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PERMINATOR - VAPOR BARRIER
Perminator is an underslab vapor barrier. It comes in 10 and 15 mil thicknesses and is made to reduce the penetration of moisture, water vapor and radon gas through the slap of the structure. Perminator also reduces the growth of fungus, mildew, and mold.
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Underslab Vapor Barrier
Perminator Underslab Vapor Barrier is the next generation of polyolefin-based resin in chemical technology. It offers the best vapor barrier in the industry with an extremely effective, economical option for reducing the penetration of moisture and water vapor from the slab then into the structure. This, in turn, will reduce the growth of fungus, mildew and mold. The product will reduce radon gas from getting into the structure as well.
It is available in two thicknesses, 10 mil and 15 mil, and both are offered in 200-feet (6m) long rolls.This barrier will prevent uncontrolled moisture from getting into the slab, allowing the slab to maintain the maximum slab moisture emission rate and humidity level as allowed by the flooring manufacturer's specifications.
The 12-foot (3.66m) wide 15 mil and 15-foot (4.57m) wide 10 mil rolls require fewer seams during the application. Installation is much faster and easier. All seams (joints), both on the side and the end, should overlap 6-feet (152.4 mm) and then taped using 4-inch (101.6 mm) wide P-tape from W.R. Meadows. The The rolls move quickly and smoothly over level tamped soil or compacted fill.
Ways For Using this Product:
Perminator underslab vapor barrier is designed specifically for underslab construction that has tamped and leveled or compacted fill. The 200-foot (61m) long sheets can be unrolled as is or cut to size, then installed using the overlapping approach. Overlaps are 6-inches (152.4 mm) wide and the seams should be sealed using 4-inch (101.6 mm) wide P-Tape.
Protection Course is a multi-ply, semi-rigid core made of mineral fortified asphalt. It can be used as a protection course for waterproofing membranes. The required sheet lengths should be cut to size and kept at the top of the waterproofing membranes by using P-Tape or the Termination Bar from W.R. Meadows.
This new resin technology will provide greater puncture resistance while still maintaining one of the lowest perm ratings in the entire industry. It will not crack, tear, snag, puncture, or split very easily. It's strong enough to stand up to all normal construction job site conditions along with traffic.
• Is available in 10 mil and 15 mil thickness in 200-foot (61m) long rolls.
• This product will reduce penetration from moisture and water vapors through the slab to the
• Will reduce fungus, mold, and mildew.
• Will reduce radon gas from getting into the structure.
• Is resistant to methane gas.
• It's strong enough to withstand normal construction conditions and traffic.
• It will not crack, snag, puncture, tear, or split easily.
• Installs very quickly and easily over the tamped grade. No sand, gravel, or fill is needed.
• The 12-foot (15 mil) and 15-foot (10 mil) wide rolls required fewer seams during application.
• 10 or 15 mil thickness is marked clearly on the membrane for quick identification on the site.
• The VOC content is 0 g/L.
• The product is made in the USA
It will prevent uncontrolled moisture from getting into the slab which will allow the slab to preserve it's maximum slab moisture emission rate and humidity level as allowed by the flooring manufacture's specification.
Surface Preparation -
Level, tamp or roll the earth or granular material underneath the slab base as specified by the architectural drawings. Follow ASTM-1643-10 standard practice and procedure for installation of the vapor retarder used in contact with the earth or fill under the concrete slabs.
For Horizontal Application:
Unroll the 200-foot (61m) vapor barrier over the area where the slab is going to be poured. Cut it to the size needed, if necessary. It should cover the pour area completely. All seams, both side and end, should overlap 6-inches (152.4 mm) and then taped, using 4-inch (101.6 mm) wide P-tape.
Keep in mind, the tape area of adhesion should be free from all dust, dirt, and moisture allowing for maximum adhesion of the pressure-sensitive tape.
