I recently received the following question from a reader: “As a commercial contractor, I am acutely aware that manufacturers rely on ASTM F710 (Standard Practice for Preparing Concrete Floors to Receive Resilient Flooring). I have also become aware that almost every GC uses some level of spray-on curing compound or cure-n-seal product on fresh concrete. If I loudly disclaim a warranty based on F710, they will find another contractor or product. What is the right approach on a project where a product that isn’t compliant with F710 is used on the concrete?”
First, let’s quickly go over the general guidelines the reader is referring to, taken from section 4.2 of ASTM F710-17: “The surface of concrete floors to receive resilient flooring shall be dry, clean, smooth and structurally sound. They shall be free of dust, solvent, paint, wax, oil, grease, residual adhesive, adhesive removers, film-forming curing compounds, silicate-penetrating curing compounds, sealing, hardening or parting compounds, alkaline salts, excessive carbonation or laitence, mold, mildew and other foreign materials that might affect the rate of moisture dissipation from the concrete, the adhesion of resilient flooring to the concrete or cause a discoloration of the flooring from below. Non-chemical methods for removal, such as abrasive cleaning or bead-blasting…may be used on existing slabs with deleterious residues.”
Now back to the original question. What to do when the concrete is cured with a product that isn’t compliant with industry-accepted guidelines? My answer: teamwork. Do your homework prior to bidding the job and meet with your vendors to make sure you are all on the same team. When it comes time to identify concerns on a jobsite, use the resources that you have available to you to get the support you need.
If you’re working with adhesives, you should be in contact with your local rep and make sure they understand your needs and will work with you on the project. Material manufacturers will be the same—no one wants their products to fail, so if they can be part of the solution, the better the profit margins for everyone. Also, make sure you look in Division 3 of the specification book, which addresses cement/concrete specifications.
I love answering questions from readers, so if you have any job- or industry-related questions, don’t be shy! I’m looking forward to hearing from you.