Condensation under laminate???

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  #41  
Old 01-22-06, 04:17 PM
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This is to funny arging with you..


The surface temperature of any mass reaching a temperature of dew point will collect moisture, even if the surrounding air is no where close to dew point.

You think that crawl space is as warm as the interior of the home?

Even though there is a moisture barrier. how is the underside of the subfloor completely sealed so there are no drafts or air leaks coming from beneath. I mean completely sealed too, not just plywood over the joists.

What is the temperature right now, inside the crawl space? What was it last night, as your temp inside the house was lowered because of the automatic thermostat??


I have a clear picture of what is happening. This is text book dew point, and one of the main reasons for not placing a moisture barrier over a moisture barrier.
 
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  #42  
Old 01-22-06, 04:18 PM
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No, I've never seen any condensate on the laminate, windows or anywhere else. But I still see moisture wicking out between the vinyl and plastic barrier UNDER the water heater, where it seemed to originate this morning. WEIRD!
 
  #43  
Old 01-22-06, 04:33 PM
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Take a hygrometer(temp & rH) reading right where your seeing this problem. then take a hygrometer reading in the crawl space right under this problem.

The hot water heater is how old? It sounds to me like you have done everything to rule out the hot water heater.

Then we can come to a conclusion.
 
  #44  
Old 01-22-06, 04:38 PM
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CDW, I'm not arguing with you. You're the expert here...on flooring. The science part is what you have incorrect.

Whoever taught you abut dewpoint is incorrect also. Take a quick lesson: only AIR is subject to dewpoint. Where do you think the moisture comes from? That is appears magically on the surface of any material when that material reaches it's 'dewpoint'? It originates as water vapor; which only exists in gas molecules. The reason it sits on the surfaces of things is because when the airflow hits the surface, it instantly shrinks the gas molecule and the water vapor condenses. And it sticks to the surface due to surface tension.

If your explaination is what you give your customers, and that was me, I'd be worried...

It is entirely possible that dew is forming on the underside of the subfloor. And entirely possible that it's getting all the way up to the underside of the vinyl, due to cracks, air leaks, etc. But there is no way it is getting thru the vinyl and forming that much on the surface. Simple science tells you that. I'd be curious to find out why I can't put a moisture barrier over a moisture barrier...over another moisture barrier. It doesn't matter how many layers you have. Scientifically, it doesn't matter, that is.
 
  #45  
Old 01-22-06, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by skyote
No, I've never seen any condensate on the laminate, windows or anywhere else. But I still see moisture wicking out between the vinyl and plastic barrier UNDER the water heater, where it seemed to originate this morning. WEIRD!
If you can visibly see it wicking out, then you've got a leak somewhere, somehow.
 
  #46  
Old 01-22-06, 04:53 PM
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Not only am I certified as a flooring failure inspector, I also hold a welding and coatings certification.

The coating cert is the one I'm working off of here as dew point and surface temperature is crucial. If the surface temp is below dew point, no coatings get applied that day, because moisture is always present on the surface.


This is the same reason the glass gets moisture on the outside. The cold water, cooler then dew point, cools the outside of the glasses surface below dew point. Is moisture seen physically on the outside of the glass? YES!!

If it is just tap water that is warmer then the dew point temperature, do you see moisture collecting on the outside of the glass? NO!!


Ok lets look at this another way. A glass with no water in it. Set it in the fridge and let it cool below dew point of the interior of the home. Remove the glass from the fridge or freezer and set it on the counter, and observe. What is going to happen to the inside and out side surfaces?

Temperature of the mass, plays an important roll in condensation on surfaces.

fuente, are you by chance an engineer by trade?
 
  #47  
Old 01-22-06, 04:53 PM
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When I say wicking out, what I mean is...there is still about a 4" strip of plastic hanging out form the remaining laminate. If I let it lay down on the vinyl floor, moisture will spread out from under the water heater to the edge of the plastic, where I suppose it then evaporates. But where it is pulling all this moisture from ..is what's baffling me.

The vinyl floor and underlayment end just under the quarter-round (short of the wall). If there were moisture under the vinyl, or under the underlayment, I would think it would take the path of least resistance and run down at that point. Then I would see moisture in the crawl space.

CDW, I am getting the RH readings for you. The temp in the crawl space right now is 54. I put a remote temp transmitter down there this afternoon.

The water heater is also near a door that goes to an attached garage. There is also a pet door in that door, so the temp on the floor would drop more than the rest of the floor.

I see this as very constructive arguing, in that we are all learning something from this. Thanks!
 
  #48  
Old 01-22-06, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Carpets Done Wright
Not only am I certified as a flooring failure inspector, I also hold a welding and coatings certification.

The coating cert is the one I'm working off of here as dew point and surface temperature is crucial. If the surface temp is below dew point, no coatings get applied that day, because moisture is always present on the surface.


