Stuck in Wet Concrete

For the last couple of months we’ve been anticipating having our 13,000 square foot addition open by the end of this month.  It’s now the last week of June and I can tell you with 100% certainty that we’re not making that deadline.

 The new building is essentially done; the last thing that ‘s left to do is to put in the remaining flooring.  This was scheduled to happen early last week— then we’d have a few days for final clean-up and be ready for business this week.  But those plans got derailed by an unexpected source…wet concrete.

This isn’t the kind of fresh concrete you accidentally step in or carve your initials into.  The stuff we’re talking about was poured many months ago (for both the 1st and 2nd floor) and is rock hard.  Concrete is usually hard enough to walk on in a few hours and reaches its full strength in about four weeks.  But it can continue to “cure” and dry (by giving up moisture vapor) for much longer than that, depending on environmental factors.   

I vividly remember learning this on a tour of 70 year-old Shasta Dam.  The concrete in the middle sections of the structure is still  not dry today.   There are bore holes into the thickest sections that actually have a trickle of water running out of them! 

Our issue isn’t nearly so dramatic; we don’t have any visible water or even anything that appears damp.  But if you cover the surface with a plastic sheet for a few days there is enough water vapor emanating from the slab to become visible.  The same thing will happen if you cover the concrete with a non-permeable floor covering.  The moisture becomes trapped, builds up over time, and can eventually ruin the bond between your finish flooring and the concrete underneath.

We had several options for dealing with this issue, but they all came with drawbacks in terms of time and expense or compromised what we were trying to attain in terms of reliability and longevity.    After wrestling with it for several days we ultimately chose to apply a vapor-proof seal coat to the existing concrete so we could safely use the flooring coverings we originally selected.  The drawback to this choice (other than cost—OUCH!) is that it was going to add some time to our schedule.

Between scheduling the seal coat, allowing for drying times, the July 4th holiday, and getting the flooring contractor rescheduled, it now appears like we’ll be opening up the addition sometime right around the middle of July.  Of course that’s if nothing else unforseen gets in our way!

We’re extremely anxious to get the new addition open for obvious reasons…we want to show off what we’ve created and let you enjoy all of that brand new space.  But we also need that space so that we can start moving equipment around and continue our work inside the existing building.  Our contractor is essentially finished with their work on the addition, and they need room to work!

With the opening of the addition  some major changes will be set in motion; work will begin simultaneously on the men’s locker room, the front entry, our current Spin room, and the main cardio area.  The men will be moving into the current women’s locker room while theirs is gutted and renovated, cardio equipment will temporarily be moved into our current Studio 1, and everyone will need to enter the building through the new doors towards the back of the building.  We’ll also need to relocate our front desk and lounge area.

Fortunately with the addition open we will have three great new classrooms open to use and some very nice cardio space with a great view.  With all this new square footage we don’t anticipate losing any workout space for any extended period of time.  Some things will need to be moved temporarily, but at least we’ll have some flexibility to do that.  We’ll provide some more details on what’s going to happen in our next update.  Until then, thanks for your patience!

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