Field Experience with Sealed Joints and Adhesive Fixing

Over the last decade, changes in environmental protection regulations have necessitated reformulation of many historically durable adhesives used in the application of flooring materials. Solvent-borne adhesives with high con­tent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were replaced with water-borne or 100% solids adhesive formulations. Nelson and Hopps suggest that these new environmentally friendly adhesives are less durable and more susceptible to moisture-related deterioration. If the concrete is not properly sealed or allowed to dry, the moisture permeating through or contained in

the concrete slab can re-emulsify moisture-sensitive flooring adhesives. Con­sequentially, applied flooring materials can delaminate, buckle, blister, and crack. The paper compares the properties of the newer moisture-sensitive flooring adhesives with those of their VOC-containing predecessors, and de­scribes the properties of the adhesives that reduce overall durability. It also presents case studies of flooring failures resulting from moisture-related de­terioration of adhesives for various flooring materials including carpet tile, sheet vinyl, and vinyl composition tile flooring.

Foamed adhesives are used to join roofing assembly components to the roof substrate and to each other. A variety of performance problems with foamed adhesives as installed in roofing assemblies have led to assembly failures. Slick, Piteo and Rutila present several case studies that illustrate excessive moisture in roofing assemblies or substrates as an issue that con­tributes to adhesive failure of the roofing assembly.