This is the same reason the glass gets moisture on the outside. The cold water, cooler then dew point, cools the outside of the glasses surface below dew point. Is moisture seen physically on the outside of the glass? YES!!

If it is just tap water that is warmer then the dew point temperature, do you see moisture collecting on the outside of the glass? NO!!


Ok lets look at this another way. A glass with no water in it. Set it in the fridge and let it cool below dew point of the interior of the home. Remove the glass from the fridge or freezer and set it on the counter, and observe. What is going to happen to the inside and out side surfaces?

Temperature of the mass, plays an important roll in condensation on surfaces.

fuente, are you by chance an engineer by trade?
There you go. The mass temperature has everything to do with dewpoint, but it does not HAVE a dewpoint. You don't weld on those days because you know that if the material is too cold, it will reduce the temperature of the GAS it comes in contact with to below IT'S dewpoint, and condensation will form.

Just remember that the condensation comes from the gas, not the surface. The surfaces temperature, and the %RH of the gas, dictates what and when that dewpoint will be reached. Gas molecules with higher %RH (say, a tropical climate) have a higher dewpoint, because the gas molecule is basically saturated with vapor; it only takes a little bit of 'cold' to shrink the molecule enough so that the vapor condenses. Dry climates, say Las Vegas, have a much lower %RH, which requires a lot more 'cold' to pop that molecule. Hence, a lower dewpoint.

You're explaination of tap water and cold water is spot on...assuming that the temperature of the glass is the same as the water in it. But that's another topic for another day...

You're example of the glass in the fridge or freezer is, well, relative to the dewpoint temperature of the gas in the house. If the %RH in the home is very low, then the dewpoint will also be low. So unless that temperature coming out of the fridge or freezer is low enough to pull the gas temp below it's dewpoint, dew will not form.

And yes, I'm an engineer..!

Back to the problem; he's seeing large amounts of moisture. It cannot be coming from inside the house due to the room gas reaching it's dewpoint temp. And I can't see how it can come up thru the vinyl, especially in that amount of area. I could see a few spots where the vinyl is cracked, but that's a huge amount of water, over a large area, coming up very quickly.
 
  #49  
Old 01-22-06, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fuente

And yes, I'm an engineer..!

How do you think I knew that???




I see exactly what is happening here!!! No need to over analyize this, and make it more complicated and confusing, then it really is.

Yes as stated many times in this thread, I have said surface temperature plays an important role. This is the first time you have agreed!! Why the change of mind.

We can weld all day in the fog. You can't apply a coating to the surface if dew point is near or already reached.
 
  #50  
Old 01-22-06, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Carpets Done Wright
When you have a glass of cold water, the outside of the glass reaches a dew point on the surface. The out side surface of the glass, reaches a dew point as it cools off. It is not the water seeping through the glass. So you say there is no air under the laminate? I don't care where it is, if the material falls below dew point, condensation occurs. Even when there is 10% humidity, there is still a dew point.
This is what you said, and it was wrong. You need air to get condensate. I think you understand that now. Without it, all you have is a cold, dry piece of whatever.
 

Last edited by Annette; 01-25-06 at 10:40 AM.
  #51  
Old 01-22-06, 05:33 PM
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CDW,
The RH in the crawl space is 36% and the temp is 54F. The RH at the water heater is 27% at 71F.

So what you are seeing is caused by the moisture barrier OVER the vinyl? Am I reading your conclusion right? You guys lost me a looonnng time ago.

Randy
 
  #52  
Old 01-22-06, 05:33 PM
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if you know what is happening, then tell us how the water is getting on the topside of the vinyl.

Then we can all get back to watching Seattle kick the crap out of Carolina.
 
  #53  
Old 01-22-06, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by skyote
CDW,
The RH in the crawl space is 36% and the temp is 54F. The RH at the water heater is 27% at 71F.

So what you are seeing is caused by the moisture barrier OVER the vinyl? Am I reading your conclusion right? You guys lost me a looonnng time ago.

Randy
The dewpoint temp of the gas in your crawlspace is approximately 26F. The dewpoint temp at the water heater is approximately 35F. The crawlspace RH is low; which means, well, that unless you have a huge amount of airflow under the house, there is no way that you could generate that much moisture from there, because when the gas molecules 'give up' their condensate, they would need to be 'replaced', thru airflow, by new molecules, at a very fast rate.

The dewpoint at the water heater probably doesn't matter much, because if I understand correctly, that's above ground.
 
  #54  
Old 01-22-06, 05:40 PM
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and why hasn't this problem surfaced somewhere in the world before? It doesn't sound to me like such an unusual set of circumstances, especially since the manufacturer and retailer both recommend the moisture barrier over any surface.
 