The best installation approach should include placing the roll on to the footing and against the wall. This will sandwich the vapor barrier between the footing, vertical wall, and the poured concrete floor. This process will protect the concrete slab from external moisture once the slab has been placed.
Before placing the concrete slab, make sure all penetrations, block-outs, and damaged areas have been repaired.
There are many municipal codes that do not allow the placement of vapor barriers over the footing because of breaking the bond between the wall and footing. While this is not an optimal application approach, W.R Meadows approves this alternative method when required by building code.
For Sealing All Projections:
You should cut a slit around pipes, ductwork, wire penetrations, and rebar in order to place the layer of vapor barrier. To protect the concrete slab from external moisture even further, take a piece of the vapor barrier and place a collar around the pipe as well.
Take a piece of it and cut it to a minimum width of 12-inches (304.8 mm). The length should be 1.5 times the pipe's circumference. Take a roofer's knife or a pair of scissors and cut “fingers” half the width of the film.
Wrap it around the pipe and tape the collar on to it then completely tape the fingers to the bottom layer of Perminator.
Should something happen that damages the it during or after installation, you will have to make repairs. Cut a piece of the roll that is large enough to cover the damaged area with a minimum overlap of 6-inches (152.4 mm) in all directions. Clean up the adhesion areas from dust, dirt, and moisture. Then tape down all edges using the tape.
Keep in mind, you do not have to overlay the rolls with gravel or sand. This product is strong enough to withstand all normal construction potential damages and traffic. Most flooring companies highly recommend the placement of the concrete slab directly onto the vapor barrier. This will eliminate the potential for trapping moisture in the blotter-effect, causing it to resurface through the slab into the flooring systems. You should be familiar with the local building codes and regulations along with the guidelines from the architectural and design firm before starting the application.
Vertical Wall Applications:
Install the waterproofing membrane by W.R. Meadows according to the instructions. While the membrane is still sticky or tacky, install this vapor barrier for protection over the applied waterproofing membrane. You can use either a termination bar with concrete nails or P-Tape at the end of the waterproofing which is advised for some applications. Take special care during back-filling against the material so it is not damaged or punctured. If damage happens, patch it using the techniques outlined previously. You can apply the tape to the foundation walls for increased bonding.
This underslab vapor barrier does not cancel out the need for relief of hydrostatic heads. A complete drain tile system should be placed on the exterior of the footing and on the interior of the footing. For the best concrete performance and durability, the concrete floor slab design should have the lowest possible slump yet assure complete hydration of the concrete.
Perminator tape can be found here. It is the appropriate tape to use when installing this underslab retarder.
Permeance Requirements: Is It Vapor Retarder Or Vapor Barrier?
Under-slab vapor retarders or barriers are considered a productive and cost-effective way to control moving moisture in concrete. The correct installation of an effective vapor retarder beneath the concrete has proven to reduce or even eliminate issues that arise when moisture moves into interior spaces, including the unfavorable effects moisture has on the floor covering and coating systems along with compromised indoor air quality caused by the growth of fungus, mildew, and mold.
W..R. Meadows was the person who identified the problem early on relating to vapor permeance and membranes being harmed during installation. In the 1950s, we were the pioneers for the exclusive Premoulded® Membrane With Plasmatic®Core that is still being used today when a retarder or barrier must be really tough.
Even though low permeability, high strength, and durability are very important selections and specifications for under-slab vapor retarders or barriers, there is some speculation about which of these performance characteristics is more important when choosing the right vapor retarder for a project.
We will explore the industry standards governing under-slab vapor retarder or barrier performance and identify critical product characteristics that should be considered when deciding what level of under-slab vapor protection is needed for a specific application.
Vapor Barrier Vs Vapor Retarder
First, let’s look at terms that are used in the industry. Is it Vapor Retarder or Vapor Barrier? As both of these terms are used interchangeably in the construction industry, it’s difficult to answer that question.
