Wet concrete, how dry should it be? This is an area that is still a little controversial. After water damage has occurred in a home or building, in addition to the walls and carpeting being affected, wet concrete is sometimes involved. Some water damage firms believe that the correct way to dry the wet concrete is using air movers and a dehumidifier for a few days and then let it naturally. Other firms believe that the home should be restored back to a pre-loss state as the insured had it before the water damage occurred. While others will ask what type of floor covering was there before and what the owner plans on putting on the wet concrete once it’s dried.

All three views are correct but the latter, in my opinion, is the best option to follow. The water damage technician should ask what type of floor covering will be laid over the concrete and then determine how dry that wet concrete floor should be. (what is an acceptable moisture content percentage)

A wet concrete floor in an unfinished basement will definitely need some drying, but only enough to get as much moisture out of it in a couple of days as the Water Damage Technician can. But what if it’s a home with a wet concrete slab and the homeowner plans on re-installing the vinyl floor covering back on it? How dry then should the concrete be? Will the insurance company pays for all that extra time and expense to dry the concrete? This floor covering scenario will make drying the wet concrete much more of an important issue. Any vapor barrier put over a wet concrete floor will slow down the moisture escaping and greatly increase the potential for mold to develop and thrive. In addition, most of the glues used in public buildings today are water-based, so excessive moisture can cause problems with the glue, causing adhesion issues and void any manufacture warranties.

Once a drying plan for the wet concrete is determined, the Insurance Adjuster should be informed of all these issues. The insurance adjuster is the one who is going to be paying for the drying bill so the Technician should justify to the adjuster, the need for spending the extra time and expense to dry that wet concrete flooring to certain moisture content.

Thus, it is very important for the Water Damage Technician early on to try to determine what the floor covering is going to be, and formulate their drying goals for that wet concrete.

Some great links for drying wet concrete