at the same rate.

Your question is a logical one. Unfortunately most people don't ask it. The water-proofing of a basement wall may decrease or increase the probability of mold and mildew in the basement. The problem with applications is tunnel vision. People only look at the purpose of that application and ignore or overlook other applications within this confined space and how they interact with each other.

For example, moisture is noticed on the basement walls whenever you have a heavy downpour of rain. The solution you apply is water-proofing (Dricore). However, during the winter the low humidity in the house makes you feel uncomfortable but the humidity level in the basement is fine. Studies have shown people are most comfortable in their homes during the winter when the humidity level is about 40%. To accomplish the desired humidity level in the home, you apply a humidifier to your furnace. Unfortunately you also want to heat the basement. This increases the humidity levels in the basement to where you now have a moisture problem. 99 out of a 100 homes will experience a mold and mildew problem under these circumstances.

Unfortunately this gets worse. The water-proofing prohibits moisture from outside the basement walls to permeate the walls. It also prohibits moisture inside the basement from permeating the walls. An object at a lower humidity level will extract humidity from air and other objects surrounding it until the air and/or objects are equal in humidity levels. Equilibrium Relative Humidity (ErH%). So the heating with the humidifier increases the humidity level in a basement when before it was fine and the water-proofing traps the moisture in the basement. Both applications are fine and purposeful by themselves, but put them together and you have a moisture problem.

But what is the most common solution here, I know, let's make things worse. Let's apply a dehumidifier. Great idea, right!!! The purpose of this application is to remove the humidity in the basement and it ignores all other applications, such as recycling and ErH%. The drain for the dehumidifier is usually found going into a french drain or sump pump. This more or less recycles the humidity the dehumidifier took out. The lower humidity level causes the humidifier on the furnace to compensate (ErH%). These 2 combined are equilvalent to attaching a hose to your faucet, turning it on and putting the hose end on your basement floor.

You cannot imagine the number of homes I see a moisture problem on daily basis. The numbers are staggering, I've stop counting a long time ago. You want to avoid mold and mildew in your home, then control the moisture in your home. The EPA site is good place to start but in my opinion it doesn't go far enough. Such as extending your downspouts at least 8 ft. from your house, have your gas and/or heating appliances inspected and serviced every year, clean your gutters annually, landscape so it grades away from the house, inspect and repair all your plumbing periodically, use exhaust fans when cooking and showering, especially during the winter. And the best thing you can do is open your windows at least once a year. You would be astonished on how much moisture is removed by opening your windows after the winter. It's measured in gallons the first hour. Afterwards you probably won't have to water-proof your basement walls.
 
  #3  
Old 03-21-03, 03:09 PM
C Grover
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Thank you. I am aware of all the above and we have teken the actions indicated. However, with the infill in the area increasing, we seem to be increasingly vulnerable to water table rising during flash flood like rains, which happen several days in a row. This may or may not happen in any one year, 1x-6x.

We then typically sweep the sheen of water out of the lower basement and within hours it is dry.

Question remains .... how does DriCore perform in these conditions? Do we end up with mold growing under it, because it can never dry out?
 
  #4  
Old 03-21-03, 04:36 PM
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Dricore claims that the space provided underneath allows air to circulate which allows moisture to evaporate. The quesion I have to ask is where is going to evaporate? The other problem I have with this product is it is a laminate, though water-proofed. Any defect in the water-proofing and it will delaminate. So in basements where hydrostatic pressure is being applied from under the floor, I would not recommend this type of flooring. I would recommend a sump pump.

The reason for this is every square foot of water pushing against the basement floor exerts 2 times 62.4 = 125 pounds of pressure. The upward force for a 500 sq. ft. area is 62,000 pounds. This is around 31 tons. You should check with your local building department on the methods used in your area to deal with this problem.

Having any type of flooring under these conditions should be removable.
 
  #5  
Old 03-21-03, 05:57 PM
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Try giving the manufacture a call. DriCore is new in my area so as part of my research I talked to the R&D guys for a while. Look em up at www.dricore.com They are very helpful and imformative. Every question was answered without hesitation I am fortunate to have a dry walkout basement and I am in the process of laying down about 1000 sq.

They did claim that they had a floor totally submerged for 14 hours and no problem. They also did say if you have a bad problem what some people do is leave access points for a shop vac or other type of pump to get at the water.
 
  #6  
Old 03-24-03, 01:49 AM
Dave100
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I'm curious to know if anyone has researched Subflor as a competing product of DriCore. Sublfor claims not 14 hours submerged within water but over 10 DAYS. OSB rather than particle board, diferent resins, etc.

I've two sump pumps, am planning on DryLock paint on floor and certain walls and THEN Subflor....but still I have the same question of mold build up underneath....furthermore, instructions are to allow 1/4" gap around the permiter - would this not lead to build up at the itersection of floor and surface material (rug, HW) and/or the wallboard? I asked both companies and they had no solid answer or independent study data. Any out there?

Thanks.

http://www.subflor.com/home.asp
 
  #7  
Old 01-17-09, 08:06 AM
S
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Subflor/dricore flooding

I have seen a great deal of postings trying to determine if you can recoup dricore/subflor after flooding. I experienced this problem recently when my sump failed and I got about 1 inch of water in my basement.

Key points: slight flooding, panels were in water for ~4 -6 hours, groundwater not sewerage. Walls built on top of subfloor 1ft gap between insulation and floor, 4 inch gap between interior and exterior wall.

After getting the sump going and using a surface pump the majority of water was gone in less than an hour. The next steps was vacuuming and circulation. Given the walls were on top of the floor removal would have been a huge undertaking.
Using fans and snail fans and dehumidifiers I began the dry out. Forget the flooring on top unless it is a carpet you need to remove this and it will be damaged. I continually moved the snail fan to different locations on the sub floor where I cut out panels and directed air under the floors. As I removed each panel the water coming out of the plastic cleats was less and less. The basement was at 75% rh and now is down to 33% rh. This after 4 weeks, 3 dehumidifiers, 5 fans opening windows when possible and a $200 bump in my electric bill. No Musty smell at all.

This is no guarantee, but there is no such thing as a guarantee after a flood. The theory is if the circulation is continued any moisture in the cleats will become airborne and eventually dry out.

If I were to do this again I would probably choose a delta flooring system or something without OSB just for safety sake.
 
 

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