ASTM E1745 is the standard requirement for Plastic Water Vapor Retarders that are applied to create contact with Soil on a Granular Fill under the Concrete Slabs. A vapor barrier is described as a material or construction that blocks the transmission of water vapor under specified conditions. It does not address the description “vapor barrier”.
ACI 302.1R Approaches This Differently
ACI 302.1R is the guide for concrete floor and slab construction. Many vapor retarder materials have mistakenly been referred to by designers as vapor barriers. Vapor barriers are products with permeance (water-vapor transmission rating) of 0.00 perms when tested according to ASTM E 96”.
ACI 302.2R is a “Guide for Concrete Slabs that accepts Moisture-Sensitive Flooring Materials that asserts that the construction industry used the term vapor barrier to describe a polyethylene-based material below a concrete slab”. Polyethylene will not totally stop the transmission of water vapor because it only decreases water vapor transmission. It is believed these products should be referred to as vapor retarders, not barriers. The same committee made a recommendation that even if it is determined that a vapor retarder meets the ASTM E1745 for vapor permeance requirements is not enough to protect the flooring material that will be installed. Therefore, vapor barriers with a perm rating of .01 or less should be clearly stated. While this statement indicates that a material with a 0.01 or less perm rating may be considered a vapor barrier, it does not describe a vapor barrier with a permeance of fewer than 0.01 perms.
Are You Confused Yet?
On top of this, when we start to categorize vapor retarders, materials can be separated into 3 General Classes, based on their permeance and can be defined in the International Building Code (IBC):
Class I is considered a vapor retarder of 0.1 perm or less
Class II is considered a vapor retarder 1.0 perm or less and greater than 0.1 perm
Class III is considered a vapor retarder of 10 perms or less but greater than 1.0 perm
Anything over 10 perms is designated as a vapor-permeable membrane.
So, what is a vapor barrier? Within the industry, most people consider a vapor barrier as a Class One vapor retarder. That said, if you look at the current International building code, there are no specific performance requirements when discussing under-slab vapor protection. The term vapor retarder is still used. 2012 IBC section 1907.1 requires 6-mil polyethylene or some other approved material to obstruct vapor transmission through the floor slab.
What Should Be Done?
It’s pretty obvious, we should stop using the term “vapor barrier” and “vapor retarder” but instead define the performance characteristics that the material is required to meet, based on the project requirements. This has been clearly worded within ACI 302.1
It has been advised that proposed installations should be independently judged for moisture sensitivity of floor finishes, the expected project conditions, and the possible effects of slab cracking, curling, and crusting. The expected benefits and risks associated with a specific area of the vapor retarder should be examed by all applicable parties before construction.
Regardless of the term, it’s the function of the material that must be evaluated in order to control the entrance of water vapor into the building by vapor diffusion.
ASTM is a global leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards which established three standards for under-slab vapor retarders. Two of the standards are material specifications with specific benchmarks that must be met. Both are relevant to new material as well as materials that are conditioned or exposed to simulate service conditions. The Third standard involves the placement and installation of the vapor retarder.
ASTM E1993 is considered the Standard Specification for Bituminous Water Vapor Retarders that are used when in contact with soil or granular fill under the concrete slabs. This will cover bituminous membrane water vapor retarders and specified the requirements for water vapor permeance, tensile strength, puncture-resistance, and thickness.
ASTM E1745 is considered the Standard Specification for Plastic Water Vapor Retarders that are used when in contact with soil or granular fill under the concrete slabs.. This applies to plastic water vapor retarders and designated into Class A, Class B, or Class C based on water vapor permeance, tensile strength, and puncture resistance. It’s important to understand that the classification of a material is based on its puncture resistance and tensile strength, not vapor permeance which is consistent at 0.1 perms across all classes.
ASTM E1643 is considered the Standard Practice for Selection, Design, Installation, and for inspecting the Water Vapor Retarders used when in contact with soil or granular fill under the concrete slabs.
