Concrete flooring is one of the strongest materials available for contractors. It also presents dangers and complications which necessitate regulatory practices. Concrete floors must meet certain quality standards for the safety and health of workers and residents.
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Considering Building Materials
State regulations, as well as industry standards, require the use of concrete floors when certain building materials are used. This is especially the case if you are building a steel structure or one which will employ masonry walls. This does not necessarily mean, however, that other flooring materials, such as wood, can be later installed upon the initial concrete foundations.
OSHA and Electricity
Dry concrete floors offer the potential to form a ground, thus closing an electrical circuit. This can be a potentially lethal hazard given the wrong conditions. Therefore, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulates what electrical devices can't come in contact with concrete. An underground fan, for example, should not touch a dry concrete floor, as this would constitute an OSHA violation. Additionally, the OSHA demands that all floors made of concrete be "considered grounded."
Aside from specific regulations, you must be sure that concrete floor construction will not ultimately violate health or building codes. One concern is the manner in which concrete flooring is connected to the structure's wall. If poorly executed, the smallest of spaces may encourage water damage, mould, rot and other health-related dangers. Excellence in installation will allay the need for costly and inconvenient inspections---often performed by state-accredited abatement officials---and repair procedures down the road.
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