  #55  
Old 01-22-06, 05:40 PM
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CDW, does this suprise you, and if so, what is the next step for this fellow? Also, his question about the two moisture barriers is something I cannot get my head around either, scientifically.
 
  #56  
Old 01-22-06, 06:28 PM
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Look up green house effect, where flooring is concerned.

Trap air with moisture, and no ventalation. then lower the temperature of that trapped air.

One moisture barrier is on a cooler or cold surface, and the other moisture barrier on top is warmer from the climate inside the home.

The humidity is not Zero, there is moisture available.

OK dew point for 71 @ 27% is? How consistant is this reading from morning to afternoon to night fall? Now what is the crawl space temp that is cooling the bottom vinyl moisture barrier at night and early morning? Has it been below freezing or below 35.38

Now we also know, there is a door to the non climate controlled garage near by. The door is not sealed air tight, with a pet door. How about the threshold is it air tight too?

Bingo!


I see where your engineering, is thinking temperature and humidity is always constant. This is not a set perimeter for dew point. It can flash a dew point and within minutes not be at or below dew point. Then you have lack of air flow under the laminate flooring and both moisture barriers. Now in between the two layers, you have a mini green house.
 
  #57  
Old 01-22-06, 06:31 PM
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Tell us what the temp in the crawl space is in the morning, when it is the coolest, and then what the temp and humidity is in the morning, as conditions are always changing.
 
  #58  
Old 01-22-06, 06:36 PM
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So, if I buy identical new laminate, and put it down WITHOUT the plastic barrier, everything will be peachy???

Or would you recommend tearing up the old vinyl and subfloor.
 
  #59  
Old 01-22-06, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Carpets Done Wright
Tell us what the temp in the crawl space is in the morning, when it is the coolest, and then what the temp and humidity is in the morning, as conditions are always changing.

Will do, first thing in the morning before I head off to work.

Thanks!
 
  #60  
Old 01-22-06, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Carpets Done Wright
Look up green house effect, where flooring is concerned.

Trap air with moisture, and no ventalation. then lower the temperature of that trapped air.

One moisture barrier is on a cooler or cold surface, and the other moisture barrier on top is warmer from the climate inside the home.

The humidity is not Zero, there is moisture available.

OK dew point for 71 @ 27% is? How consistant is this reading from morning to afternoon to night fall? Now what is the crawl space temp that is cooling the bottom vinyl moisture barrier at night and early morning? Has it been below freezing or below 35.38

Now we also know, there is a door to the non climate controlled garage near by. The door is not sealed air tight, with a pet door. How about the threshold is it air tight too?

Bingo!


I see where your engineering, is thinking temperature and humidity is always constant. This is not a set perimeter for dew point. It can flash a dew point and within minutes not be at or below dew point. Then you have lack of air flow under the laminate flooring and both moisture barriers. Now in between the two layers, you have a mini green house.
your flooring seems to defy the laws of physics !!

Seriously, there are MANY holes in your theory. First, if you did have trapped air between the barriers, you wouldn't continue to see moisture over and over. You're saying the doggie door is causing airflow across the entire room, between the two moisture barriers? Where does the air flow to? Does it just blow up the two barriers like a big balloon? Jeez...

The 'flooring greehouse effect'? Didn't know that existed between two moisture barriers. Maybe you are using the wrong wording. The greenhouse effect is when temperature INCREASES, and heat is trapped in. That doesn't help your theory much. You need the temp to drop in order to prove what you are saying.

Skyote, good luck in finding your problem. As I am not an expert in flooring I cannot give you any further advice.

Temp and Humidity constant? Nothing is ever constant.

Bottom line is that how you are explaining this situation is phyically impossible. It cannot happen. Maybe for another reason, but not the reason you are describing.

It's been fun, and I've learned a lot chatting with you on this thread as well as on others.

Good luck Skyote.
 
  #61  
Old 01-22-06, 06:47 PM
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Thanx a million for all of your input, Fuente!
 
  #62  
Old 01-22-06, 08:22 PM
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No what I'm saying is, the bottom is cooler then the top. We have confirmed that. But how much cooler is not an afternoon temperature. All this dew point could be happening over night "if" the underside(the vinyl) drops to dew point levels.

The 2 times I have witnessed this, it was over concrete, and the concrete temp was below dew point.

This is just an opinion from a computer monitor, but if the crawl space is below the interiors dew point level and cools down the vinyl enough to be below the dew point level. It is tuff to call because of the ever changing conditions.

As long as you know there is no hot water heater leaking, or a diswasher that has sprung a leak, or a faucet leak or an ice maker that has a leak, or sewage drain with a leak in the wall, or a roof leak making it's way down the framing. No pets urinating on the floor, I'm sticking with dew point.


It may very well be a leak, I'm not there to see for myself. With all that has been said and documented by the poster, their house is posessed, or there is a dew point flashing on top of the moisture barriers.
 