Under ASTM E1745-11 Water Vapor Permeance requires a vapor retarder material for a maximum permeance rating of 0.1 perms. That said, the American Concrete Institute’s ACI 302.2R-06 Guide for Concrete Slabs that Receive Moisture-Sensitive Flooring Materials, suggests that the use of materials having 0.01 perms or less in situations where extremely sensitive flooring material requires protection lower than the requirements stated in ASTM E1745 may be the better choice. The bottom line, the lower the perm rating means better protection against moisture. However, a lower perm rating, by itself, does not make an effective vapor retarder.
It is important that the permeance in vapor retarder or barrier performance is not ignored, there is increasing emphasis being placed on the material’s overall strength and puncture resistance, with good reason! During construction, materials are exposed to foot traffic and other conditions that can cause punctures and tearing. In reality, even small holes in the vapor retarder or barrier can result in a significant increase of water vapor emissions through concrete floor slabs which will lead to potential floor covering failure, delays in floor covering installation, and so many other costly problems.
Several studies have been conducted to analyze what happens when a vapor retarder or barrier is punctured or installed improperly. One highly recognized study from The Aberdeen Group determined that a 1/8-inch diameter hole from a nail created an average moisture-emission rate of 1.3 lbs/1,000-foot 2/24 hours rendering the material equal to a vapor retarder with a .93m rating which is well beyond the recommended industry performance standards. The same study showed that a 5/8-inch diameter stake hole caused the average moisture-emission rate to increase to 3 lbs/1,000 ft 2/24 hours. This amounts to the maximum moisture transfer rate permitted by the flooring industry’s specifications and is comparable to a vapor retarder with a 2.2 perm rating.
Many suppliers of vapor retarders or barriers publish their tests resulting in lower perm ratings for their products. It appears simply having a low perm rating is not enough when it comes to real-life situations. Vapor retarders or barriers must be tough enough to endure the rigors of construction since this will determine their true long-term abilities to protect against water vapor intrusion. Today, many products are promoted for their low perm rating but exhibit reduced puncture- resistance properties. This was recognized by a group of concrete floor specialists. They learned from polymer chemists that currently with plastic films you must choose the main objective. You either design material to achieve the lowest permeance possible or you design it for strength. That said, gain on one, you will lose on the other.
The specifiers should be involved in selecting a retarder or barrier material and have several options available to choose from for a project. It’s important to understand the requirements and performance of the material to make the right choice. A product with a high puncture resistance but is inferior due to less than adequate permeance has no value and more so with low permeance that will probably become punctured during installation. Also, a few relatively small punctures that are not mended properly can eliminate any benefits the low permeance material could have provided. You need a balance of low vapor permeance and high puncture resistance for a vapor retarder or barrier that will perform well during installation and construction while providing long-term protection.
All the vital functions of the vapor retarder or barrier include puncture resistance, tensile, and vapor permeance. Also, there must have a good balance between them in order for the material to perform both during and after construction. It’s really important that the specifier ensure the permeance and puncture properties listed on the manufacturer’s datasheet have been independently tested by an accredited lab to perform the testing. Also, all testing must be performed on samples from the same product roll as required in Section 1.1 of ASTM E1745 which states that each complete set of tests and get all samples from a single production roll of material. The samples shall be representative of the material being sold to the user. W. R. Meadows believes in order to ensure the testing is from the same sample roll and a single independent test report shall be inclusive of all the required test results.
Reasons Why Specifiers Should Compare Materials
The test methods should be the same for the product.
Request current independent testing for all the criteria of ASTME E1745 on the same sample.
There should be only one independent accredited lab for all the tests or coordinate the testing to ensure the same material was used to test all the properties.
Make sure the current material is from the same place as the tested material.
Compare products or all critical factors such as perms, puncture, and tensile, not just vapor permeance.
The products should be clearly labeled for identification onsite.