Because of the importance of moisture for mold, moisture problems and mold problems frequently come hand in hand – if you have a moisture issue, odds are you do (or shortly will) have a mold issue.
Concrete flooring is particularly sensitive to water damage due to the prevalence of vapor transmission resulting in flooring material damage. Vapor transmission is caused by a difference in vapor pressure that causes it to naturally travel from the ground through the concrete floor and into the building. This vapor transmission can also be responsible for moisture that promotes mold throughout the building if left unchecked.
Vapor transmission can be exacerbated by a number of factors, including improper installation of concrete slabs and vapor barriers, or damage to the floor from settling and geological movements. Potential indicators of excessive concrete slab vapor transmission include:
- Discoloration or bubbles in sheet vinyl flooring
- Dark lines and curling in vinyl composition tile
- Dampness under boxes and chair pads
- Carpet that was directly glued to slab peels back easily
- The slab is dark gray under the flooring
- The slab has no vapor barrier
- Tests and inspection of underground pipes show them to be in poor condition
One must also consider hidden water damage, which is damage concealed behind walls, floors, and ceilings. It can only be seen with the assistance of moisture detection equipment such as thermal imaging and moisture meters.