Sweating slab syndrome, also known as SSS, is a condition where moisture builds up on the concrete slab floors that are found in many warehouse and industrial buildings. When the weather is warm and humid during the day and cooler at night, concrete floors are often much cooler than the air inside of the building. Once warm air comes into the building and meets the cool floors, the air deposits moisture as it cools down to match the temperature of the slab. A secondary cause of sweating slab syndrome is water-soluble salts in and on top of the slab that attract moisture in the air. There are several reasons to take precautions against sweating slab syndrome when working on your next building project.
Problems with Sweating Slab Syndrome
Many buildings used for storage or manufacturing purposes are designed to have floors that are as smooth as possible so that it is easy for forklifts or carts to get around the building. However, a smooth floor with moisture on it poses a threat to worker safety. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls are the leading cause of employee injuries, and slips because of moisture on the floor make up more than 10 percent of total falls. It also becomes difficult to stop or safely maneuver forklifts on slippery floors. Beyond the immediate danger posed to workers in buildings that suffer from SSS, moisture can also condense on products or materials being stored in your building, which can cause them to deteriorate rapidly.
Solutions for Sweating Slab Syndrome
In order to resolve sweating slab syndrome, building owners have to find a way to remove moisture from the air or make the temperature of the air closer to the temperature of the slab. Large-scale air conditioning and heating systems can achieve this effect, however in big buildings with a great deal of open space these systems are often very costly and ineffective on the floor. For this reason, companies often choose to go with high volume, low speed (HVLS) fans as a cost-effective way to keep their buildings cool and prevent the buildup of moisture on floors.
Why MacroAir HVLS Fans Are the Optimal Solution
Moving air with a MacroAir HVLS fan is much more economical than constantly running an HVAC system at high levels. As MacroAir HVLS fan blades are extremely long – up 24 feet in diameter – they can capture a large amount of air and push huge columns of air towards the floor. With constant, dedicated air movement, air temperature goes down and gets closer to the temperature of the concrete slab, which reduces the amount of condensation that occurs. Other advantages of using MacroAir HVLS fans include:
- LEED certification: HVLS fans can help your building reduce the amount of energy it uses, which is an important qualification for attaining LEED certification. They can also help you meet LEED standards that relate to air quality.
- A more comfortable workplace: Not only will employees be safer if your building has dry floors, they will be able to work in a comfortable environment. This is especially important in the hot months of spring and summer, when high temperatures create fatigue and dehydration occur much more rapidly.
- Heating applications: Only MacroAir HVLS fans can be used in reverse. Since hot air rises, you can use these fans in colder months to disperse warm air from the roof towards the floor.
Sweating slab syndrome can be a challenge in buildings that are not designed properly. With the right kind of solution, employees and goods will stay safe and work can get completed in a productive fashion.