Tag: sweating slab syndrome

Expert Interview: How to Properly Prevent Sweating Slab Syndrome in Any Workplace

Sweating Slab Syndrome Fix! MacroAir Big Fans

Sweating Slab Syndrome (SSS) is a dangerous condition that plagues many warehouses and compromises worker safety and causes product degradation.

SSS develops inside a building with a concrete slab floor when atmospheric conditions in the building begin to match those outside. As this happens, moisture migrates to the coldest point. If it’s a dew point, it’s going to condense on whatever material is there or the slab, which is typically going to be your coldest point. Moisture plus workers and heavy equipment are a poor match, leading to potentially serious accidents.

Solve Moisture Issues in Airplane Hangars

Commercial_Aviation_Aviation_Specialty_Services_LLC_Pompano_Beach_FL_AVD_550_2 (1)

Because airplane hangars often have concrete floors, they are susceptible to condensation and its corresponding concerns. Sweating Slab Syndrome is a condensation issue where moisture is deposited on the surface of concrete floors. These moisture issues are prevalent in humid climates, particularly in the fall and spring seasons.
When night comes and the temperature drops, the airplane hangar and everything inside it cools down. The next day the large doors are opened and warm, humid air floods into the space. The humidity level in the hangar continues to increase to match the outside humidity levels. Now the warm air, heavy laden with moisture, will look to deposit that water on surfaces that are at or below dew point. Concrete floors typically stay cool for a while, which is why they are particularly susceptible to Sweating Slab Syndrome.

How to Keep Condensation off Cement Floors

condensationdrops1

Condensation dropsCondensation can be a huge problem in any facility. Not only can moisture cause damage to inventory and equipment, but it can also lead to serious injury if a staff member slips and falls because of a slick floor. This problem is especially prevalent on concrete and cement floors, which tend to attract moisture because of their temperature.

To solve condensation problems in your facility, you must first identify where they come from.

Sweaty Slab Syndrome and Humidity: Managing Building Conditions

Sweaty Slab Syndrome and Humidity Understanding the Connection to Manage Building Conditions

Sweaty Slab Syndrome and Humidity Understanding the Connection to Manage Building ConditionsSweaty Slab Syndrome (SSS) is a common problem in buildings with concrete surfaces. All kinds of facilities, from warehouses to museums to large retail stores, can be affected by SSS especially in the warmer months of the year.

The key factor that causes SSS to become a problem in buildings with concrete floors is humidity. Let’s examine exactly what SSS is, its relationship to humidity, and how you can prevent this problem from endangering your staff and equipment.

Expert Interview: How to Properly Prevent Sweating Slab Syndrome in Any Workplace

Expert-Interview-How-to-Properly-Prevent-Sweating-Slab-Syndrome-in-Any-Workplace

Expert-Interview-How-to-Properly-Prevent-Sweating-Slab-Syndrome-in-Any-WorkplaceSweating Slab Syndrome (SSS) is a dangerous condition that plagues many warehouses and compromises worker safety and causes product degradation.

SSS develops inside a building with a concrete slab floor when atmospheric conditions in the building begin to match those outside. As this happens, moisture migrates to the coldest point. If it’s a dew point, it’s going to condense on whatever material is there or the slab, which is typically going to be your coldest point. Moisture plus workers and heavy equipment are a poor match, leading to potentially serious accidents.

To shed light on this issue, we asked warehouse cooling expert, Jim Stahl, some of the common questions that facility and warehouse managers have regarding sweating slabs. Stahl is well-versed in the risks associated with SSS and ideal solutions for facilities to prevent a sweating slab.

Sweating Slab Syndrome: 6 Tips for Reducing Concrete Floor Condensation

Sweating Slab Syndrome 6 Tips for Reducing Concrete Floor Condensation

Sweating Slab Syndrome 6 Tips for Reducing Concrete Floor Condensation
If you have ever been in a warehouse or industrial facility in the south you are most likely familiar with Sweating Slab Syndrome (SSS). The buildup of moisture from temperature swings doesn’t just affect the concrete floors; machinery can sweat, materials can sweat. In addition to the primary safety concerns moisture on concrete slabs presents for employees it can also result in damage to inventory, machinery, and the structure itself.

