Developer patents flooring adhesive equal to high slab moisture, pH levels

19 Slab 400

Formulators tests Aquaflex-treated slab specimen to extremes.

As concrete practitioners continue to confront floor-covering work schedules dictated by slabs on grade drying requirements, Santa Ana, Calif.-based Formulators has announced patent protection for its waterproof adhesive technology. The patent covers a mixture marketed with the Aquaflex moisture mitigation system for flooring installations on moisture- and pH-bearing concrete.

Aquaflex has proved effective for installations over slabs less than 10 days old, and exhibited waterproofing performance in the face of topside moisture intrusion from plumbing failures and routine cleaning. It is sold by the square foot as a complete moisture mitigation system that includes proprietary waterproof cementitious self-leveling, concrete prep and crack repair products, application trowels, and a specialty formulated adhesive remover for clean-up.

“For decades the flooring industry used solvent-born (yet moisture tolerant) adhesives for flooring installations over concrete. During the mid-90’s, in order to improve indoor air quality, these formulations were replaced with water-based chemistry,” explains Formulators CEO Benny Dickens. “It soon became apparent that the new adhesives would fail in the presence of elevated concrete moisture. Unfortunately, the industry’s solution was not to address the failing adhesive chemistry. Instead, the industry offered flooring contractors and building owners an additional product to purchase. [It] became the industry standard: a difficult to prep and apply, epoxy-type coating meant to serve as a protective moisture barrier.”

“Formulators has always equated flooring failures, due to elevated concrete moisture, as first and foremost adhesive failures. Correctly identifying the source of the problem is the first step toward its solution,” Dickens contends. “The flooring industry must evolve from recommending secondary protective barrier coatings, while continuing to promote the same tried and failed moisture-sensitive adhesives. These barrier strategies simply overlook the fundamental issue. To avoid the liability of adhesive failure, fix the glue and Aquaflex represents that evolution.”

Formulators prefers to work through its nationwide network of commercial contractors, independent sales representatives and trained technicians, he adds, noting that Aquaflex is now specified by major retailers and hospital networks. Independently certified as embodying “0” VOC, the adhesive has several formulation variants for differing flooring types: VCT, rubber, carpet tile, luxury vinyl tile and plank, sheet vinyl, ESD tile, quarry tile and artificial turf. —