  #63  
Old 01-23-06, 02:52 AM
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First ..... I have "never" had any mfg. tell me to put down a moisture barrier unless the substrate is a slab.

Second ...... I don't lay vinyl, but i have told that it "does" allow water vapor or emissions to pass thru it. Something to do with VOC or VEC (I don't remember the exact terminology there)., on that subject I am more than ignorant.

Third .... "wet goes to dry", unless you create alot of air circulation to minimize that effect.

Ya'll have a great day
 
  #64  
Old 01-23-06, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Jerry T
First ..... I have "never" had any mfg. tell me to put down a moisture barrier unless the substrate is a slab.
See the instructions at the bottom of page 5, under 'Two-in One Advanced Hard-Surfaced Flooring Underlayment"

Mine has the attached underlayment.

http://www.armstrong.com/content2/resam/files/17882.pdf
 
  #65  
Old 01-23-06, 03:10 PM
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You need to keep reading partner.

See the instructions under subfloor requirements and vinyl over plywood.

Pull up that 6mil poly, untape the seams on the 2in1, and cover up the soil in the crawl space like the instructions tell you to do.
 
  #66  
Old 01-23-06, 03:27 PM
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First of all, there is no 2-in-1 to tape. This laminate has built in underlayment. Second, nowhere does it say NOT to use plastic barrier over vinyl. It also says the moisture barrier in the crawl space is 'recommended'.

The salesperson told me to use visqueen under the laminate, and after this incident I contacted Armstrong, whose customer service rep told me that they recommend the moisture barrier and that I did the installation correctly.

There are NO implicit directions not to use the barrier.

Does anyone else read what I am reading?
 
  #67  
Old 01-23-06, 05:11 PM
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I'm not arguing with you son.

Nowhere does it say "TO" use a moisture barrier over top a wood subfloor. Your salesman gave you bad information and so did Armstrong.

I am sorry I mentioned the 2in1 taped seams, but you messed up by laying down plastic over the vinyl and you refuse to cover the crawl space soil with a moisture barrier.

Peace!
 
  #68  
Old 01-23-06, 06:28 PM
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aw shucks, Pops I know we aren't arguing here. But try to think like an average Joe Do-It-Yourselfer like me. You gather information and plan these things. When I read the instructions, paired with the information that the sales people gave me, it seemed to make sense, and I didn't really question it. Even the Armstrong rep. who came out to look at it AND the rep from the store where I bought it, said I did the installation right.

I DO heartily agree with you NOW that installing the barrier was the wrong thing to do. It only exacerbated the problem. Wherever the moisture came from, it became trapped between the layers with no way out.

My question now is...who is to blame? IMHO, it should go 3 ways. The retailer, Armstrong and myself.

In regards to the crawl space barrier, I know it's usually recommended no matter what kind of floor you have. I've considered it before, but I've never had any moisture problems in my home or crawl space. The water table here is deep, and I have good drainage around my home and property. In my mind, it could be a nightmare if you had a pipe break in the crawl space, and the barrier turned it into a swimming pool.

Thanks for your input, Jerry...
 
  #69  
Old 01-24-06, 01:36 AM
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Skyote, I am completely on your side here.

In my view you did nothing wrong except to follow some bad advice from the very people who are supposed to know better. I feel since you were asking them for advice the blame is on the salesman and Armstrong. Armstrong's directions are woefully lacking on important details.

I sincerely hope they step up to the plate and resolve this problem at their expense.

Have a great day
 
  #70  
Old 01-27-06, 07:40 PM
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PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

After drying out my floor and laying the back down, I was sure that if I had a leak of any kind, it would surely return. On Wednesday, I decided I had gone long enough without my humidifier running, so I put it back where it originally had been next to the door to my living room, but on the plastic barrier just inside my kitchen. The next morning I found that the humidifier had once again foamed over and left a small stream about 8" to my new carpet. In a hurry to get to work, I soaked up what I could with paper towels, and put a whole roll of paper towels over the small area and weighted it down. I also turned a fan on the carpet to dry it out.
When I came home from work I walked in the kitchen and low and behold I had about a 6 ft. diameter wet area UNDER the plastic. The plastic barrier over the vinyl floor had actually wicked the water from the carpet UPHILL. It is now obvious that this is where the water originally came from. The act of walking on it then forced the water to other areas, thus my entire floor and the utility room all got wet! I am totally convinced that had I not put this barrier down per the salesman's and Armstrongs instructions, this would never had happened. Today I called the Armstrong rep and explained it all, and he STILL says he would recommend the plastic barrier over the vinyl floor. I hope now I can document what other mfg recommend in this situation. I plan to replace the floor with new laminate WITHOUT a moisture barrier.

Thanks to CDW, fuente and Jerry T for their help and advice!
 
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