What Causes Moisture on Concrete Slabs that Cause Sweaty Slabs

Basically, everything that cools down after a hot humid day experiences sweating slab syndrome. Moisture as you would guess is the underlying cause of such sweating on concrete floor slabs. This usually happens when concrete slabs and the other materials that sweat reach dew point temperature. Usually, warm, moist air and relative humidity enters the structure through the several openings (windows, doorways, and vents) and as the air diffuses throughout the structure it condenses on any surface that is at or below the dew point temperature.
Another factor that can cause Sweating Slab Syndrome is salt deposits on the surface of the slab. In such situations, the hygroscopic nature of salt will act to attract moisture from air onto the surface of the slab. Sometimes this salt even draws water from within the concrete.

See How MacroAir Fans Solve Sweating Slab Syndrome!

Sweating Slab Syndrome Fix! MacroAir Big Fans

[pardot-form id=”3013″ title=”2019 Q3 TOFU Offers – Sweating Slab Syndrome”]

Even Metals are Sweating

Interestingly, even metals in most structures can sweat! At an aluminum company in the humid South, they ran into issues with their metals sweating. In particular they had a lot of black iron and once it would sweat it would begin to rust. Rusting of their black metal results in significant loss to the value of their inventory.
When you have these temperature swings mainly in spring and fall, you’ll end up with cool nights and hot days. The metal at an aluminum company is trying to change the temperature and the result is a buildup of condensation. Combating sweaty slab and its impact on valuable product is a very important issue.
Subject matter expert, Jason Hornsby lends insight into the issue of Sweating Slab and the impact it has on facility operations.

“Imagine a forklift sweating oil onto the floor, machinery sweating grease. These lubricants combined with sweating machinery and slabs creates very serious hazards for employees.”

So, what can be done to avoid the risks of moisture content and costs associated with sweating concrete slabs?

Here are 6 Ways to Reduce Concrete Floor Condensation:

1. Dry Out Your Warehouse and Materials Using Air Movement

Sometimes you come in the early morning and you find your concrete flooring or slab soaking wet,

“just sweating.” Industry expert Jason Hornsby sees this common problem with his clients. “For my clients in the South, sweating slab is a big issue due to the humidity. If they have a high volume, low speed fan they can come into work, turn it on and within an hour or less, it’s totally dry. Some people even say that if they know they’re going to be getting those temperature swings that certain time of the year then they could just leave the fans on all night and the floors won’t sweat.”

2. Good Housekeeping Practices to Prevent Moisture

Always remove any deposits from the surface of your slabs. A good way to do this is to use commercial cleaning agents to scrub your floors and vacuum your machines. This is an important safety measure for employees as well as protecting your assets.

3. Re-examine Air Movement Within the Facility

Often, sweating slabs occurs because air inside the structure can’t easily flow out. If the air movement inside the building isn’t sufficient, it is necessary to find a means to de-stratify the air such as an HVLS Fan.

4. Use HVLS Ceiling Fans to Reduce Ceiling-to-Floor Temperature Differential

HVLS fans also increase the surface evaporation rate. These fans provide cost-effective ways to keep your structures cool, increase drying while preventing the buildup of moisture on your floors.

5. Install Commercial Dehumidification Units

Although these are costly units that add to your overall energy bill, they are known to alter the interior building humidity environment which may help reduce or eliminate SSS.

6. Use Low-Permeance, Low-Slab Retarders in Your Stores

This can prove particularly effective where products are stored directly on the floor. They tend to reduce the possibility of moisture rising and condensing beneath stored products.
Mysteriously enough, even if you do not have bare concrete floors and you have carpet, tile, vinyl or wood flooring, moisture and condensation can still cause Sweating Slab Syndrome with temperature fluctuations. Moisture under the flooring that is laid over concrete floors can ruin the adhesive that holds the top flooring in place.

Summary

Many industries and companies have concrete flooring and most everyone has experienced sweating concrete floor slabs. Moisture in concrete slabs pose a huge risk for workers along the corridors, so it’s important that you deal with it as soon as possible. More often than not this is climate and temperature related and blasting your AC won’t get to the root of the problem. Adequately combating sweaty slab with HVLS fans will help protect your machinery, product, building, minimizes mold and mildew and most importantly the safety of your employees in a cost-effective way.
Jason Hornsby is the owner/ President of Vector Sales and the Regional Sales Rep for MacroAir Fans. An expert with high volume, low speed fans, Jason has spent more than 22 years focused on cooling solutions for industrial facilities that increase employee comfort and decrease energy consumption.
Have you ever had to deal with sweating slab syndrome? Leave a comment below and tell us about your experience.